Why Local Self-Reliance? (Episode 22)

David Morris talks with Christopher Mitchell, Director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative about why the message of local self-reliance is as relevant today as it was when ILSR opened its doors in 1974. This wide-ranging conversation examines the rising concentration of economic power and cities’ responses. … Read More

Thanks to Co-op, Small Iowa Town Goes Big On Solar

Date: 3 Feb 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless similar places on the Midwestern landscape. Small towns like these form the backbone of a region whose economy depends on a rich farming tradition, even well into the 21st century.

But Kalona’s charm doesn’t obscure the innovation that makes it a national leader in clean power generation. In this small community, where many Amish and Mennonite families shun electricity and cars, solar power has proliferated. In fact, the Kalona area is a surprising national leader in solar power generation.… Read More

Video: Break the Chains, Build Local Power

Since our founding in 1974, we have worked to rewrite the rules and empower communities to choose their own future. Across several vital economic sectors, we help break the corporate stranglehold that extracts wealth from local economies and undermines democracy. We … Read More

Watch: Sustainable Communities and Local Self-Reliance

Date: 29 Mar 2016 | posted in: From the Desk of David Morris, The Public Good | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On March 25th, 2010, David Morris delivered the keynote presentation to Wisconsin’s Sustainable Communities Public Policy Forum. He talks about local self-reliance as both a means and an end, a strategy and a goal. A clean environment and a health … Read More

Self-Reliant Cities – Energy and the Transformation of Urban America

Date: 17 Apr 1982 | posted in: Energy, From the Desk of David Morris, The Public Good | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The first half of this book discusses the century-long struggle by cities to gain autonomy and authority from state governments and create their own planning and service delivery capacities. The second part describes the first urban-based localization movements. Given the relevance of the book to current localist efforts, we’ve written a new foreword that traces the local energy initiatives after the 75 percent plunge in oil prices after 1982 and the coming to power of a new administration hostile to renewable energy.… Read More

The New City-States

"From the hills of Seattle to the flatlands of Davis, from the industrial city of Hartford to the universty town of Madison, cities are beginning to redefine their role in our society," begins this important essay.  For Morris the new role should should include inducing the widest distribution of productive capacity.  New technologies make possible a more self-conscious and organic city. Local self-reliance becomes a strategy that embraces economic, environmental, and political goals. Morris argues that we have had far too much government and far too little governance.  Government is bureaucratic. Governance is democratic.  Communities can design their future. The new city-state emerge.  … Read More