Disaster Communalism

I. January 1, 2015. Balmorhea, Texas.

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The first night is cold. We wake, bodies stiff and kinked like discarded dolls. The windows of the car reveal nothing but ice, and when we finally crack open the doors to let some air in, the outside world is much the same. Terrible and beautiful, this is the kind of ice that shuts down highways, transforms roadsides to tractor trailer junkyards, turns West Texas prairies into gleaming mirrors of the sky, silences the surrounding world.

The people of Balmorhea, Texas – this four-block town of 491 people rising unexpectedly from the desolate West Texas flatlands – haven’t seen this kind of ice in a generation. A frozen tumbleweed staggers across the road like an early morning drunk. Continue reading

“Interview with Chris Tittle, Director of Organizational Resilience at The Sustainable Economies Law Center” (SELC) by Willi Paul, PlanetShifter.com Magazine

“Meet Us at the Legal Café!”

An interview with Willi Paul of PlanetShifter.com Magazine

What is community, Chris?

I like to think of community as both place and process. There are communities of place – geographically bounded communities where people share a common connection to a particular area and the experience of living there; there are also communities of passion based on a shared identity or set of values that extend across physical borders but are nevertheless bounded by something shared.

It’s important that we nurture both types of communities and that we are very clear about how we use terms like “community” in this type of work. Part of creating community resilience is extending decision-making and autonomy so people can define their own communities by what they have, rather than what they lack. And as a dynamic process, “community” is always being created or unraveled or adapting to change. Creating tools to strengthen community as both process and place is essential for resiliency.

Read more at PlanetShifter Magazine

Learning the Law in a Changing World

Learning the Law in a Changing World

A blog post originally published on LikeLincoln.org and Shareable.net

At the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), we are dedicated to creating more just and resilient local economies by meeting the legal needs of cooperatives, urban farms, community enterprises, local currencies, and other creative economic structures. And, as members of the legal community, we are increasingly exploring what a more just and resilient practice of law might look like.

Read more about the growing movement to transform legal education and the practice of law through experiential community-based learning: http://www.shareable.net/blog/learning-the-law-in-a-changing-world

Change the Exchange is an event that several of us at Schumacher College have been co-creating over the past few months with the help of Transition Town Totnes and members of the larger Totnes community. For more info, check out http://www.changetheexchange.wordpress.com

Change the Exchange

By Chris Tittle

“In a dialogue, nobody is trying to win. Everybody wins if anybody wins. A dialogue is something more of a common participation, in which we are not playing a game against each other, but with each other.”
-David Bohm


Times of great uncertainty and transition, such as the one we seem to find ourselves in, are also times of great opportunity and energy. They invite us to entertain the idea that what we know from the past is no longer appropriate in a rapidly changing world, that creativity is necessary to respond to emerging and persistent challenges.

How do we, as individuals and communities, respond creatively to change? What habits, patterns, assumptions, values do we hold that may actually block our collective creativity?

These are some of the questions we’ve been asking ourselves throughout the process of creating Change the Exchange. Specifically, how might we best invite…

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