On Thursday October 7, 2013, over 100 people gathered at Gleebooks in Glebe for the Australian launch of a handbook for activists called Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities. Co-author, Katherine Gibson, research professor at the Institute of Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney, says: “The book contains many examples of collective actions that are re-shaping the way we work and conduct business so that the needs of people and the planet are met with dignity. We hope community organisations, faith groups, neighbourhoods, high schools, unions and governments will be prompted to think about actions to put the well-being of people and the planet at the centre of economies.”
The audience joined in a lively panel discussion on the night with Gibson, fellow co-author, Jenny Cameron, associate professor of geography at the University of Newcastle, Melina Morrison, CEO of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals and Kurt Iveson, a senior lecturer in urban geography at the University of Sydney.
“Melina and Kurt are actively involved in helping to build the sorts of economies we discuss in the book,” says Cameron. “Melina reminds us that member-owned businesses such as the NRMA and co-operatives worldwide, if compared to national economies, would be the world’s ninth largest economy. Kurt is using the book with neighbours in their struggle to keep their local primary school a space that local residents can access and care for.”
This book shows how people can implement small-scale changes in their own lives to create ethical economies and a more balanced and sustainable personal life.