I recently visited a spiritual community in Brazil called Source Temple. Drawing primarily on the teachings of Adi Da and A Course in Miracles, it comprises about thirty people from about ten countries, mostly Brazil and South America, ranging in age from 20-something to 60-something. I will neither endorse nor criticize the spiritual teachings and lineage; they serve their purpose to inspire the community and anchor it in non-ordinary thinking, perceiving, and relating.

The first thing to make a deep impression on me at Source Temple was the architecture — if “architecture” is the right word to describe the improvisational…


If Bill Gates has his way, the food in our future will little resemble what’s on our plates today. Gates and his agribusiness industry partners are proposing to transform our food and how it is produced.

To the techno-food industrialists, hunger and climate change are problems to be solved with data and engineering. The core ingredients of their revolutionary plan: genetic engineering — and patenting — of everything from seeds and food animals, to microbes in the soil, to the processes we use to make food. …


A few years ago, when I began questioning what it really takes to write and publish in our digital era, I wondered about electricity’s true costs. I learned that on average, in order to light, heat and cool our homes; to refrigerate and cook food; wash and dry laundry; keep hot water available; send emails, talk on phones, watch tv and videos, write on computers and publish and read posts online, US households use 1,000 kiloWatt hours (kWh) of energy per month.

How much is 1,000 kWh of power? The astrophysicist Adam Frank has explained that one able person can…


Peasant movements in Asia marked March 29 as the Day of the Landless. The day pays tribute to the founding of the Asia Peasant Coalition (APC). About 15-million strong, the APC was established in 2003 by more than 20 organizations from 11 countries representing farmers, landless peasants, fishers, agricultural workers, Dalits, indigenous peoples, herders and pastoralists, and rural women and youth.

This year, the annual commemoration by peasant groups and advocates took cognizance of the upcoming Food Systems Summit (FSS) that UN Secretary General António Guterres is convening later in the year. …


“There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening.”
— Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage

The relationship between technology and narrative is long-standing. Indeed, some have argued that it is at the heart of human civilization.

It was once fashionable to characterize human beings as tool-using animals (although this turns out not to be the best way of getting at whatever might be distinctly human). It has also been suggested that we understand human beings as story-telling animals. Technology theorist N. …


Like us, most young people in Ladakh have been trained in English and business and computer sciences, and we do not have the full set of skills our grandparents had — like growing food, making clothes, building houses, and living in community. Our modern “education” presupposes the availability of plentiful employment opportunities in the modern business sector, dependable imports of food from the Indian plains and beyond, and the plausibility of ongoing urbanisation and conversion of land from agriculture to buildings and infrastructure. …


The documentary Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh (John Page, Chris Breemen, Helena Norberg-Hodge & Eric Walton, 1993) provides an excellent introduction to the local, human scale traditions in Ladakh, and how local communities have been affected by the industrialised notion of “progress”.

The observation that consumer culture as portrayed in advertisements and Western media appeals primarily to insecure teenagers is apt. I am tempted to qualify the observation from my autistic perspective: consumer culture is designed to target neuronormative teenagers, i.e. those for whom fitting in with their peer group comes naturally. If teenage boys were the first adopters of…


Corporations are, without a doubt, the number one obstacle to meaningful action on the climate crisis. These almighty actors have spent the past two decades undermining scientific consensus, blocking meaningful legislation and greenwashing their own responsibility. Even the last ditch Paris Agreement, with its lame voluntary commitment to keep the world to a still disastrous 1.5 degrees of warming, has done nothing to stop corporate greed from taking the planet to the brink.

It was easier for corporations to get away with doing nothing when the climate crisis was not so physically evident as it is today. They also now…


There’s one skill that Big Food and Big Ag corporations have in abundance: taking control of every situation and corrupting it into an opportunity for profit.

For example, as consumer interest in the terms “natural” and “sustainable” increased, industrial agribusiness began to use these unsubstantiated terms to market greenwashed products. These products were, in fact, just the opposite — made with pesticide-laden, factory farmed, and/or genetically engineered ingredients. Even the powerful Organic movement, which actually is based on specific certifiable practices and inputs, has required constant safeguarding against corporate attempts to dilute its meaning.

Now, we will also diligently have…

Local Futures

Local Futures works to renew ecological, social and spiritual well-being by promoting a systemic shift towards economic localization.

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