'Tools for Grassroots Activism' Is Patagonia's Guide to Saving the World | Outside OnlineActivists are businesspeople. Or they should be. Perhaps if a greater number of people understood the business side of activism, we could accomplish more towards ensuring Earth remains habitable for us and other living creatures. It delivered. In the introduction to Tools for Grassroots Activists , Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard tells the story of how the first Tools Conference came about in
'Tools for Grassroots Activism' Is Patagonia's Guide to Saving the World
People of the entire continent need a new vision. Unfortunately for these forces, they must contend with a growing number of grassroots environmental activists who refuse to allow the natural world to be razed and ruined. These are the activists who protest against pipelines, fight for the establishment of national parks, and who work diligently to protect natural habitats and wildlife in regions both near and far. Whether you are a seasoned activist, someone new to environmental activism, or a concerned citizen looking to contribute to the fight, the questions and activities in this guide should offer something useful. This guide has four sections that both individual readers and groups can draw from: discussion and writing questions, thematic questions and activities, research topics, and a related resources section. This guide will serve as a valuable companion as you navigate your own activist journey and work to create the new vision that our world so desperately needs. Discussion and Writing Questions These questions can be used to inspire individual reflection or group discussion.
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This book will remind you that you are not alone in your fight. Every campaign, every action, every step forward - no matter who or where you are - moves with the grace and power of humanity fighting for our best selves in the places we call home. It is a clear and concise plan on how to mix it up and effect positive change for the environment.
It certainly was for Patagonia founder and co-owner Yvon Chouinard, as he writes in the introduction to Tools for Grassroots Activism , a book the adventure clothier published in February. This, he writes, was when he "came to realize the power of an individual to effect major change. But the reality is that for every victory, environmentalists lose big battles. This chagrins Chouinard, who believes many environmental organizations falter because they do not recognize what they are: a business selling a product. Just like he is. Even though, he readily admits, many businesspeople are sleazeballs. Instead of fleece jackets and aspirational lifestyles, environmental non-government organizations NGOs sell a vision of a wrong being righted, of clean air and water, of ecosystems in balance.
COPAC has been engaged in building cooperatives and promoting alternative models of local development for over ten years. This guide is a result of these years of grassroots practice and learning. The failures, successes and ongoing learning from the practices of these experiences have been crucial in developing the guide. This guide is also informed by learning from the failings in the South African context with regard to approaches to the development of cooperatives and other social forms utilised by social groups and communities to meet their needs. Instead local economic development approaches, cooperative interventions and Small and Medium Enterprise development are all treated as instruments of Black Economic Empowerment BEE. This has undermined the solidarity basis of transformation in South Africa and has encouraged individualised solutions to what are collective challenges.