A BALLE network here? Two PWF conference workshops to ‘test the water’
Raising the Neighbourhood House profile through a ‘Local, Living Economies Network’?
‘Taking the Next Step’ Neighbourhood House & Learning Centre Conference 7-9 March, Melbourne.
Can IT networks help us ‘think local first’ & create ‘local, living economies’ here?
Connecting Up 2007: ‘We can do it’ 14-15 May, Adelaide. Community Information Strategies Australia (CISA).
*CISA’s CommunIT Project helps community and not-for-profit organisations increase their information and communication technology (ICT) capacity.
Local Living Economies & sustainable business networks
Communities throughout North America, under the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) are linking businesses, public sector workers and community leaders so grassroots people can create ‘living economies’, dedicated to strengthening and spreading socially and environmentally responsible local businesses who consider equally, people, the planet and profits.
The last two decades have seen sweeping changes in communities here and overseas as global retailers have replaced locally owned shops. Many local governments have spent time and money trying to attract multinational corporations, but unlike the owners of locally based businesses, these corporations have little knowledge or concern for the consequences at the local level for action taken on their behalf eg the Woolworth’s development at Maleny, Queensland.
In Australia today there is concern that the supermarket duopoly plus large shopping centre developments, full of the same franchises, is ‘homogenising’ us and cannot be considered sustainable development. ‘Think Local First’ campaigns are well documented on the internet. PWF is starting to ‘test the water’ and discuss using existing networks, such as Neighbourhood Houses, to act as an info hub for similar campaigns here, using the net as a ‘giant whiteboard’ to monitor success and pitfalls for sustainable local first campaigns here.
A sensitive, community-based campaign for a sustainable future – supported by an IT communication network – should raise the profile of Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres. Would it lead to greater recognition by politicians and bureaucrats and more realistic funding arrangements for the sector??