Saturday, July 19, 2008

Small Is Beautiful study group in July (air-conditioned!)

On the last Tuesday of July at 6:00 pm at Fair Grinds Coffeehouse (this runs once a month with the day of the month changing if needed) we are having our second study/discussion group around the principles and strategies of creating communities/economies that are sustainable and human-scaled.

Based on essays, videos and examples of the E.F.Schumacher Society (, we will read or do some (short online) research beforehand and hold discussions, look at examples, hear from those engaged in face to face community organizing around the placement of labor, land and capital in a more dynamic, democratic system that could answer some questions that New Orleans still must answer about its future.
The first essay that was discussed in June was "The Economy of Regions" by Jane Jacobs.

For the second meeting, we are going to try to show some short videos of Jane Jacobs, Schumacher and also talk about Susan Witt's essay that we hope people can find time to read beforehand.
(I might have linked another essay on the last email that was not the one i meant, so do check your last email. This is the currency story that I was thinking of). If you are unable to make the meeting, feel free to send comments via email which I will add to the discussion and also to the ning site.

It was also suggested that people start to read Schumacher, most easily to enter is Buddhist Economics:

The group will alternate between our downtown location at Fair Grinds and an Uptown location, Mockingbird Cafe
And hey, if you are the kind of person who does not read, then by all means just show up and soak up the talk. We expect it to last just about 90 minutes as a group; if some want to continue the talk, Fair Grinds is open late for the ongoing discussion....
We also have social network group that Iupload comments received between meetings and will also post updates or ideas from other parts of the country. No need to join this to participate in the face to face, but it's there if you want to join; just let me know and I'll send you an invite.

here are some ideas for the framing of the discussion for July, do let me know if there are other ideas to get the talk flowing and to stay on essay discussion. Open to all ideas.
- Will have a short round of introductions
- will show 3-5 minute videos, 2 or 3 of them
- someone will open discussion of the essay from Susan, and any other ideas from last month's talk about Jane Jacobs. We hope to ask ongoing members to help facilitate, so please see Dar if you will assist with pointing out questions, bringing the conversation back to these readings etc.

- any other ideas from the group? This month, a reading list will be sent around that people can add to, and in future months, we can pick readings beforehand online...

how about notes? shall we take some and post on the ning group? large pieces of paper with someone putting ideas up? yes? hell no?

do RSVP and I hope you can all come as I think we can create an enjoyable time monthly...

Dar Wolnik

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