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Inspiring quotes 3

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Inspiring quotes

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Anon - Wendell Berry - Buckminster Fuller - Gandhi - Carl Sagan / UK


"We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"...if we are to move from charity to justice, helping our community members who are most marginalized to be heard is one of the most effective and enduring things we can do. Let’s restore one of the strengths of our sector, and one of our sacred duties. Let’s mobilize the full power of our community, constantly and unapologetically, in service of justice.

We must intellectualize less and organize more. The soul of our sector, and the well-being of our community, depends on it." Nonprofit AF[1]

"There are many ways to be poor, but in today's world not having the right kind of information represents a certain kind of poverty. As long as outsiders decide what is important and are in a position to ask all of the questions, we will never be able to solve our own problems. Without information we are nothing at all and have no power to understand things or to change our life. If Inuit society is to develop we must be able to collect and use information according to our own terms." A Nunavik Inuk


"To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it." President Barack Hussein Obama, Inaugural Address [2]

"Good governance and sound public management are preconditions for the implementation of sustainable development policies. These preconditions include efforts to ensure an ethical and more transparent government process, as well as decision-making practices “sufficiently open to citizens participation”. OECD [3] / Community involvement

"I want interdependence woven into our infrastructure. I want a community center on every corner, occupied by people who care for others, to support each other and use the space as they see fit. I want to see prisons shrink as drug offenders get treatment, not sentences, and I dream that transformative justice circles will catch on so that every community can decide for themselves how to judge and heal damage. And I want wealth addiction to be treated as the public health crisis it is. Let’s do interventions on the financial playboys and CEOs who make more money than any one person can possibly spend in a lifetime, send them to rehab and group therapy where they’ll sit in circles in slippers and sweatpants, lifetimes of lost feelings erupting on their poker faces. I want to see more grown men cry. Oppression depends on our self-repression to survive." Kate O’Rouke [4]

“Every increase in local capacity to grow food, generate energy, repair, build and finance will strengthen the capacity to withstand disturbances of all kinds. Distributed energy in the form of widely disbursed solar and wind technology, for example, buffers communities from supply interruptions, failure of the electrical grid, and price shocks. Similarly, a regionally based, solar-powered food system would restore small farms, preserve soil, create local employment, rebuilt stable economies, and provide better food while reducing carbon emissions and dependence on long-distance transport from distant suppliers. The primary goal in rethinking development and economic growth is to create resilience – capacity to withstand the disturbances that will become more frequent and severe in the decades ahead”. David Orr [5]

"After all, if order is for free we could afford being out of control and love it." Harrison Owen [6] / Open conference design

Crowds shopping at Borough market, south London - - 1522109.jpg


There resides in all populations a "mass of sense lying in a dormant state - which good government should quietly harness." Tom Paine [7]

"There is an increasing need to democratise the governance of science and technology, ensuring that it serves the public good rather than narrow economic interests." Dr Michel Pimbert, director of IIED's sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and livelihoods programme. [8] / Food activism

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." Plato

"One day, everything will be free." Dave Pollard, Feb 18 2017

"Humans are social beings, so it is little surprise that good relationships are one of the most important ingredients for a high quality of life." Robert Putnam


"Source Reduction is to garbage what preventive medicine is to health." William Rathje [9]

"We are not defending nature, we are nature defending itself" Resistencia Indigena [10] / Biodiversity

" IS the new local. Local meaning we really have reached the point — when considering shared assets like the atmosphere — that we’re all in the same neighborhood on a very small planet?" Andrew C. Revkin [11]

"Community building power comes from the living database that the participants create and use together informally as they help each other solve problems, one to one and many to many. The web of human relationships that can grow along with the database is where the potential for cultural and political change can be found." Howard Rheingold

"When you're one step ahead of the crowd you're a genius. When you're two steps ahead, you're a crackpot." Rabbi Shlomo Riskin (Feb. 1998)

"No-one asks our views... But we are the real experts of our own hopes and aspirations... We can contribute if you are prepared to give up a little power to allow us to participate as partners, in our own future, and the future of the country." Moraene Roberts

"Natural ecosystems will [only] be protected when society taxes the pumping of fresh water, the damming of rivers and the felling of virgin timber. As polluters pay more, and those who tread more lightly on the Earth pay less, incentives are created for people to do the right thing." John Robbins

"In too many countries and internationally, we still don't have governing systems and institutions that are accountable, participatory, consensus oriented, transparent, equitable and follow the rule of law."

