The Centro Ecologico has been promoting environmental sustainability and socially responsible practices for over 20 years in southern Brazil.

The top/down system we seek to change is embedded in us--in our nervous systems, our beliefs, our attitudes, our habits, and our behavior. We are what we are seeking to change.  It is not just out there.  And not only is it in here, but it is out there to a large extent because we, the change agents, re-produce it over and over and over in every kind of relationship we have. This is by no means just a tragic irony. No way. This is a great opportunity.

An early stage of translation of selections from two Portuguese texts about Banco Palmas, a community currency, banking, and entrepreneurship  enterprise initiated by the residents of the low income favela neighborhood of Conjunto Palmeiras in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil.

In the recent series on his blog, The Workers' Paradise ,McNamara is very strong on the possibility of the cooperative movement being able to move to scale.  But he wisely directs our attention to the big problems this is going to bring, problems that are already burdening cooperatives.  The primary one he refers to is “the agency problem” (which is pretty much what I mean by “top/down problem”).

...Atkinson brings to life the poignant irony of a blind man returning to the land of vision to show how those like you and me with normal, take-it-for-granted vision can and do manipulate our vision to see what we want and are conditioned to see without seeing that that is what we are doing.  And that we do this regardless of our race, color, culture, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Listen to this, from the NYTimes:

 "All faiths are welcome to eat a free lunch daily at the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for Sikhs, in Amritsar, India."

 "Soupy lentils, three and a third tons of them, bubble away in vast cauldrons, stirred by bearded, barefoot men wielding wooden spoons the size of canoe paddles. The pungent, savory bite wafting through the air comes from 1,700 pounds of onions and 132 pounds of garlic, sprinkled with 330 pounds of fiery red chilies.  It is lunchtime at what may be the world’s largest free eatery, the langar, or community kitchen at this city’s glimmering Golden Temple..."


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