2007 According to Sami Grover: Community Solutions to Global Problems
Predicting the future is always a tricky business, especially for an optimist. There’s a fine line to tread between describing what should happen, and predicting what might. Or is there? In the end, all forecasts are only a snap shot of one possible future among many others. There is a valid case then, for predicting what should happen and working like crazy to make it a reality. For me, 2007 is the year that communities will come together to address global environmental problems and, in the process, will start to recreate and revitalise their local cultures and economies. They will seize the opportunity to create a collective vision for how they want their community to look, and in the tackle other problems such as poverty, crime and dislocation. Community environmental groups are nothing new, but many have traditionally focussed on single issues or campaigns such as opposing new development, protecting wildlife, improving transport links or promoting the local economy. Increasingly, the threats of climate change, peak oil and energy dependence will act as a uniting force for disparate individuals, businesses and community groups. We have already seen the sustainable vision of villagers in Chew Magna in the UK, and how this initiative is inspiring other villages to take action. We’ve seen communities planning for post-peak oil futures here and here. We’ve heard from Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx on her efforts to revive her neighborhood by creating a local, green culture. We’ve even seen a television show dedicated to documenting community solutions and positive action. Now, as we roll into 2007, I predict (or perhaps, more accurately, I hope) that this is the beginning of something much bigger. While individual action is important, it is how we behave as a collective that will truly define what the future holds.