A Diss author and environmentalist believes the key for society to prosper in the future is for local communities to learn to work together for the wellbeing of people and the planet, rather than simple economic motivations.
Dr Gary Alexander, known in the area for his involvement with Diss Community Farm and the Fair Green Neighbourhood Association, has outlined plans for the ‘Manifesto for Change’ along with a team of fellow environmentalists, with the aim of spreading the word about “the greener, kinder economy” promoting sustainability and self-sufficiency.
The manifesto, which is still in the drafting phase, expands on the premise behind a self-governing economy, based on human creativity, renewable energy and a rediscovered democracy.
Dr Alexander, who has penned several books on the field of eco-economics, including the locally-orientated booklet ‘Sustainable Diss 2030’, told the Diss Express: “To me, it is obvious that this vision is hugely better than the way we live now.
“I am in active contact with many people, projects and movements that are working towards this vision, and think that one of my strengths is that I am able to articulate it clearly and coherently.
“It would be a society that really works the way most of us feel in our hearts that a society should work. And we think it is doable and is beginning to happen now.
“That belief gives me great enthusiasm and drive, and I would like to find a larger group in Diss who would work with me to make it happen here.”
He explained the plan for Diss specifically was to release the message through informal channels, like Facebook and other social media, in order to build up a “ground swell of interest”, at which point individuals and groups could come together to discuss forms of organised mutual support within local communities.
Some of the ideas the manifesto hopes to implement include new communication systems to help address local conflicts, non-commercial community-controlled software for trading and exchange, and new forms of currency, such as community loans and crowd-sourced funding.
Dr Alexander said: “A lot of people are sympathetic (to our ideas) but I think many people are stuck in old ways.
“I think the crucial thing at the moment is getting the ideas out there and getting them understood by people. What I would hope to happen in this area is people will hold meetings to talk about what could really help us.”