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Community Building
The book section is broken down according to the following categories.

Peak Oil
Community Building
Additional Reading

Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
EF Schumacher

In my college days I struggled with economics and barely passed. My economic professors and the course material were dull, ambiguous, and non-stimulating. None of these adjectives could be used to describe Schumacher's Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.

Schumacher makes economics come alive with wit, humor, and practicality. His approach is qualitative, not quantitative. A recurring statement throughout the book epitomizes his philosophy, "Why use the computer if you can make the calculation on the back of an envelope"? He gives the science a personality when identifying the disparities between the rich and poor, the educated and uneducated, and the gap between city people and country-folk.

Small is Beautiful created a humanistic economics movement. It's a wholistic approach containing ethical, ecological, and metaphysical components that are missing from the statistical models that solely measure GNP. Schumacher sounded the alarm regarding globalization when asking "how much further 'growth' will be possible, since infinite growth in a finite environment is an obvious impossibility". He was critical of a society that generates unbounded materialism, and motivated by greed and envy.

Some of the more interesting of the 20 essays are: "Peace and Permanence", "The Role of Economics", "Buddhist Economics", "The Greatest Resource - Education", "Technology with a Human Face", "Development of Intermediate Technology", and "Two Million Villages".

Although the book was written in 1973, it is as timely now as it was then. The 25th anniversary edition contains provocative updates provided as sidebars by contributors such as Hazel Henderson, Peter Warshall, Amory Lovins, Godric Bader, et al.
                                                            Amazon reviewer T Theil

Relocalize Now
Julian Darley

On hearing about the coming energy crisis and impending ecological collapse, many people ask, "But what can I do?" Relocalize Now! provides the best answers to date.

This timely guide from the Post Carbon Institute analyzes the full depth of the crisis of industrial civilization, outlines the centrality of the global economic system in this crisis, and then proposes a plan for the global relocalization of our way of life. It promotes the idea of people re-creating local communities--or "outposts"--at the level of neighborhood and nation that can begin to build "parallel public infrastructures" for survival, along with ways of networking efforts together for wider support. It does this through presenting the following:

- Specific programs to create local money, energy, transportation, governance, and food systems designed to help communities become self-reliant right now
- Broader policy strategies that must be addressed at the political and institutional level as soon as possible to help communities create a long-term system adapted for a post-carbon age

The book's innovative project ideas, such as a community retirement fund and corporate disobedience--nonviolent ways to disengage from globalization-are supplemented by practical tools for relocalizing and examples of charter outposts from Los Angeles to Alaska and Toronto. With a glossary and an extensive resources section, Relocalize Now! contains all you need to build the alternative.

Ripples from the Zambezi
Ernesto Sirolli

This is - in my estimation - a great book by a true visionary, Ernesto Sirolli. The two chapters in the middle of this book "The Esperance Experience" and "The Esperance Model Applied" are as good as business-writing gets. In Sirolli's world, the glass is neither half empty nor half full. Rather, the water is gushing over the top of the cup. The stories he tells here of enterprises 'facilitated' in the bleakest economic conditions imaginable...well, it can't help but turn you into an optimist.

But Sirolli goes further. He takes these experiences and imagines them on a grand scale where, as he says, "reciprocity matters." Calling it a "civic economy," he envisions a world benefiting from "generalized reciprocity, from people helping people to succeed, with the understanding that well-being of the community is to everybody's advantage."

Don't misinterpret these sentiments. Sirolli is a capitalist at heart, but he presses for a system "beyond capitalism...which enhances participation in the creation of wealth, not only in its accumulation."

How does he connect the dots from tiny Esperance to his grand vision for a civic economy? I urge you to read "Ripples from the Zambezi" to find out.

Future of Money
Bernard Lietaer

The new bible on how money works and the creation of alternative currencies by communities and regions.

"This book allowed me to understand the system of money and money supply. I will be attempting to convince our small midwestern county to adopt a community supporting complimentary currency as a result of reading it."
                                                Amazon reviewer J Williams

More titles to come.

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