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Citizens’ initiatives, bearers of hope

In the face of the crisis, and in the face of

failed economic models and disenchant-

ment with the lack of change, fragile local

initiatives are emerging, showing that there

is hope:



“short circuits” are becoming increasingly

common, with farmers and fishermen

selling directly to local customers;



local trading systems, bartering, local

currencies, and time-banking are




networks of entrepreneurs are being

developed, giving priority to inter-re-

lations, promoting local trade and

constituting critical masses to tackle

new markets;



in the context of voluntary “social and

environmental responsibility” policies,

companies are increasingly taking

action against exclusion and becoming

involved in finding solutions to environ-

mental problems;

And is it possible to ignore the conclusions

of the World Social Forum (“Another world

is possible”) held on 26 – 30 March 2013 in

Tunis, even if everything discussed there

seems a little utopic?

The Assembly hopes that civil society

actors will coordinate their actions in the

best possible way, enabling all inhabitants

of our planet to regain their rights and

replace an economic system based on

individual selfishness, the plundering

of natural resources, competition, male

domination and war, by one based

on fraternity, resource conservation,

cooperation and peace among all people.


Put in a nutshell, what we really need are

practical ways to give hope to young people

in the 18 – 30 age range, those hit most

by the economic downturn and the rise of

ostracism and cynical selfishness.



“We are now in a different era, which some have called

post-modern, but which in the view of global environmental

issues, I prefer to call the anthropocene. The perfect response

to challenges of this era is the man or woman who participates

in local development, which could be called the cooperative

homo localicus. Getting involved in a strategy to promote the

cooperative homo localicus, rather than the individualistic

homo economicus, contributing to Ulysses victory over

Polyphemus, the Cyclops… This would be a great ambition for

the next 25 years!”

Marjorie Jouen,

Special Adviser at Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute

Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative |