Organizational Capacity Building

Candace LaRue and Associates

#nei2012 Building Sustainable Communities

on June 9, 2012

I spent my afternoon and evening at the NEI conference, with a mix of academics, practitioners, activists, and organizers. The theme of the day was definitely global climate change and environmentally sustainable economic development (which also builds sustainable communities) – big topics were food production and the use of fossil fuels. In our work, our emphasis is on community and youth development (which must be environmentally sustainable), so it is interesting to get this other perspective.

Tomorrow I am definitely looking for the work people are doing towards the new economy that is focused on building relationships and community structures – emphasized in many of the talks today. Sustainable communities do not just flow naturally from environmentally sustainable economic activity – they need to be built too.

I’m reminded of what the Youth Advisory Board members said last night – they want to come back to Hudson and build their community, but there are no jobs. In sustainable communities, vibrant young people like these are able to make a living – by getting good jobs and/or by starting their own businesses.

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