"We don't need more walls of separation between nations and peoples. We know they can't protect us from global challenges like AIDS or terrorism or global warming. We need instead, more connections, more bridges of understanding and shared responsibility."

Mary Robinson

"When I fed the poor they called me a saint. When I asked why they were poor they called me a communist." Archbishop Oscar Romero

"Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

"A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people." Franklin Roosevelt

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy, Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 27, 2003

"The garden of the world has no limits except in your mind. Its presence is more beautiful than the stars." RumiQuotes

"The economy needn't be a war, it can be a commons. … The commons is a conscious implementation of reciprocal altruism. Reciprocal altruists, whether human or ape, reward those who cooperate with others and punish those who defect. A commons works the same way. A resource such as a lake or a field, or a monetary system, is understood as a shared asset. The pastures of medieval England were treated as a commons. It wasn't a free-for-all, but a carefully negotiated and enforced system. People brought their flocks to graze in mutually agreed-upon schedules. Violation of the rules was punished, either with penalties or exclusion." Douglas Rushkoff's book "Team Human" Shareable

"...the best hope for transition to a ‘post carbon’ — or, better, a sustainable society (a much broader goal) — lies in a process of radical societal reconstruction, focused on the building, in the here and now, of self-governing and self-reliant settlements, starting at the micro-local level. Jonathan Rutherford, summarising from Ted Trainer [12] / Localism


"If you have time to chatter
Read books.
If you have time to read
Walk into mountain, desert and ocean.
If you have time to walk
Sing songs and dance.
If you have time to dance
Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot."
Nanao Sakaki

"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean" Ryunosuke Satoro

"Teach your children. What we have taught our children: that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

This we know. The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth. This we know. All things are connected Like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. We did not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."

Chief Seattle

"A shared vision is not an idea. It is not even an important idea such as freedom. It is, rather, a force in people's hearts, a force of impressive power. It may be inspired by an idea, but once it goes further -- if it is compelling enough to acquire the support of more than one person -- then it is no longer an abstraction. It is palpable. People begin to see it as if it exists. Few, if any, forces in human affairs are as powerful as shared vision." Peter Senge

"But media is actually a triathlon, it 's three different events. People like to consume, but they also like to produce, and they like to share." [13]

"We're going to look at every place that a reader or a listener or a viewer or a user has been locked out, has been served up passive or a fixed or a canned experience, and ask ourselves, "If we carve out a little bit of the cognitive surplus and deploy it here, could we make a good thing happen?" And I'm betting the answer is yes." [14]

"a revolution doesn't happen when a society adopts new tools - it happens when it adopts new behaviours."

Clay Shirky

"In giving food to other beings and species we maintain conditions for our own food security. In feeding earthworms we feed ourselves. In feeding cows, we feed the soil, and in providing food for the soil, we provide food for humans. This worldview of abundance is based on sharing and on a deep awareness of humans as members of the earth family. This awareness that in impoverishing other beings, we impoverish ourselves and in nourishing other beings, we nourish ourselves is the real basis of sustainability." Vandana Shiva

"It is time to put the ECO back in ECOnomics & promote living with less, not more." ~ Rob Sieniuc [15]

"Act Globally, not just Locally" The Simultaneous Policy

“The most powerful force in American democracy is the connection between and among citizens,” David B. Smith, NCoC’s Executive Director. [16]

"Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion
without having the words catch in our throats.
Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us,
Eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate us whenever we come into our own power
Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done.
Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends.
Someplace where we can be free."

Social Media Marketing.jpg

"Reciprocity is key to the power of networks, the alchemy of mutual give and take over time turning to a golden trust . . ." Karen Stephenson



This page includes Creative Commons Licensed content from the Sustainable community action wiki on Wikia.
The list of authors can be seen in the history, link via drop down menu at top left of page.

  2. The White House, January 2009
  3. Improving Policy Coherence and Integration for Sustainable Development - A Checklist 2002 [1] (PDF file)
  5. ‘Down to the Wire
  6. Opening Space for Emerging Order
  7. Guardian review of Hilary Wainwright’s book Reclaim the State: Adventures in Popular Democracy, July 2003
  8. IIED
  9. wikiquote, Atlantic Monthly, December 1989.
  10. Wild Open
  11. Dot Earth blog], April 21, 2010
  13. Clay Shirky at a Web 2.0 conference, April 23, 2008.
  14. Clay Shirky at a Web 2.0 conference, April 23, 2008.
  15. @EnviroArchitect on twitter