13 October 2012

Transforming Neighborhoods and Communities II

Posted by Admin under: Community Development; Ecology; Economy; Energy; Events; Landscaping; Neighborhoods; Resiliency; Sustainability .

Access the audio recording of this session here.

And here’s the link to the presentation for Saturday, October 13, 2012:



As promised, we are continuing our dialogue on Creating More Sustainable Neighborhoods and Communities this Saturday, October 13 at 10 AM Eastern:

Conference dial-in number: (559) 726-1200
Participant access code: 850034

This number can be dialed from Google Voice so there should not be any long distance charges; it can also be dialed from Skype at freeconferencing.5597261200 (then provide the access code).

What we discovered last time was that one of the easiest ways to collaborate online was to use a Google presentation, so that’s what I’m posting the link to above.

At this point, though, the things that we’re interested in talking about will basically fit on no more than 2 or 3 slides, so we’re looking to our guests to bring more of the content. What’s going on in your world that relates to creating a more sustainable living environment for you, your family, and your community?

All of us live “in” communities, but not all of us feel as strongly about being part of them. What does it take to become “rooted” in a community, to transform it into the supportive environment that we all yearn for, without stifling originality, innovation, and dissent?

Please join us for this dialogue at 10 a.m. Eastern this Saturday. If you’re nearby, you’re welcome to come to our house at 8 Revere Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ. Otherwise, please join us on the phone and online.
For those who did not get a chance to join our discussion last month, here’s a shortened version of the goals, and the design, of these conversations:

We’re planning a new SLF event — a monthly small group conversation on neighborhood and community transformation. This discussion is intended to occur at a number of different levels, but with the explicit intention to find ways to make it self-sustaining.

It’s not enough just to speak and write about transforming our neighborhoods and communities; we need to take action, and we need to find ways to make this action sustainable.

The framing of this is that we understand there is an extraordinarily widespread need to make suburban neighborhoods, urban communities, and local villages more sustainable. We need to make the places where we live healthy, environmentally regenerative, and self-sustaining. In the looking at the world, we realize that we have to start at home to remake our own economy, culture, and civilization one that contributes to restoring the planet, not one that contributes to destroying it. This leads to the recognition that there is an ecosystem of businesses and nonprofit  initiatives that are needed to assist communities in developing these characteristics, and are able to sustain themselves doing so.

The premise of these discussions is that we all know that we need to galvanize personal and social action around making our own neighborhoods and communities more sustainable and reducing their contribution to the global overwhelming of our ecological system; the challenge is how to bring about and sustain these changes in a scalable way.

Is there a way to make generate revenue from helping to facilitate these changes? This is one of the central questions we’ll be asking during these continuing 2-hour sessions held on the second Saturday morning of each month, beginning September 8, 2012.

We proposing to host a live online interactive version of this meeting — to share our discussions of this range of topics. It’s our conviction that practical plans and ideas will coalesce very quickly, along with the will and the tools and resources to implement them. People in neighborhoods quite widely understand that they need to strengthen their local economies, emergency preparedness,  food security, water conservation, clean energy generation, and reduce the use of toxic chemicals, fossil fuels, and waste products. Those people at the forefront of this recognition are natural community leaders, yet in most cases do not have local vehicles through which to realize their aspirations—the more beautiful worlds that, as Charles Eisenstein puts it, “our hearts know are possible.”

These are not idealistic utopias. They are the communities of the future, where the benefits of technology are fully integrated into a larger and more holistic design; but they are more self-reliant, more responsible stewards of the commons, and more beneficial for those living there. Communities need to come together to design sustainable ways of living that suit their specific and individually unique needs. It’s like “home rule” for natural ecosystems, for local neighborhoods, and for institutions that serve the community.

4 Comments so far...

isabel rimanoczy Says:

11 October 2012 at 10:43 am.

Congratulations! How did you convene? i am curious how you announced the meeting, who you invited, to learn how to start something like this. We have a community center for the neighborhood and people gather to hear news about burglars, new construction, and when’s the next bbq
i think the awareness needs to be raised first. Curious what i can learn from you guys!?

