This resources list was created by the Gary Lamb and Sarah Hearn, the editors of Social Self’s upcoming book project, Steinerian Economics: A Compendium, which has a planned publication date of August, 2014. It was with their kind permission that we are able to make it available to you now, on Social Self.
This resource list provides a list of various resources to aid readers who want to further explore Rudolf Steiner’s economic and social ideas. Our list of selections is not meant to be comprehensive, but more of a sampling of ways readers can further their theoretical understanding of Steiner’s social perspectives and how his insights can be practically applied.
This includes listings of:
– Publishers of Rudolf Steiner’s Social and Economic Writings and Lectures
– Basic Texts by Rudolf Steiner on the Threefold Social Organism, Associative Economics, and the Fundamental Social Law
– Writings by Other Authors ontheThreefold Social Organism, Associative Economics, and the Fundamental Social Law
– Organizations and Initiatives Inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s Social Ideas
– Organizations and Initiatives Working to Some Degree in Harmony with Rudolf Steiner’s Social Ideas, But Not Intentionally So
Unless otherwise noted, descriptions are taken directly from the organizations’ or publishers’ websites.
Social and Economic Ideas
A Selection of Publishers of Rudolf Steiner’s Social and Economic Writings and Lectures in English
AWSNA Publications (USA) Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
Mercury Press of the Fellowship Community (USA)
New Economy Publications (UK)
Rudolf Steiner Press (UK)
Basic Texts by Rudolf Steiner on the Threefold Social Organism, Associative Economics, and the Fundamental Social Law
Renewal of the Social Organism. Spring Valley, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1985.
The Social Future. New York: Anthroposophic Press, 1972.
Towards Social Renewal. London, England: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1999.
Rethinking Economics. Great Barrington, MA: Steinerbooks, 2013.
For more suggestions, please see the bibliography.
Suggested Reading List of Texts by Other Authors
Bloom, John. The Genius of Money. Great Barrington, MA:SteinerBooks, 2009.
Budd, Christopher Houghton. Metamorphosis of Capitalism. New Economy Publications, 2003.
Showing that associative economics not only provides deep historical foundations for our understanding of current events, but also the positive and practical means to address the many issues these developments give rise to, this book outlines a path to metamorphose capitalism.
Budd, Christopher Houghton. Prelude in Economics. New Economy Publications, 1979.
This book was intended to acquaint the layperson with economics in comprehensible language, but also to reset the cast of mind for economics generally; it covers many of the main ideas and concepts that characterize an associative approach.
Budd, Christopher Houghton. Of Wheat and Gold. New Economy Publications, 1988.
This book sets forth an alternative approach to money that combines both wheat and gold as monetary standards to offer unexpected resolutions to the seemingly intractable problems of today’s monetary system.
Edwards, Arthur. Three Kinds of Money: Rudolf Steiner and the Development of Monetary Economics. Masters thesis submitted at the University of Buckingham School of Economics, 2009. Available from the author at email@example.com.
Also visit www.cfae.biz/publications for other publications by Christopher Houghton Budd and other CAE authors.
Karp, Robert. “Towards an Associative Economy in the Food & Farming Movement.” Copyright Robert Karp, 2007. www.thinkoutword.org/Robert%20Karp%20Essay.pdf
Lamb, Gary. Associative Economics, Ghent, NY: AWSNA Publications, 2010.
This comprehensive book on Rudolf Steiner’s economic ideas guides one to substantially rethink modern economic life.
Lamb, Gary. “Overcoming Self-Interest in Economic Life – Part I”
Rudolf Steiner’s Indications on the Ownership, Use of Land and Other Means of Production. Threefold Review, 1996.
Lamb, Gary. “Overcoming Self-Interest in Economic Life – Part II”
Rudolf Steiner’s Indications on Economic Associations. Threefold Review, 1997.
Lamb, Gary. “The Transformation of the Competitive Market and Capitalism: A Necessity of the 21st Century, ” Biodynamics, 2008.
Lamb, Gary. “The Fundamental Social Law: Theory and Practice.” Biodynamics, 2008. http://thecenterforsocialresearch.org/resources/
Large, Martin. Common Wealth: For a Free, Equal, Mutual and Sustainable Society. Stroud, UK: Hawthorne Press, 2010.
Just when ‘the market’ nearly took over all areas of life, the credit, climate and democratic crunches came along, challenging us to rebuild a society that works well for all. Common Wealth asks, ‘How can we build a more free, equal, mutual and sustainable society?’
Perlas, Nicanor. Shaping Globalization: Civil Society, Cultural Power and Threefolding.
BC, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2003.
Shaping Globalization argues that global civil society is a cultural institution wielding cultural power, and shows how, through the use of this distinct power, it can advance its agenda in the political and economic realms of society without compromising its identity. The book then outlines the strategic implications for civil society both locally and globally, and explains that its key task is to inaugurate “threefolding:” the forging, where appropriate, of strategic partnerships between civil society, government, and business.
Rohen, Johannes. Functional Threefoldness in the Human Organism and Human Society. Adonis Press, 2011.
After decades of meditating on the human organism leading up to his major work Functional Morphology, renowned anatomist Johannes Rohen applies his functional approach to the study of social life. The result is a holistic yet highly differentiated view of human society as a dynamic organism.
Schaefer, PhD Christopher. Vision in Action: Working with Soul & Spirit in Small Organizations. Great Barrington: Steinerbooks, 1996.
