This book is a series of interviews between Lionel Astruc and Vandana Shiva, worldwide icon of ecological revolution and winner of the "alternative Nobel prize". Worthy successor to Gandhi, Vandana Shiva tells about her life and fight as a leader of the alter-globalization movement, underlining such important concepts as peace and democracy, but also ecofeminism and the importance of the preservation of our planet resources. Her purpose is to explain that there is no such thing as a useless act or, as she says, no "little nobody". Every single commitment matters: that is her message to the world.
What if highlighting solutions and telling positive stories was the best way to solve the ecological, economic, and social problems our countries are grappling with?
In 2012, Cyril Dion learned about a study carried out by twenty-two scientists from around the world that forecasts the extinction of multiple forms of life, and possibly a large part of humanity, by the year 2100. This news barely received any media coverage at all. Convinced that spreading catastrophic news is not effective, Dion decided to explore, along with actress and director Mélanie Laurent and a small film crew, what our world could look like if we brought together some of the best solutions to date in agriculture, energy, economics, education, and democracy.
What they found were men and women changing the world: cities that produce their own food and energy, zero-waste systems, businesspeople and towns creating their own currency to prevent speculation and the appropriation of wealth, citizens rewriting their own constitution, and pioneering educational systems.
By linking these initiatives together, Dion and his crew bring to light a new philosophy, a community of thought among people who often don't know each other. New blueprints for society. Cyril Dion is the co-founder of Colibris, a movement launched by Pierre Rabhi, and of the magazine Kaizen. He is also a poet, author, and director. Before writing and co-directing Tomorrow, he co-produced and acted as advisor for Coline Serreau's Think Global, Act Rural.
One day in 2005, Rob Hopkins, an ordinary British citizen, started knocking on his neighbors' doors in the small town of Totnes, where he had just settled. He was proposing that they come together to organize nothing less than a new, locally based economy. A new model, the Transition Town, harnessing resources at hand: no longer expect food to arrive from the other side of the planet at great fuel costs, but instead create short food supply chains and cultivate all the available land (gardens, rooftops, municipal parks); no longer complain about pollution, but federate fellow citizens around a project of local renewable energy cooperatives; no longer rail against the banks and the stock markets, but adopt a local currency that enriches the community. His experience has not only been successful in Totnes; it has spread to 1,200 cities in 47 countries. Each of the Transition Towns are transforming their communities, without fanfare, without outside funding, making them more autonomous and more resilient to the crises looming ahead-a network of oases offering a wealth of solutions.
The current crisis clearly demonstrates that our model of society has reached its limits. The time has come to recognize that our affluent societies have more than enough to meet their essential material needs-provided it is done fairly. The time has also come to question whether we are going to live with less, rather than more, money. We have the necessary means to do so, provided we accept this as an irrevocable principle of our lives. Rather than losing heart, this crisis can instead awaken within us unprecedented creative forces so that together, we can construct a satisfying world for heart, mind, and spirit.
In the face of a joyless society of overabundance, the "power of restraint" represents a realistic alternative. As a liberating moral and physical force, it is a political act of legitimate resistance to this juggernaut that is destroying the planet and isolating the individual. The time has come to break free of these bulimic habits and the constant quest for more and more. Pierre Rabhi adopted this way of life many years ago; he offers us a form of simplicity and gratitude that gives meaning to our existence, along with a unique sense of lightness: the power of restraint.