Following last month's "Econ 101" examination of the economics of energy, the 102nd Sustainability Salon will look at ways to keep wealth circulating in our own communities. In the face of ever-more-powerful global corporations, there's a growing movement to shorten supply chains and bring attention, and business, back into local communities while enriching the lives and livelihoods of residents in all walks of life.
In contrast to the declining value of the fracking and petrochemical industries we looked at last month, the ReImagine movement envisions bringing jobs, prosperity, and resilience to an area and enable a truly just transition. The first such initiative in our region emerged in Beaver County, and more have sprung up in Butler County, the Turtle Creek watershed and surrounding areas, and now scaled up to a 4-state collaborative called Reimagine Appalachia, which just released its blueprint for a Green New Deal for all of us. We'll have Reimagine Beaver County co-founder Joanne Martin, now also working on ReImagine Appalachia, on the evolution of the movement in our region.
Ron Gaydos of Scenius LLC will talk about shared-wealth tools to stimulate and sustain local economic development, like cooperatives, community-owned real estate, and social entrepreneurship.
A classic form of cooperative that has been building local economies for decades, by recirculating money within a community through banking services, is the credit union. East End Food Co-op Federal Credit Union manager Daniel Webb will help us get to know our local credit union.
InvolveMINT builds local resource networks using complementary currency to ease the financial and logistical barriers preventing communities from tackling systemic challenges and inequalities. CEO Daniel Little, who described the platform's COVID response measures at our Mutual Aid salon, will put local currencies into historical context, and explain how the involveMINT Community Exchange Network matches unmet needs with underutilized resources to develop local supply chains.
Next month (August 22) we'll continue our economics focus with an exploration of social investment.
Salons usually run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill -- but these days we're on Zoom. Plan to join the call after 3 p.m., and we aim to start the program not long after 4, after folks have had a chance to (virtually) meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site. Talks and discussion will probably wind down by around 7. Conversation may or may not continue into the evening, depending on the inclinations of the folks still in the call. If you're new to Zoom, you may find my Zoom Reference Guide helpful. Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your Eventbrite notice (if you're not already on my list, just email me with salon in the subject line to be added!).
Please do RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways Be sure to include salon in the Subject line if you email, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day. And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!
Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events, as well as better formatting for this event description) for updates. And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.
Coronavirus update: As you know, people in Pittsburgh and around the world are sequestered at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing is still the rule for most Americans. That's a bit of a misnomer, though -- we need physical distancing to flatten the curve, but technology now allows for rich interactions even so! I believe that community is one of our greatest strengths, so in March as events began to be cancelled, I hosted the first virtual Sustainability Salon via Zoom teleconference -- rather than gathering our usual 50-80 people in a contained space. It went quite well (even engaging participants from hundreds of miles away), and we're looking forward to June's salon! Please be sure to RSVP (via email with "salon" in the Subject: line, or via Eventbrite) so you'll receive the sign-on information.
Sustainability Salon is an educational forum; it's a mini-conference; it's a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues; fit's a house party with an environmental theme. We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included the economics of energy, mutual aid networks, ocean health, the rise of the radical right, the back end of consumption, approaches to activism on fracking & climate, air quality, technology, and citizen science, single-use plastics, election activism, election law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plants, advanced nuclear technologies, passenger and freight trains, consumption, plastics, and pollution, air quality, solar power, youth activism, greening business, greenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/people, fracking, health, & action, globalization, ecological ethics, community inclusion, air quality monitoring, informal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakers, getting STEM into Congress, keeping Pittsburgh's water public, Shell's planned petrochemical plant, visualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiatives, fossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politics, community solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (before, during, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalization, solar power, climate change, environmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projects, environmental journalism, grassroots action, Marcellus shale development and community rights, green building, air quality, health care, more solar power, trees and park stewardship, alternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with films on Food Systems, Climate Adaptation and Mitigation, Plastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One Voice, Triple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous Game, A Fierce Green Fire, Sustainability Pioneers, films on consumption, Living Downstream, Bidder 70, YERT, Gas Rush Stories, and food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, and more food (a recurrent theme; with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).
If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place. If interested folks are online and everything is working smoothly by around 3:30, perhaps I can conduct a virtual tour.