The P2P Foundation joins the Post-Growth Alliance

PGA

Image Credit: Films for Action

The P2P Foundation is glad to announce its participation in the Post Growth Alliance. The Alliance, created by our friends at the Post Growth Institute, has initiated dialogues among a growing number of collectives spanning 14 countries and with a commonly agreed-on set of values. The groups involved work tirelessly on behalf of ecological and social justice, post-growth strategies, stewardship of the Commons and, of course, P2P. The Alliance aims to mutualise our social media reach by cross-posting curated content on subjects that matter.

Given our informed choice to use netarchical platforms to spread our message (and, incidentally, criticise netarchical platforms and their biases) the Alliance’s combined social media reach of over 2 million followers is not a bad thing.  To be precise, as of July 7th there were 2, 269, 659 followers (Facebook: 2,021,404; Twitter: 248, 255). The combined figure is increasing daily by about 4,000. Over time, we would like to see the incorporation of more decentralised social media channels into that equation.

To give an example of its current reach, Share the World’s Resources’ recent FB post on worldwide economic sharing, republished by the Alliance, has received over 20,000 views on the Post Growth Institute’s page alone. If you want to follow all the groups involved in the PGA on Facebook, you can add them quickly through this list. If you want to follow them on Twitter, click here.

Amongst other things, the PGA organized a record-breaking Silent Skype Meeting with representatives from most of the collectives. We’ve benefited in other ways aside from the social media reach the Alliance offers us, including very constructive dialogues with the Sustainable Economies Law Center on the subject of Open Coops and with Share the World’s Resources on strategies for a Partner State. We really want to thank Donnie Maclurcan, Becky Hollender and the rest of the team for organising such a great initiative. Please read more about the Post Growth Alliance in the material below.

Post Growth Alliance

Together let’s shape the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible!

In a groundbreaking development, 50 organizations have come together to form the Post Growth Alliance. These groups will selectively cross-post the very best content that is helping to motivate systemic change and reshape our world(views).

As of July 7th, the PGA’s combined social media reach is a staggering: 2, 269, 659! (Facebook: 2,021,404; Twitter: 248, 255). The combined figure is increasing daily by 3,856.

Post Growth Alliance – Overview

What is it?

A low-key alliance of like-minded groups, using a simple strategy to harness collective reach in order to enhance the individual impacts of each group and grow the broader Post Growth movement.

How does it work?

The group does two, simple things:

1. Updating – at an annual, 1-3hr typed Skype meeting we keep each other updated of each organization’s plans, offers and needs

2. Sharing – via a ‘blind’ group email, we receive a limited amount of high-quality content from alliance group members, which we agree to consider reposting via our social media and other marketing channels.

How does the updating process work?

Once a year we hold a fast-paced, online, silent (typed) meeting, via Skype (for more about how such a process works, read here). Every group has a representative present who will share pre-prepared information with the group (i.e., copy and pasting information into the chat). Groups will be encouraged to submit their content through an existing form in advance of the meeting, in case, for any reason, their representative is unable to make the meeting for technical, scheduling or other reasons. The meeting’s format is as follows:

  1. Welcome by the chair and explanation of process (10 min.)
  2. Groups then present dot point, pre-prepared organizational updates (organizations present in alphabetical order, at the chair’s prompting) (100 min.).

The chair will then open the floor for all groups to comment/ask questions of the presenting group. In order to keep the meeting fast, members are encouraged to follow-up any matching of offers/needs outside the meeting

  1. Nomination of new members (any alliance member may nominate another group. Acceptance will be by group majority, with the Post Growth Institute holding the right to veto) (10 min.)
  2. Reflections on process/appreciations (10 min.)
  3. Any other business (5 min.)
  4. Close

How does the sharing process work?

Each alliance member organization has a representative who agrees to be on the alliance email list. Each member organization may send a maximum of four items per year (links to articles, campaigns, videos or images – they don’t even have to be your own, or original, work) to the group, using a set template (currently under design, possibly a Google Form) for Facebook, Twitter and newsletter messages. Each alliance member is encouraged to repost (either as a copy/paste function or a retweet/share) all content from other members, but the decision to repost is always voluntary, with each group able to use discretion. The Post Growth Institute will moderate/curate the content.

How is the alliance intellectually/philosophically like-minded?

Alliance members have been selected on the expectation of agreement with the Post Growth Institute’s Starting Positions, as well as their anticipated interest in cross-promoting content from other alliance members. These positions are:

1: All people can live one-planet lifestyles in ways that bring increased peace and prosperity from the personal to the global scale

There are a myriad of inspiring and empowering initiatives occurring worldwide that serve as examples of what our world can look like if we move beyond current trends that focus on personal gain, private profit, materialism and economic growth. By highlighting, connecting and supporting these initiatives we can help accelerate our global transition towards sustainable and resilient prosperity.

2. One-planet lifestyles acknowledge physical limits to economic growth on a planet with finite resources

Economies exist within the physical environment. Their existence relies upon the continued use of natural resources like water, forests and agricultural land. These natural resources are either non-renewable (limited in total amount) or are produced at a rate that is limited by the environment’s ability to regenerate them. The other side of this is nature’s ability to absorb the wastes that we produce.  If economies produce waste faster than nature can absorb that waste, we undermine the planet’s ability to sustain human existence.

We are already using natural resources at a rate higher than that at which they are naturally renewed and creating wastes faster than nature can absorb them (known as ecological overshoot).  Continued economic growth will only worsen this predicament. One-planet living acknowledges that we can, and must, mould our economies to fit within the limits imposed by our physical environment.

3. One-planet lifestyles acknowledge the pressures a growing human population, with highly inequitable patterns of production and consumption, place on a planet with finite physical resources.

Every human on Earth must consume natural resources to live.  If we are to survive and thrive into the future, we must together consume within natural boundaries and produce less waste than nature can absorb. Some of us are consuming far more than our fair share of resources and producing excessive waste, while the total population is growing. We need to address inequalities and find ways to maintain a better balance.

4. One-planet lifestyles also acknowledge that advances in technology do not mean we can keep growing indefinitely

Technology cannot create something from nothing. For example, technology can’t change the fact that there is a limited amount of oil; it can only squeeze a little more use from existing reserves. In a world with more people and higher rates of consumption, increases in technological efficiency can, at best, buy us more time before such gains are cancelled out by further growth.

Globally, improvements in the efficiency of technologies, or even leaps to other substitutes, have not been able to offset overall increases in resource consumption and waste.  In fact, these improvements in efficiency have, in many cases, driven more wasteful attitudes and increased overall consumption (see “Jevons Paradox”).  Rather than relying on technology alone, we must challenge the obsession with infinite growth on a finite planet.

 

 

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