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bringing big ideas to a local economy

Our economies are embedded in webs of global trade, but as we quickly awaken to the limits of globalization under the constraints of COVID-19 and ecological breakdown -- and the endurance of local trade -- there are compelling reasons to position ourselves to live more locally. In addition to concerns about ecological breakdown and  the global pandemic, many people long for simpler, healthier lifestyles. Taken together, these considerations will shape patterns of trade and personal habits for years to come. 

What are some strategies to thrive under accelerating conditions of change? By collaborating with a web of community-based organizations in Winnipeg, James has experimented with simpler living strategies and supply chain localization, with many learnings along the way. Initiatives have included: 


  • Transition Winnipeg's "Energy Descent Action Plan" 

  • Three cohousing projects: two urban and one off-grid rural project (Old Grace, Prairie Rivers, and the Rural Dharma Centre)

  • A locally-sourced, waste-free coffee shop (Fools & Horses)

  • An urban composting service (Compost Winnipeg) 

  • A local food distribution network (The Fireweed Food Co-op)


Join us for a discussion of how these community initiatives embody some of the big concepts in ecological economic thinking, like well-being, steady state, degrowth, and more.

watch the session


James Magnus-Johnston

is a PhD researcher at McGill University in the Leadership for the Ecozoic program. He’s the Co-director of the Centre for Resilience at Canadian Mennonite University, where he teaches in the fields of business, political studies, and economics, and he serves as a board director with the Assiniboine Credit Union. James previously worked in finance, public policy, and as a social entrepreneur—helping to establish services in food, housing, and experiential learning. He completed his MPhil in Economics at the University of Cambridge, where he studied the growth requirement of the debt-based money system.


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