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Building Community-Centred Economies: Lessons from Around the World. Deborah Fry IACD. About IACD. Global network of community development practitioners and activists from over 54 countries. Face-to-face events (annual global conferences, regional events) Local groups

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about iacd
About IACD
  • Global network of community development practitioners and activists from over 54 countries.
  • Face-to-face events (annual global conferences, regional events)
  • Local groups
  • Online networking (
2009 building community centred economies conference
2009 Building Community-Centred Economies Conference
  • 2009 Conference held in June in Brisbane, Australia
  • Over 450 participants
  • Many, many stories of communities tackling these issues.
  • All conference papers available at:

community economic development
Community Economic Development
  • People working together to harness local resources, through which they can:
    • meet their needs in secure and sustainable ways;
    • foster the well-being of people and their environments; and
    • enable people to affect and shape their futures.
why community centred economies
Why Community-Centred Economies?
  • Reduce distance between production and consumption.
  • Development of closer relations between producers and consumers.
  • Sense of responsibility for waste.
  • Minimise potential for exploitation.
  • Valuing diversity, gender and ecology.
  • Relationship, connectedness and meeting real needs. (Hawthorne, 2009)
learning together as we go australia
Learning Together as We Go: Australia
  • Local Living Economy in Queensland
  • What is a Local Living Economy (LLE)? LLE is about economic power residing within local communities:
    • LLEs locally produce and exchange as many products & services as they practically can
    • LLEs support, encourage & promote local ownership of SMEs
local living economies
Local Living Economies
    • LLE consumers appreciate the benefits of buying locally, creating local jobs & keeping money earned & spent in the local community
    • LLE businesses source products locally wherever possible
  • Food is an excellent entry point for LLE
  • They are all based on relationships between people and place
southeast queensland lle network
Southeast Queensland LLE Network
  • Cross-boundary and Cross-sectoral
  • Informal network built on personal relationships and common understandings
  • Logan City Council, Gold Coast City Council, Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Tourism sector, Indigenous People, Not For Profit, Small Businesses, social enterprise
  • Aim to put LLE on the policy table as a valid approach to economic development
  • Aim to leverage pilot projects and existing initiatives in LLE
at the individual level community theatre
At the Individual Level—Community Theatre

Freire’s critical literacy process applied to the money system

• Becoming financially literate is a political act

• Teachers and students are both experts

• See money system as socially constructed, able to be changed

• Familiar financial realities in an unfamiliar form (‘codifications’)

• Analysing deep structure of codifications creates new understanding

• Real dialogue, shared knowledge, is essential

freire cont
Freire cont.
  • Uncover ‘generative concepts’ (concepts with emotional power and leverage to change how people see their world)
  • Generative concepts analysed and used to create new concepts
  • This leads to a new consciousness of ability to act on the world
many more stories
Many more stories…
  • Workers food co-ops in Ecuador
  • Case Study of a Worker-Owned Homecare Co-operative in the United States
  • Building sustainable livelihoods through women’s empowerment in
  • Thriving Economies in Desert Australia: Challenges, Opportunities and Constraints

Download presentations and digital story clips at:

buzz words
Buzz Words
  • Local, Local, Local
    • Local food economies
    • Local living economy (LLE)
    • Local businesses
    • Place-based
  • Build on and develop community assets (you can’t have a local economy without a local community)
what about scotland
What About Scotland?
  • Is ‘localism’ a concept that resonates in Scotland?
  • What about asset-based community development?
  • What are the current debates around these issues? Where do you stand?
  • What do you think is the most important thing that needs to happen to move towards a community-centred economy in Scotland?