New Film Series Aims to Highlight How Change Happens from the Bottom Up

A photo showing a poster for the LOCAL: Make the shift Kickstarter campaign.© LOCAL: Make the Switch

“My city has shrunk its footprint by 13% in the past five years, and we, in unison with other C40 cities, have policies, programs or projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 250 million tons by the end of this decade. What a contrast with the international treaty process that can’t even seem to agree on reduction targets for the world’s nations, much less do something about them.”

Those were the words of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the C40 summit earlier this year, and I was not shy to be excited about his approach in the midst of a global conference that seemed like a waste of money more than anything else.

While yet another Conference of the Parties (COP) takes place (in Qatar, of all places) with little expected outcome, a group of New Yorkers have launched a project that aligns with Bloomberg's approach and hopes to highlight how we can bring about faster change focusing on local activism.

LOCAL is a campaign to produce video stories that promote locally-based alternatives to the global consumer culture, hoping to turn such stories into tools which can help shape other neighborhoods and cities around the world.

A logo image for the LOCAL: Make the Switch Kickstarter campaign.© LOCAL: Make the Switch

"We believe that through stories we can help synthesize these communities into a global network, with people working together to move forward and create the appropriate change in our world," say the promoters in their presentation.

A lot of these stories are already reported and out there, especially in TreeHugger's vast archive which spans almost a decade covering green change around the world. However, the power of high quality video storytelling is undeniable, and LOCAL is backed by a group of experienced filmmakers.

One first video which opens with seed activist Vandana Shiva and features the Edible Shchooyards program and the High Line project is a good promise of what could come:

"Change comes from the bottom up. You don't just build a local economy, you build a local democracy, you build a local culture, and cultivating local communities means you bring life, joy, happiness back into people's lives," says Shiva.

While the global process might still be important, my faith is still with local change, urban design and resilient cities. If you believe so yourself, back the project on Kickstarter to see it become a reality.

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