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Building a Creative Economy – Feedback from Conference

Cathie Lamont and Christopher Gleeson attended the “Building a Creative Economy” conference held in Sydney on the last week of November, and provide their feedback here.

“The conference offered a wide variety of views on the pressing global crises (economic, ecological, social and spiritual to name a few), their causes and possible solutions. There were some lively discussions in response to one very dynamic speaker who turned out to be a conspiracy theorist, much to the apparent surprise of one of the organisers!” said Cathie, who is co-convenor of SLA Community.

“There were also strong views expressed about the carbon tax, with one person being quite rude about the danger of “well-meaning greenies” supporting a policy that would actually make things worse without affecting real polution one bit. This has inspired me to investigate the topic more fully; I hope that they will do the same!

“While the Economics Professor was not quite so dynamic, I found his explanation of the current crisis very helpful. Economics and Politics are two subjects I have avoided like the plague, and it was vital for me to have a better understanding of these important aspects of modern living”, said Cathie. “I also found the anthroposophical (Steiner) view very interesting. The presenter suggested that the problem was related to people from one “sphere” of life (e.g. economic, social or spiritual) dabbling inappopriately in (as opposed to sharing information with) other spheres. Having financiers interfere with politics, politicians with education of the spirit, church leaders in politics … This perspective was interesting.

“However, the presentations about “complementary currencies” and “localization” (as presented by the producer of the film “The Economics of Happiness”) were probably the most useful in that these ideas could immediately be turned into action by the participants. Discussing whether the government should or shoudn’t spend more money (important background) or whether the collapse of Tower 7 was really a controlled demolition on Sep 9 2001(!) , was not what I travelled all the way to Sydney for!

Cathie unfortunately had to leave before the final discussion on practial solutions for individuals took place, so Christopher takes up the story.

“The final presentation on Sunday night was a screening of the film “Cultural Creatives” and was probably the most inspiring part of the weekend” said Christopher. “The film showed how an estimated 200m people around the world right now are living an alternative lifestyle within their own local groups, be it using alternative currency, building low cost housing, development of Transition Towns, the establishment of alternate banks, living in sustainable communities and many other examples. The film left room for much hope after a somewhat negative weekend where the problems seemed to be discussed more than the solutions. It was disappointing that by 9.00pm on Sunday night after some 30 hours of intensive brain work there was only a handful of people left standing to see the film out.”

Thank you for being one of those few, Christopher! It sounds as if it was worth staying to the end.

A number of people have expressed an interest in hearing more about the conference and discussing how we can build a more resilient economy right here in Armidale. Cathie has a copy of the first film (and will attempt to purchase the second) which we may screen again if there is sufficient interest. If you’d like to be part of a discussion group on this theme, contact Cathie by sending an email to heartandsoul-owner@slaati.org.”

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