Historian and journalist Rutger Bregman is making waves with his new book Utopia for Realists, a crystal clear critique of the dominant narratives and discourses of poverty and poor people. Glorious. Here are some links:
The diagram consists of two rings. The inner ring of the doughnut represents a sufficiency of the resources we need to lead a good life: food, clean water, housing, sanitation, energy, education, healthcare, democracy. Anyone living within that ring, in the hole in the middle of the doughnut, is in a state of deprivation. The outer ring of the doughnut consists of the Earth’s environmental limits, beyond which we inflict dangerous levels of climate change, ozone depletion, water pollution, loss of species and other assaults on the living world.
The area between the two rings – the doughnut itself – is the “ecologically safe and socially just space” in which humanity should strive to live. The purpose of economics should be to help us enter that space and stay there.
Even though she only revealed the tip of the iceberg of her research and activism in her year of living within the boundary of Glasgow, I was impressed by the scope and scale of Ellie Harrison’s investigations of the Glasgow Effect She was inspired by New Economics Foundation approach: Economics as if People and the Planet Mattered. One of her themes was transport and the twin irritations of a city carved up by motorways and the sorry state of public transport, particularly the buses. This in a city which has a lower than average car ownership. Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to re-view what everyone else has stopped seeing, just got used to. Pavel Buchler once said that one function of art is to stop and look after everyone else has moved on – wait a minute folks, look at this! Not only had she looked – through her investigations, she had discovered that the monthly board meetings of SPT (Strathclyde Partnership Transport) are open to the public! She set herself up as undercover artist in residence at SPT and attended six Board meetings to learn and to lobby.
Thought-provoking podcast about the valuing of maintenance as well as innovation in our lives, communities and systems. Reminds me of when I was working as a postie in Shetland in the early 1980’s. One of my rounds was Sullom Voe and the Oil Terminal. I remember someone explaining the two phases of development – one team came and installed the terminal, then another team came and ran the thing – innovation then maintenance.
Maybe a more nuanced sense of how things work is that innovation contains maintenance and maintenance contains innovation. Does this resonate with the thinking embedded in the post harmony considering the tensions in a rope which makes it hold together?
Noting the etymology of maintenance – holding in the hand (Latin) and it’s cousin maintenant (French:now)