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Like Aesop’s Bundle of Sticks Fable, separate initiatives working to improve our region’s community and economy can be stronger if bound by unifying goals — connections, not meant to constrain, but strengthen separate initiatives — to help us create a local living economy.

Monadnock Matters Project:

Monadnock Matters, in its next phase, will act as a clearinghouse for all things “Local Living Economy” to improve our region’s community and economy. For more information, contact monadnockbuylocal@gmail.com.

What Does a Local Living Economy Mean?

In November 2009, a group of community members gathered to explore the concept of a Local Living Economy. The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies has its own definition, but what does it mean to us – citizens of the Monadnock Region? Here is a small sample of ideas shared.

The Monadnock Local Living Economy is a place where:

  • All citizens can have a great quality of life.
  • Our basic needs are met within our community and region.
  • Individuals realize that they are beyond the worth of their jobs.
  • Leadership helps identify common ground and overarching community goals.
  • Citizens are creating a new definition of what our needs really are.
  • Individuals and banks are investing in social capital.
  • We are working cooperatively and collaboratively.
  • All citizens are engaged and feel included.
  • We are celebrating our community.
  • We are thinking of our community as a system.

Community well-being, quality of life – whatever phrase resonates with you – here is a report on our Local Living Economy summer reading list:

The goal of the community needs assessment conducted by New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies for the Monadnock United Way and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Monadnock Region was to provide community leaders with a firm understanding of the gaps between the current state of community well-being and what might be desirable in the region.

 

Originally posted on "Yarden of Eatin" Blog:

Via Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition

Policy on Your Plate

Those at the March forum responded overwhelmingly that more officials, lawmakers and representatives need to be at the table in order to grow a vibrant, safe and efficient local food system that:

  • enhances the health of our community
  • is profitable for farmers and producers
  • is accessible to all community members
  • conserves natural resources
  • is sustained by strong leadership and commitment in the Monadnock Region

Therefore, this forum addresses the policy-focused goal of our region’s Strategic Plan.

Meet State Representatives, National Advocates, Local Leaders and Agricultural Commission Members who are already involved with local food. Hear examples of food policy at work right here!

Find out why and how we can impact their work, so they can impact our work in a positive way.

Share your experience making, changing, or being affected by policy on any level.

Highlight laws and…

View original 247 more words

The Hannah Grimes Center released the report, Local Innovators: Leaders in Local & Regional Collaboration, a product of nine interviews with a diverse sampling of local and regional leaders in the Monadnock Region of Southwest New Hampshire.  Included within the report are nine case studies that highlight challenges and innovative solutions for collaborating locally and regionally.  Also included are tips and resources for groups and individuals seeking to improve their own collaborative efforts.

This report was produced by Libby Weiland, a recent Antioch University New England graduate who worked on this project as a Hannah Grimes Center intern this past spring. Out of her interviews emerged themes and commonalities that provided insight into the questions:

  • What makes for successful collaboration?
  • What challenges do groups face to successful collaboration?
  • What common needs do groups have?
  • What innovative solutions are being proposed?

Local Innovators interviewed include:

Join us on Facebook, where each month Monadnock Buy Local will focus on a different building block of our Local Living Economy– highlighting the businesses, organizations & individuals who are making these components stronger and more resilient in our region.

Read more about this project – Our Local Living Economy: Connecting the Dots

Building Blocks:

Thank you to Libby Weiland, the Spring Monadnock Local Living Economy Intern, for all her work – summarized beautifully in this audio-visual presentation:

http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=clfO0rCxl&w=500&v=3

When presented with the prospect of providing two Keene State College students majoring in American studies with paid internships at the Hannah Grimes Center, the American Studies Program pursued this opportunity with great enthusiasm. This is especially so given the attention that various types of “engaged learning” continues to receive within conversations about Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century.

Applying for and receiving a Community Partnership Grant from the American Studies Association for academic year 2011-2012 forged a curricular connection linking Keene State’s American Studies Program to the Hannah Grimes Center, marking our mutual interest in mapping various constellations comprising the dynamic cultural, social phenomena that are known as “the Local Living Economy” movement.

 Students in a capstone seminar course are currently developing projects that respond to our common inquiry question, “WHAT IS A LOCAL LIVING ECONOMY?”  Overseeing these projects, I find my self in the midst of conversations concerning food ways, including local agricultural production and distribution, local arts initiatives and strategies for “localizing” learning experiences of pre-schoolers and elementary school students.

 Like my students I am part of an idea flow comprised of the familiar contemporary terms and concepts such as “Green,”  “Global,” “LOCAL,”  “Nation,” “Organic,” “Sustainable,” “Main Street” and “Big Box.” Together we’re analyzing this material and looking to weigh a collection of fieldwork that offers thoughts about our here and now, of Keene, Cheshire County, Monadnock Region, Ashuelot River watershed, New Hampshire. In this respect these sites—at once—become our open laboratory, resource archive and living text to annotate, consider and regard.

At the same time, the course, its students, and our interns extend a series of important collaborations undertaken by Hannah Grimes Center and Keene State College through a set of formal and informal events including panel discussions sponsored by the Keene Is Reading series and Great Topics, a round-table seminar at the 2009 “Local/ Global” Symposium and this spring’s MONDAY MOVIE MEETING SERIES.

 I am honored to be a part of a reciprocal relationship between the College the Center and a larger notion of “COMMUNITY.” As we imagine and enact ways to produce public scholarship and community-based undergraduate research and learning initiatives, I believe we—students, the Center, the College—are blazing pathways for others to follow.

 While this course and its projects offer just one set of possible responses to the prompt “WHAT IS A LOCAL LIVING ECONOMY?” it becomes an instructive: illustrating how interdisciplinary research supported by the School of Arts and Humanities at a public liberal arts college can respond creatively to the kinds of questions that matter, that make a difference.

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