The REconomy Project is part of the Transition Network, a global grassroots movement of communities seeking to strengthen their resilience to challenges including climate change, rising energy prices, economic uncertainty and inequality.
What’s the REconomy Project for?
A number of Transition groups or initiatives (TIs) are creating new livelihoods and enterprises, and expanding their area of influence deep into their local economic system.
The REconomy Project is here to help you do the same where you live – to take on the exciting challenge of transforming the economic destiny of your local community – moving away from the doomed ‘business as usual’ model and towards something that helps build resilience rather than destroys it, that offers opportunity and hope despite the challenges we face and that demonstrates a system of trade and exchange that’s more sustainable, equitable and anchored in wellbeing, rather than economic growth-at-any-cost.
What does REconomy look like on the ground?
There’s an increasing number of Transition Towns already doing REconomy activity even if they don’t call it that, for example, starting new enterprises, especially community owned energy companies and food businesses.
These individual ventures tell a great story about new ways of doing business that’s more sustainable and fair, as well as being financially viable. Others are starting local currency projects, setting up ‘buy local’ campaigns or working with local businesses in some other way.
While this REconomy activity is essential and inspiring, fully transforming your local economy will require more than new individual enterprises or projects (though this is a great start). It needs change in other parts of your local system too – for example, availability of employment space and land, support and incubation for entrepreneurs, helping existing businesses change their models, and ensuring the right skills are available as well as appropriate types of investment.
To help bring about the desired changes, some Transition Towns are already experimenting with the kind of strategic leadership project that works with partners to transform the local economic infrastructure.
So we are seeing three categories of REconomy activity emerging at the local level – click on each to see examples:
- Inspiring enterprises: new Transition-oriented enterprises and livelihoods
- Economic enablers: projects that provide support or infrastructure for new or existing businesses
- Leadership projects: strategic, partnered activity that plans and co-ordinates a range of activities
It’s possible (and desirable) that each category includes financially-sustainable enterprise models. For example, an enabler such as a local currency scheme can be a trading entity in its own right. And a leadership project would also need to have the means to finance itself.