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Levasana DOUGLAS, Dept. of Management, Eastern University.


In a world of constant flux, health and stability seem to depend on diversity. This applies to all levels (diversity of species, of ecosystems, of regions), and to social, as well as ecological organization.

Self-Reliance, Self-Organization, Self-Design:

Complex systems necessarily rely on "nested hierarchies" of intelligence, which coordinate among themselves in a kind of resonant dance. These hierarchies are built from the bottom up, and in contrast to civilization's social hierarchies the base levels are the most important.

In an economy which moves with ecosystem processes, tremendous scope for local response, design, and adaptation must be provided, although these local and regional domains must be attuned to larger processes. Self-reliance is not self-sufficiency, but facilitates a more flexible and holistic interdependence.

Participation and Direct Democracy:

To enable flexibility and resilience, ecological economic design features a high "eyes to acres" ratio: lots of local observation and participation conversely, ecological organization and new information/communications technologies can pro-vide the means for deeper levels of participation in the decisions that count in society.

Human Creativity and Development:

Displacing resources from production and tuning into the spontaneous productivity of nature requires tremendous creativity.

It requires all-round human development that entails great qualities of nurture. These are qualities of giving and real service that have been suppressed (especially in men) by the social and psychological conditioning of the industrial order. In green change, the personal and political, the social and ecological go hand in hand. Social, aesthetic, and spiritual capacities become central to attaining economic efficiency, and become important goals in themselves.

The Strategic Role of the Built Environment, the Landscape, and Spatial Design:

The greatest efficiency gains can often be achieved by a simple spatial rearrangement of system components. Elegant, mixed-use, integrated design that moves with nature is place-based. Conservation and efficiency improvements in this sector impact tremendously on the entire economy. Green economic conversion must be radical, but it must also be incremental and organic. A vision of what each sector of the economy would look like in an ecological economy based on the specifics of each place is a starting point. This vision must be coupled with practical action in each of these sectors, gradually moving toward this vision. Enough practical activity can eventually generate the impetus for state action to level the playing field for ecological alternatives.



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