Admin Says:

12 October 2012 at 11:39 am.

Hi Isabel:

Thanks for your comment. The idea for a series of conversations on this topic started from several sources, most notably Jan Graff’s effort to build a business around permaculture landscaping services for our neighborhood association, and my wife Victoria Zelin’s work with UFC to launch the first of a series of new-model community banks in NY and NJ. What I see as possible is developing a business that focuses on helping neighborhoods and communities “go green” in a variety of ways. The challenge, as always, is how to make this financially viable, since most neighborhood associations and community groups do not have budgets for this kind of thing; and even more sustainable practices will also result in savings to community members, there is no simple way of sharing these to support a consulting or community organizing effort. So I thought I’d put this out there for comment, but starting with a very small group that might be able to generate practical ideas, and then expanding it through an invitation to the rest of our mailing list.

This Saturday’s discussion is only the second in the series, and I want to build up a bit of experience in both the discussion and the technologies for sharing it online before “launching” it on a larger scale.

Please join us if you can. I enjoy many of your “daily quotes,” and would welcome your insights, comments, and questions for the group. Thanks

Jonathan Cloud :: Life, Examined » Blog Archive » Latest Thoughts and Interests Says:

25 October 2012 at 7:47 pm.

[…] Forum, where I’ve been seeking to engage an expanding circle of thinkers and practitioners in a conversation about creating more sustainable neighborhoods and communities, right here and right now. But this is much broader than that, and goes to the heart of who we […]

Jonathan Cloud::Life, Examined » Blog Archive » Latest Thoughts and Interests Says:

9 November 2013 at 9:12 pm.

[…] Forum, where I’ve been seeking to engage an expanding circle of thinkers and practitioners in a conversation about creating more sustainable neighborhoods and communities, right here and right now. But this is much broader than that, and goes to the heart of who we […]

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Past Events

Correction: We'll be hosting this year's holiday potluck — "Bringing Solar Power Home for the Holidays" — on Saturday, December 15, from 4 to 9 p.m. Click here for more details. RSVP to [email protected].
Saturday, November 17, 2012, 10 a.m. Eastern: Sustainable Neighborhood & Community Conversations (III).
Saturday, October 13, 2012, 10 a.m. Eastern: Transforming Neighborhoods and Communities II.
Saturday, September 8, 2012, 10 a.m. Eastern: Transforming Neighborhoods & Communities.
Saturday, June 16, 2012: SLF Potluck June 16: Sustainable Living Communities.
The Sustainable Haiti Conference took place April 23-25, 2012 in Miami.
"Inside Job" Movie Party. Saturday, February 11th, 6:00 PM, Liberty Ridge, The Hills, Bernards Twp, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.
2nd 'Buy Haitian, Restore Haiti Conference', January 26, 2012, Karibe Convention Center, Petion Ville, Haiti
Dec 11 SLF Potluck: "Bringing Sustainability Home for the Holidays" Basking Ridge, NJ. RSVP to [email protected].
Saturday, July 9, 2011, 4 p.m. Open House Party & Potluck, Saturday, July 9, 4 p.m., Basking Ridge, NJ.
RSVP to [email protected]
Saturday, May 21, 1-4 p.m. EcoCenter Update. At the Morristown EcoCenter, 55 Bank Street, Morristown, NJ 07960.
Saturday, April 16, 1-4 p.m. "Haiti & Us: The Leading Edge of Sustainable Development." At the Morristown EcoCenter, 55 Bank Street, Morristown, NJ 07960. A copy of the update presentation has been posted here.
Saturday, March 19, 1-4 p.m. "Creating the Morristown EcoCenter." Held at 55 Bank Street, Morristown, the site of the proposed EcoCenter.
Saturday, February 19, 1-4 p.m. Monthly meeting, ""A Profound Transformation in Consciousness," Morris County Library, Whippany, NJ. Click here for details.
Saturday, January 15, 1-4 p.m. Putting Idealism into Practice: Tour of Half Moon House. Click here for details.
Saturday, December 18, 1-4 p.m. Challenge & Strategy Session: "Reinventing Wealth," followed by our annual "Potluck for the Planet" from 4 to 8. Click here for details.
Saturday, November 20, 1-4 p.m. Challenge & Strategy Session: "How Do We Measure Sustainable Value?". Click here for details.
Saturday, October 16, 1-4 p.m. Challenge and Strategy Session: "Toward a Sustainable Growth Strategy for New Jersey".
Download the slide presentation here, and the discussion paper here.

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