A new society. Practical info and inspiring examples of do-gooders.
Many people want a different world. But how do you get to it?
changetheworldOf course every little personal step is important: more bikes and less cars, local bio - products, reduce energy consumption, to lose 5 kilograms...
Additionally, there are joint ventures in which people with similar ideas or dreams are still trying to achieve something more of their common goals.
And it often amazes me how little known they prove to be. Also, they know each other so little. However, cooperation is a powerful lever to accelerate a movement and its impact. Even if you're not 100% agreeing, a pretty alternative is better than doing nothing.

Hence the idea to gather some good examples. Concise. For inspiration. To strengthen your own ideas and build networks. To find alternatives (in your own environment) and to support initiatives and join forces. And not always to have to invent the wheel again.

Scale ratio: me or the world?
It makes little sense to delay your set up actions to the moment you have 20 hectares of agricultural land to be self-sufficient. It also has little effect if you stick to grow your own herbs on the windowsill. But in between there is your power as a consumer. And a whole range of small-scale opportunities and solidarity.

Small scale is not a solution to every problem, but it offers more options and more realistic possibilities than large-scale.

Large-scale may be useful but should be limited to what communities can oversee and monitor. It should not be an end target in itself, and not merely a means to gain and expand money or power.

Advantages of scale economy
Global trade, large concentrated transports (e.g. from raw materials.)
Lower costs (purely financial economic perspective, exclusive environmental, health...), purchasing
Specializations possible, research and development, reserves for risks
More social contacts. Professional management.
More opportunities to absorb breaks, sickness, etc., more continuity
Rapid development of high-tech products

Disadvantages of large companies
Anonymous and cumbersome. Profit oriented. Polluting. Strangling for artisan and local producers, Sameness. Monopoly. (The same stores and products in all cities and streets.)
Too much power. Little concern for human values ​​, health,... Manipulation and buying of legislators, media. Advertising instead of information
Moving increasingly to lowest -cost countries
Protectionism. Giga wages for unattainable top bankers.
Bureaucracy and regulations, accessibility (phone menus, queue, number...)
Too large seems to lead automatically to abuse. Banks and mega- corporations (pharma, tobacco, food, oil,..) illustrate this with shameful wages, bribery, conflicts of interest, lobbying, profit over sustainability and health.
Also large NGOs with initially noble goals if they become too big they are too expensive in overhead and administration, and believe that their managers are worth exaggerated top salaries. (Where donors often do not know about.)

Small scale

Disadvantages, but for who?
Increased labor, lower production
Knowhow development, knowledge, training are more limited and slower

The entire process can be controlled, from seed to re-use. Clear and understandable to all parties (stakeholders) who therefore all bear responsibility.
Short communication line between the base and top, direct contacts, honest distribution of work and income, more variety in the tasks, more versatile and more flexible deployment of human capital, quickly and easily steering and adapting production, local and culture-specific products, diversity
Labor, means of production, profit and consequences may be at the same people, therefore everyone has a better understanding of the processes, and we use a more sustainable approach
Local productions, less transport, more involvement of investors, workers, consumers.
Less overhead and displacements
Local interdependence, embedding and "supported", instead of resistance and protest
Risk allocation (capital, disease in livestock or crop, fire..)

Me and the world, on a human scale.
Actually every advantage can with a little creative thought be reversed into a disadvantage. Or rather the other way around.

Many advantages that large-scale seems to have can be overcome by networking in small scale initiatives. Internet offers that possibility.
Self starting as a potter is of course very small. But it can be an advantage to join a cooperative of 15 scattered potters. Specialization, purchase and sale together, training, knowledge development, joint investments (mobile furnace (s),..)
So we have to maintain scale, when it yields a demonstrated benefit and let live where possible small scale, multi-functional initiatives.

For this we must work together and take responsibility together. Share. Opting for welfare and sustainability. Taking care of your children and grandchildren, to the environment, fellow human beings, animals and plants and the earth as a whole.

Scaling can be seen in all aspects of our society.
Transport: railway station, train, 40km / h, village garage > monster truck, jumbo jets, 400km / h, appointment - brand garage
Housing: hamlet, town > skyscraper, big cities
Health: GP, midwife, herbalist > group practice, emergency, hospital giant, big pharma
Agriculture: gardens and fields, horse manure > endless fields, chemicals, too heavy beast machines on human high tires
Nutrition: farmer, butcher, grocery > dairy, slaughterhouses, supermarkets
Production: crafts > Industry
Education: schools and 100 pupils > institutions with 10,000 pupils
Politics: from village and county to continent.

Much larger the scale , much smaller the human contact.
Both client user and producer services are anonymous. Employees feel responsible and concerned only for a cleaved facet part, and hide behind 'the organization'.
People can / should / must not turn to more people, but to systems and institutions, preferably through forms and screens, and according to rules and procedures.
We lost the human touch.

The smallest units are probably not the most suitable. Also the largest neither. It is difficult to determine which size is appropriate. An attempt to find some guidelines to consider:
The chain between producers, processors and consumers should be that short that everyone knows each other. Users and makers would have to know the process, or at least should know someone (who is accessible ) who knows it sufficiently.
Ditto for residential blocks, (care) institutions and service companies.
Propelled machines would not leave no lasting impression.
Means of production would be cooperative owned by its employees or the community.
We should strive to be better, happier and more sustainable instead to bigger, longer and faster.

As a bouncer for the opening, just one brief example.

A "bread Fund" is a guaranteed income for self-employed. A group of twenty to fifty people themselves creates a limited income in the event a participant becomes ill. Therefore each pays a monthly fee to their own separate account, of which the sick gets every month a small particle.

What I do myself?
I write this text. (And next 10.) And hope it is a seed that can germinate in several places. Or growth hormone to existing initiatives. Which, as in the permaculture, may have a positive effect on each other.

A guide (which you obviously also may go cavil about):
Which is not good for anyone, is not good.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. (Dan Millmans’ Socrates)

I try to make a series. Info and suggestions are welcome. Additions, corrections and comments as well. Or email me.

I collected a lot of initiatives and links in the Low Countries. All in Dutch. So I deleted all this in the English version. You will have to look it up for your own country and neighborhood.

This introduction:                                             (1)
Organizations, networks                                 (2)
(Together) living and - housing                      (3)
Financial, (no) money                                      (4)
Consume, share items and services            (5.6)
Renewable energy                                            (7)
A garden for all                                                  (8)
Politics, education alternatives                    (9.10)
Animals (1)                                                        (11)
Animals (2)                                                        (11)
Nature & Environment                                    (12)
Health, transport                                            (14,13)