Developing a New Consciousness

Charles (‘Chuck’) Turner’s presentation at the 2007 Building Sustainable Local Economies Seminar helped tie together the entire event. After discussion of developing and implementing community land trusts, local financing structures, and worker owned enterprises, the question remained, Where to begin?

Chuck’s passion has led him to organize tenants, the unemployed, anti-racist demonstrations, and transitions to worker owned businesses. His current role as a Boston City Councilor, representing the Roxbury/Dorchester district, has allowed him to become a voice for his constituency who are struggling with the dehumanizing problems of urban disenfranchisement.

In his closing remarks at the seminar Turner spoke of the economic models presented, and being implemented throughout the world, as the beginning of a change in our mode of thinking. They embed a more appropriate way of relating to each other and to the natural world. As the old paradigm of materialism that is causing social, ecological, and economic injustices crumbles, it is essential to consciously participate in the shaping of a new paradigm. Communities that are evolving place-based institutions for land, labor, and capital will be the support for this new system.

Turner closed by saying that the beginning lies with the seminar participants. Each has the power to start a local project that will be a root for developing an entirely new consciousness. All we must do is start.

Chuck Turner will again be a member of the core faculty for the Building Sustainable Local Economies, May 21st to May 25th, joining Eric Harris-Braun, Elizabeth Keen, Chris Lindstrom, Joseph Stanislaw, Alex Thorp, and Susan Witt.

Building Sustainable Local Economies is a five-day residential training seminar for citizen activists. Workshops cover the model programs of the Schumacher Center, including community land trusts, SHARE micro-credit, BerkShares local currency as well as worker ownership and local energy production. Participation is limited to 25 people, so please reserve as soon as possible online or by phone.

Turner’s 2007 E. F. Schumacher Lecture “What About Us–The Earth’s People?” has just been published. You can find the complete text or order it in pamphlet form here.