The Next Step For Craftivism – And It Needs Your Help

November 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve written before about my love for craftivism and the work that Sarah Corbett and her co-craftivists do. My sister is a crafter, and I love how it brings in new groups of people into social change work – as well as reminding us day-to-day activists that we need to think creatively and innovatively about the work that we do.

Sarah has written a Little Book of Craftivism and has a publisher lined up, but needs to raise £6000 to prove that there are people out there who want to bring more creativity and care into activism. They are well on their way, and I’ve donated to support the work. I think watching this little film will explain why it is so powerful.

Please chip in if you believe in what they’re doing. This has massive potential.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nmMsfNPfTHk]

Apply: Economic Justice Campaigner Mentoring Programmer

November 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Some of my favourite people are organising a six-month mentoring programme for economic justice campaigners – which, if you are in the UK and this describes your work, you should absolutely apply for. Full details on the programme and how to apply in this pdf.

The project

The Finance Innovation Lab and nef (new economics foundation) have joined forces to offer a unique six-month programme designed for ambitious, risingleaders of economic justice campaigns.

We need campaigns that tackle the root causes of the problems we face. Yet it’s rare that we find the time in our work to think through what is needed to bring about lasting change, and to design truly effective campaign strategies.

We find ourselves in the midst of the worst recession since the 1930s, with record youth unemployment, drastic cuts to public services and rising inequality. Climate change seems all but forgotten. It’s clear that our political and economic system is not delivering. Yet the response of civil society so far has beeninsufficient to catalyse meaningful change.

Campaigning for the common good is a programme designed to tackle some of these big questions and to develop solutions to them.

Participants will be drawn from across unions, faith groups, NGOs and grassroots movements. Over five full-day sessions and a weekend residential, starting in January 2013, they will learn from experts and from each other.Participants will develop their knowledge of the failings of our current economic model and political system; understand the shape of a new economics; refineand develop their campaign strategies for systemic change and, importantly,build their own leadership potential.

Link Loving 24.11.12

November 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

  • Remember when Oxfam took on Winston Churchill, apartheid, the Labour government, Big Pharma and the pesticides industry? Max Lawson.
  • Filiz Telek shares her take on our joint learning journey to Detroit last month, including clips of Grace Lee Boggs.
  • What should sustainability advocates aim for in the post-2015 international development agenda – and how should they go about it? Alex Evans.
  • Project Wild Thing: Is this how kids will reconnect with nature? h/t Matt Williams
  • Deborah Frieze explains the concept of the Shop of the Open Heart. Like!

On Markets And Metaphors

November 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

“By giving unquestioned priority to market metaphors our leadership has narrowed its vision to such an extent that they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.”

Timothy C. Weiskel

The Call

November 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

A poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer via InnerNet.

I have heard it all my life,

A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.

Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.
Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.
But always it says: Wake up, my love. You are walking asleep.
There’s no safety in that!
Remember what you are, and let a deeper knowing
color the shape of your humanness.
There is nowhere to go. What you are looking for is right here.
Open the fist clenched in wanting and see what you already hold in your hand.
There is no waiting for something to happen,
no point in the future to get to.
All you have ever longed for is here in this moment, right now.
You are wearing yourself out with all this searching.
Come home and rest.
How much longer can you live like this?
Your hungry spirit is gaunt, your heart stumbles. All this trying.
Give it up!
Let yourself be one of the God-mad,
faithful only to the Beauty you are.
Let the Lover pull you to your feet and hold you close,
dancing even when fear urges you to sit this one out.
Remember, there is one word you are here to say with your whole being.
When it finds you, give your life to it. Don’t be tight-lipped and stingy.
Spend yourself completely on the saying,
Be one word in this great love poem we are writing together.

Link Loving 20.11.12

November 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

What Can We Learn About Paradigm Shifts From Science?

November 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

From Kuhn’s ‘Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ that examines how paradigm shifts have happened in scientific thought and exploration. It pretty much encapsulates our struggle with breaking through the current human/nature paradigm in our economy.

In all these cases [of paradigm shifts] the awareness of anomaly had lasted so long and penetrated so deep that one can appropriately describe the fields affected by it as in a state of growing crisis. Because it demands large-scale paradigm destruction and major shifts in the problems and techniques of normal science, the emergence of new theories is generally preceded by a period of pronounced professional insecurity.

This story from the world of astronomy is particularly apt.

Look first at a particularly famous case of paradigm change, the emergence of Copernican astronomy. When its predecessor, the Ptolemaic system, was first developed during the last two centuries before Christ and the first two after, it was admirably successful in predicting the changing positions of both stars and planets. No other ancient system had performed so well; for the stars, Ptolemaic astronomy is still widely used today as an engineering approximation; for the planets, Ptolemy’s predictions were as good as Copernicus’. But to be admirably successful is never, for a scientific theory, to be completely successful. With respect both to planetary position and to precession of the equinoxes, predictions made with Ptolemy’s system never quite conformed with the best available observations. Further reduction of those minor discrepancies constituted many of the principal problems of normal astronomical research for many of Ptolemy’s successors, just as a similar attempt to bring celestial observation and Newtonian theory together provided normal research problems for Newton’s eighteenth-century successors. For some time astronomers had every reason to suppose that these attempts would be as successful as those that had led to Ptolemy’s system. Given a particular discrepancy, astronomers were invariably able to eliminate it by making some particular adjustment in Ptolemy’s system of compounded circles. But as time went on, a man looking at the net result of the normal research effort of many astronomers could observe that astronomy’s complexity was increasing far more rapidly than its accuracy and that a discrepancy corrected in one place was likely to show up in another.

Because the astronomical tradition was repeatedly interrupted from outside and because, in the absence of printing, communication between astronomers was restricted, these difficulties were only slowly recognized. But awareness did come. By the thirteenth century Alfonso X could proclaim that if God had consulted him when creating the universe, he would have received good advice. In the sixteenth century, Copernicus’ coworker, Domenico da Novara, held that no system so cumbersome and inaccurate as the Ptolemaic had become could possibly be true of nature. And Copernicus himself wrote in the Preface to the De Revolutionibus that the astronomical tradition he inherited had finally created only a monster. By the early sixteenth century an increasing number of Europe’s best astronomers were recognizing that the astronomical paradigm was failing in application to its own traditional problems. That recognition was prerequisite to Copernicus’ rejection of the Ptolemaic paradigm and his search for a new one. His famous preface still provides one of the classic descriptions of a crisis state.

When Poetry Says It All

November 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29

Link Loving 18.11.12

November 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Africa For Norway

November 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hilarious : )

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