John Wesley, Rawles is a well-known survivalist. A former Army intelligence officer, his website is a go-to source for all manner of preparation for survival in a post-breakdown world. While he is firmly in the “guns and groceries” camp, his perspective is notable for its emphasis, based on notions of Christian charity, that one’s personal preparation must also include a readiness to be of service to others who may be less prepared for major change.
Interview, late 2014: This interview offers a good introduction to Rawles’ perspective (as well as an explanation for the unusual punctuation of his name).
Wiki bio of Rawles
Rawles’ website, which bills itself as “the daily website for prepared individuals living in uncertain times.” It contains a wealth of practical and philosophical information on preparing for societal breakdown, as well as any other natural or manmade emergency. Readers often submit their own prepping and survival techniques, often gained through practical experience, sometime through learning the hard way.
Book: How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It.
A collection of topical resources on everything from food and water to medical supplies and communication.
Tags: close to home strategy, personal assets, prepping, tangible assets
This 2014 Christian Science Monitor article provides an in-depth look at the maker movement as an important and hopeful new trend. Read article.
Tags: close to home strategy, collaboration, community facilities, dyi, evolutionary strategy, learning, maker, tangible assets
This helpful resource provides numerous links on starting up almost any local sharing endeavor that can be imagined, from the family level to the neighborhood and community. It includes tons of great ideas that touch every aspect of life. See master list of sharing ideas.
Tags: close to home strategy, collaboration, community groups, personal assets, sharing economy, tangible assets, urban
In recent years, the shortcomings of the commonly-cited GDP (gross domestic product) have become more widely recognized, spreading even to some governments and mainstream organizations such as the UN. Many alternative metrics have been proposed, each of which aims to capture aspects of societal well-being that are omitted by GDP, and/or to minimize the values-neutral elements of GDP (which considers money spent on, say, cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon spill as a positive contribution to GDP). Economist Hazel Henderson is a long-time champion of such alternative measures; Ethical Markets, where she is a principle, tracks news from around the world on such matters, and in an early-2015 essay, she highlights several current initiatives:
Genuine Progress Indicator. This website includes numerous articles and scholarly papers about GDP, several alternative measures, and the GPI, which estimates “economic welfare,” which appears to have peaked in 1978, while GDPs have generally continued rising.
Beyond GDP: The Need for New Measures of Progress (pdf). A report published by Boston University in 2009, by the team that developed the GPI.
Living Planet Index. Developed by the World Wildlife Fund, the focus here is on species and habitats.
Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators. A twelve-topic assessment of quality of life trends in the United States.
Sustainable Society Index. A recently-developed metric that tracks twenty societal measures of sustainability (including sanitation, gender equality, income distribution, governance, and ecological factors) for individual countries around the world.
Gross National Happiness. A national initiative in Bhutan that has spurred interest from countries and cities around the world.
Happy Planet Index. An initiative that builds on Bhutan’s lead.
Canadian Index of Wellbeing. Since 2011, this initiative has looked at country-wide wellbeing, and recently Ontario became the first province to use the methodology.
Tags: evolutionary strategy, financial assets, global, justice, personal assets, ratings, tangible assets
Resilience helps us to thrive by:
anticipating and preparing for disturbance,
improving the capacity to withstand shocks,
rebuilding as necessary, and
adapting and evolving when possible.
Resilience is a powerful remedy for our uncertain times, allowing us to learn to live with the fundamental complexity of modern life. These are our favorite resources for getting up to speed on the ideas behind “resilience” and the ways that they are being implemented in communities around the world.
The Stockholm Resilience Center has produced some of the best educational materials for introducing the concept of resilience, including videos and brochures. Explore their rich site, which also includes research papers and arts projects.
Transition is a global network of local/regional groups working to build resiliency. While Transition began from the framework of preparing for a post-peak-oil world, the evolution of the movement has led to a wide range of local initiatives that foster local economies, social justice, increased renewable energy, and other projects that, like much in the Close to Home strategy, offer powerful contributions to any possible future scenario.
Transition United States compiles news and resources; also includes a map of the over 150 active Transition Town initiatives in the US.
Transition Network is the global Transition resource center.
Other great resources
Resilient Communities is a project from the UK that shares some roots with the Transition Network. In the words of founder John Robb, a resilient community produces the food, energy, water, things, and incomes it needs locally.
PostCarbon Institute’s Resilience.org
An information clearinghouse and a network of action-oriented groups; features a lively exchange of ideas.
A research organization comprised of scientists and practitioners from many disciplines who collaborate to explore the dynamics of social-ecological systems. Here you’ll find more of the academic soil from which creative community-building solutions are growing.
YES Magazine special issue on community resilience
Includes a range of articles, most relatively brief, highlighting specific resiliency-building initiatives.
Tags: close to home strategy, collaboration, community groups, future, personal assets, resilience, tangible assets
These webinars focus on how to create local nodes in the sharing economy. Includes how to start a tool library, a time bank, a babysitting coop, community solar, etc. Visit website.
Tags: close to home strategy, community groups, financial assets, learning, sharing economy, tangible assets
For anyone interested in learning more about how we make, use, and discard all of our physical products. The project began with a 20 minute video, and now contains many resources, podcasts, etc, on the impacts of our stuff and its disposal on our bodies, environment, etc. Visit website.
Tags: shopping, strategy, sustainable global economy strategy, tangible assets
This is the definitive website for all things CoHousing, including a directory of communities, and many resources for those both living in cohousing and wanting to help launch a cohousing community. Visit website.
Tags: close to home strategy, collaboration, tangible assets, your home
The National Green Pages is a green business directory, featuring members of Green America. It contains listings to green products and services, as well as other resources. See directory.
Tags: consumer guides, directories, shopping, sustainable global economy strategy, tangible assets
This website provides a helpful tool that allows shoppers to search companies’ corporate responsibility records, by company or industry. It also provides links to dozens of campaigns against corporate misdeeds, in areas including labor rights, human rights, environment, and health and safety. Explore database.
Tags: consumer guides, shopping, sustainable global economy strategy, tangible assets
This page introduces Duane Elgin’s classic book, Voluntary Simplicity, which was revised and republished in 2010. See also links to his more recent writings. Visit website.
Tags: learning, lifestyle, personal assets, sustainable global economy strategy, tangible assets
This is the website of the leading tiny house company, and features many pictures and stories from happy tiny house owners. Tumbleweed Houses puts on workshops around the country and offers several different models of tiny homes for sale. Visit website.
Tags: close to home strategy, lifestyle, tangible assets, your home