Books and Book Chapters
The Resilience Imperative, Co-operative Transitions to a Steady State Economy
by Mike Lewis and Pat Conaty (published in 2012 by New Society Publishers; French translation, Impératif Transition: Construire une économie solidaire published in 2015 by les Éditions Écosociété; Korean translation published in 2015 by Tabi Publishing)
This book is based upon research and reflection supported by BALTA during its initial research program from 2006-2012. It explored many of the themes that became central to BALTA’s work in its Scaling Innovation for Sustainability Project. With our communities confronted by major sustainability challenges, many linked to the impact of climate change, it argues for replacing the paradigm of limitless economic growth with a more decentralized, co-operative, steady-state economy. It examines case studies of success in energy sufficiency, local food systems, low-cost community based financing, affordable housing and land reform. Specific chapters and the book as a whole address aspects of financing the transition to a steady state economy and the role that finance can play in achieving a sustainable, just society.
Several parts of the book have been adapted into a series of online articles. See:
- Sweden’s JAK Bank: Liberating Community Finance from the Ball and Chain of Compound Interest
- Affordability Locked In: Community land trusts – good news for households, communities, & taxpayers
- The Best of Three Worlds: Mutual Home Ownership combines housing affordability with equity and fairness
- The Co-operative Land Bank: A Solution in Search of a Home
Strong Institutions, Weak Strategies: Credit Unions and the Rural Social Economy
by Dr. Sean Markey, Freya Kristensen and Dr. Stewart Perry
In recent decades, the shift toward neoliberal policies has had a profound impact on rural communities in Canada. As rural communities grapple with the withdrawal of government services and supports, weakened linkages with traditional resource industries and reduced employment from traditional sources, a hollowing out of local services and other challenges, they need to look at economic restructuring. In doing so, it is suggested that they should look beyond traditional public and private sector solutions to consider the role that the social economy can play. Social economy solutions emphasize a place-based approach to building a resilient local economy from within. The authors suggest that as both social economy and financial institutions, rural community credit unions have an important role to play in financing social economy solutions. However, they contend that credit unions currently do not have strong strategies for playing an effective role in supporting development of the social economy as part of revitalizing rural communities.
Download the chapter for free. (Click on the tab for “free PDF”, then go down to chapter 10 in the list of chapters and click on the download button.)
by Dr. Mike Gismondi, Juanita Marois and Danica Straith (published in 2015 in Putting Sustainability into Practice: Applications and Advances in Research on Sustainable Consumption by Emily Huddart, Maurie J. Cohen and Naomi T. Krogman; Edward Elgar Press,)
The authors examine the ‘Unleashing Local Capital’ (ULC) program, a co-operative local investment innovation designed by the Alberta Community and Cooperative Association (ACCA) to provide rural communities with a financial tool that retains local capital and invests in community businesses. They describe attempts to scale ULC across the province of Alberta, Canada, and the challenges encountered from incumbent financial structures and legislative systems and people’s habitual investing and borrowing practices. The authors use a combined Multilevel Perspective (MLP) and Social Practices Theory (SPT) analysis to identify factors that facilitate or hinder the spread of the innovation.