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E-M:/ Our Local Future
- Subject: E-M:/ Our Local Future
- From: Aaron Wissner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 09:53:08 -0400
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- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: Aaron Wissner <email@example.com>
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Enviro-Mich message from Aaron Wissner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The future will be local. We can see it everyday in the headlines. The
prices for energy are rising. Food costs are rising. The entire
structure of the economy is shifting away from globalization, and
towards a local future.
Today's Wall Street Journal illuminates how the "Big Three" automakers
will all soon be closing up shop, perhaps in less than two years. For
the USA, this should be the wake up call that getting local is
necessary. For Michigan, home base for the automakers, the time for
idle talk is over.
As we march forwards through this peak oil era, it is necessary to
change, but making this change takes intention and effort.
The goal of the Local Future nonprofit is to help people prepare and
transition to this new, low-energy, future of tomorrow.
You may be aware that Local Future hosted the inaugural "International
Conference on Peak Oil and Climate Change: Paths to Sustainability" in
Grand Rapids, Michigan earlier this month. The conference was a
complete success on all dimensions. Not only was it organized in a
record time (less than five months), but it brought together fifty
speakers and a total of over two hundred people to learn about why we
must make this transition, and how to do it.
But the live event was just the launch of the conference. We
meticulously video recorded practically every talk and seminar at the
conference. I am now looking at a row of about fifty hours of video
tape, and a primary goal for the conference is to get all of this video
published to the Internet. Already, the first videos are online, at the
conference web site, with new videos being published every week. And
via this method, the conference is already increase "attendance" by over
As a success of this conference, our sights are now on future events.
The intention is to host next years conference in late April or early
May. This would most likely be a four-day conference which would add
more discussion and networking time, as well as a deeper focus on solutions.
We are in the process of considering a host city for next years
conference. If you would like to help host the conference in your city,
please let us know.
The videos of the conference, and other talks, are available for free at
In addition, our goal is to edit the conference videos for DVD. The
current effort is to edit the Friday evening event (2 1/2 hours) and
master that as the first DVD. Editing is proceeding smoothly on this
project, and this DVD should be complete before the month is out. These
DVD's will be available for cost, and may be reproduced for free. The
goal is simply to spread the word and make this information available to
In addition, this videos will be edited into one-hour DVDs specifically
designed to be broadcast over community access and local TV stations.
Again, all of the talks will be provided for free on the internet,
hosted by YouTube, but also available through LocalFuture.org and
Thus far, main stage talks by George Heartwell, Vernon Ehlers, Aaron
Wissner, Pat Murphy, and Megan Quinn Bachman are online.
Preparing video for publication can be a time consuming task, with each
one hour of video taking about ten hours to properly edit and publish.
As such, if anyone is interested in assisting with this effort, please
let us know.
Using the weekend conference model, we are looking for other host cities
to hold national, regional, state, or city level conferences. The model
can be adapted to any number of speakers. The web site structure is
available for use. A reasonable time frame is that the venue and date
should be secured at least six months in advance of the event. If you
would like to learn more about this possibility, again, please let us know.
We are also looking at creating an additional one-day model conference.
The goal of this one-day model would be to take all the best components
from the International Conference, and include them in a one-day event.
One possibility is to host a one-day conference in the Grand Rapids
Michigan area to build upon the local initiative to educate the area to
the issues. Again, please let us know if this is of interest to you.
Finally, we are seriously looking at hosting a weekend scale conference
at Crystal Mountain resort in Michigan. The conference facility can
accomodate over 400 people and the President of Crystal Mountain is very
peak oil aware and fully supportive of hosting a conference there. Stay
tuned for more news on this.
For those who attended the International Conference, there is an online
feedback form here:
Feedback on both what went well, and what can be improved with future
conference, would greatly be appreciated.
Our efforts with the pilot group are continuing in Middleville
Michigan. Here, we have a three pronged approach: 1. free educational
events that detail both the problems and the solutions, 2. the formation
of an "Energy and Climate Uncertainty Task Force", and 3. working
directly with local media outlets.
Middleville hosts an event this week on Tuesday, June 21, at 7 p.m., at
the EMS building to discuss ways to move the community forward towards
sustainability. For more information on Middleville, see this page:
In addition, the Grand Rapids and Holland efforts are moving along. In
Holland, Local Future has teamed up with a local sustainability group
and the public library to host a series of films and discussions. In
Grand Rapids earlier this week, a group gathered to learn more about
peak oil with professor Ken Piers and to discuss future efforts in the
Grand Rapids area.
Finally, the Wayland group is set to launch in the fall, using an
improved model based on the learnings from the Middleville pilot.
If you are interested in starting a local future education effort in
your community, please let us know.
Several have asked if donations are accepted, and of course, as a new
nonprofit corporation, Local Future is always extremely grateful for
donations both large and small.
In addition to the efforts detailed above, which do require significant
monetary expenditure. In particular, we would like to apply for
tax-exempt status under code 501(c)(3) of the U.S. IRS code, and the
proper preparation of the paperwork, plus the application fee, will
probably take nearly $3,000.
If you would like to make a donation, please visit this web page which
has additional details:
Local Future's goal is to empower people to smoothly transition to the
lower energy future that we are quickly approaching. The era of
globalization was one supported by extremely inexpensive energy, but
this era is quickly drawing to a close. The future will be local.
Energy, fuel, food, and all essential and basic needs will be met at the
local level. This is transition can be either rough or smooth. By
learning, working, and playing together, we can make this change with
courage, grace, and compassion.
269 - 795 - 4311 (home)
269 - 487 - 6952 (mobile)
The International Conference on Peak Oil & Climate Change: Paths to Sustainability
Local Future: Saving Earth by Going Local
Value System: Gas Prices, Peak Oil, Money and The Future
Aaron Wissner founded Local Future, a nonprofit educational organization, which hosts The International Conference on Peak Oil and Climate Change: Paths to Sustainability. Wissner speaks, writes, and produces videos on peak oil, climate change, sustainability, money, and the future. He is a veteran public school educator of sixteen years, and a past president of his local, county, and regional education associations. Wissner is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with a major in mathematics and a minor in physical science. He lives in rural Michigan with his wife Kimberly and their infant son Michael.
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