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As a cohost of Design 4 Resilience, I’ve been thinking about the relationship of resilience and sharing recently. Shareable co-founder Will Watman sent me a link recently for World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farms, which offers volunteer opportunities on, you guessed it, organic farms. This raised the question in the title of this post. Healthy food is a core community service, so my quick answer to the question was the following:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Energy

Then I thought about it, and applying what I’m learning about the commons, I realized that I was falling into the same trap that I see others in the sustainability field fall into. I prioritized the material order over the social order. Then I came up with the below list prioritizing our ability to solve problems together and relate well to each other. One of the lessons of Elinor Ostrom’s work is that our ability to solve collective problems goes hand-in-hand with ensuring a sustainable resource base. Al Gore said something similar at the 2008 TED conference, that "in order to solve the climate crisis, we must solve the democracy crisis." Here’s my revised list:  

  • Governance
  • Spiritual practice
  • Water 
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Energy
  • Health care
  • Education

What would be on your list? How would you order yours?

Thumbnail image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Neal Gorenflo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Neal Gorenflo | |

Neal Gorenflo is the executive director and co-founder of Shareable, an award-winning news, action, connection hub for the sharing transformation. An epiphany in 2004 inspired Neal to leave the corporate


Things I share: Time with friends and family, stories, laughs, books, ideas, nature, resources, passions, my network.

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