Richard K. Moore
Last update: 14 October 2010
Table of Contents: 2012: Crossroads for Humanity
Development as a focus for transformation
Abstract: In this chapter, community development is identified as a natural focus for community transformation. Development not in the capitalist sense of seeking returns, but in the sense of making the most of resources within the contraints of sustainability, developing value-adding enterprises, finding productive work for everyone, and generally improving the local quality of life. What is understood about national economic development provides models for how community development can be best pursued.
The role of investment
Abstract: Every development project needs some level of initial investment. This is true of building a factory, starting a business, or developing a community’s economy. The greater the investment is, the more ambitious the project goals can be. In the case of community development, the investment should come from local citizens, who will expect to get their investment back, but whose ‘profit’ will not be interest, but rather the privilege of sharing in an improved quality of community life, and the knowledge that they contributed when it mattered most.
Managing the development process
Abstract: The ideas in this section are based heavily on the very successful Mondragon project, extended by the Local Money concept from the proposed Common Good Bank. A local co-op bank is seen as the appropriate vehicle for managing the initial investment funding, investing in and supporting development initiatives, and managing the community money supply wisely, as regards both dollars and local currency. As community coherence emerges, the community itself will increasingly control its own development / evolutionary process.
Milestones of development
Abstract: The development of a community economy, just like the development of a national economy, always goes through identifiable stages, each with its own unique characteristics. At the beginning there is an emphasis on funding new initiatives, later there there may be an emphasis on developing trading partners, etc. At each stage, investments must be directed where the most leverage is provided in that stage, and the money supply must be kept in balance with the level of economic activity appropriate to that stage.