This is a complete guide to carrying out small-scale projects from inception to organization and long-term growth.
Spence, Michael. After Capitalism. Hillsdale, NY:Adonis Press, 2014.
The observations offered in this book provide a basic framework for individuals to consciously understand for themselves how human society, and particularly the economy, works.
Wilken, Folkert. The Liberation of Work. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1969.
Until his death in 1981 Wilken was a Professor of Economics at the University of Freiburg; he examined Steiner’s ideas in a modern light, amplifying them from an economic perspective.
Wilken, Folkert. The Liberation of Capital. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1982.
See description above.
Businesses, Organizations, & Initiatives
Directly Inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s Social & Economic Ideas
Camphill is a worldwide movement that seeks to enhance the lives of people in need of services and support for daily living as well as people committed to service by creating communities where everyone’s contributions are valued without regard to their financial assets, or their intellectual or physical capabilities. Camphills create social arrangements designed to nurture the growth and development of individuals and families that separate money from work so that all community members contribute their time and skills according to their capabilities and all community members receive sustenance based on their needs, in an effort to affirm and embody The Fundamental Social Law.
The Centre for Associative Economics
The Centre for Associative Economics promotes an associative approach to modern economic life through research, courses, events, publications, and consultancy. CAE is the founder of the (ae) Guarantee Mark. First established in 1998, the (ae) Guarantee Mark is designed to encourage economic undertakings based on an associative approach to economic life. With its 4 Steps and 4 Criteria, it highlights the main characteristics of an associative approach to business.
The Centre for Social Poetry
A place for the poetry of the human being and the world – from page poetry, to poetic social processes, to a poetic re-imagining of the entire social organism (including economics, politics and culture, as well as how these three spheres interact). www.socialpoetry.net
The Center for Social Research
Hawthorne Valley’s Center for Social Research (CSR) is an independent “think and do” tank that combines research and practical initiatives as a means to identify and implement solutions to modern day social problems. Their constellation of projects strongly reflects their mission and goals for promoting social health: supporting freedom and choice in cultural life, equality and democracy in political life, and associative cooperation in economic life. CSR also oversees the Credere Fund micro grants, which support initiatives that foster the development of innovative ways to express and employ empathy in personal, institutional, and community life.
Chiemgauer Alternative Currency: Like BerkShares (see Alternative Currencies in the next section), the Chiemgauer is backed and exchangeable for federal currency at a discount. Started by a teacher and a small group of students at a Waldorf School, Chiemgauer is intelligently designed to reflect the deterioration process of the goods it represents and promote the healthy circulation of money from purchase, to loan, to gift through a demurrage-fee (negative interest rate) in an effort to embody Steiner’s economic indications.
Citizens’ Alliance for Universal School Choice in New York State (CAUSE NYS)
CAUSE NYS is an education and research initiative dedicated to providing the citizens of New York State with the information they need to make informed decisions about elementary and secondary education reform, including school funding and student assessments. CAUSE NYS sees education tax credits as a way to work in harmony with Steiner’s ideas of the right of a child to an education coupled with funding education directly out of the economy (businesses and individuals) instead of by way of government funding.
The Fellowship Community
Founded in 1966, The Fellowship Community is a community of all ages, centered around the care of the elderly. Working and learning together in service to others and in caring for the earth is the central motif of the community life. The community works from a desire to serve others altruistically, and in turn the community takes responsibility for each co-worker, and each co-worker takes reponsibility for the community as a whole.
The Free Columbia courses are intensive explorations into art. Currently an eight-month painting course and a four-month puppetry internship are available, as are week long intensives in the summer and winter. In addition to painting or puppetry the full time work includes introductions to the philosophy of aesthetics and social questions in relation to art and economics. Free Columbia is based on an understanding of the importance of creating independent and accessible educational and artistic opportunities. There are no set tuitions for any of their courses or other events. Suggested donation amounts based on what it costs to run courses are provided
Institute for Social Threefolding
The Institute for Social Threefolding has been in existence since 1998 [and works] to make content available for people interested in pursuing serious study of social threefolding.
Institute for Social Renewal
The Institute for Social Renewal supports independent schools and forward thinking organizations and individuals to develop the capacities of what will be most needed in society and the new economy — creativity, adaptability, critical thinking and the ability to communicate and collaborate. The work of the Institute for Social Renewal is inspired by Rudolf Steiner and by current leading business, educational, and social reformers.
L’AUBIER is a company that provides the envelope of finances and real estate – including farmland and farm buildings – for L’AUBIER’s various activities: restaurant, hotel, shop, cafe-hotel, and administration buildings. Each business is conducted in a spirit of independent and autonomous partnership with the other activities, encouraged by regular meetings based on full transparency and management accountability. Founded in 1984, their foundation aims to promote research in all areas of life and to encourage the realization of ideals based on anthroposophy.
MISSION stands for Movement of Imaginals for a Sustainable Society through Initiatives, Organizing, and Networking. It is an organization in the Phillipines founded by Nicanor Perlas, a leading author, activist and former presidential candidate working out of social threefolding.
RSF Social Finance
RSF is dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. In partnership with a community of investors and donors, RSF provides capital to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises addressing key issues in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship. Founded in 1936 as the Rudolf Steiner Foundation, RSF Social Finance began making loans to Steiner-inspired organizations in 1984. In the late 1990s, RSF’s mission expanded to serve a broader range of clients whose intentions and values are compatible with Steiner’s insights on associative economics and social renewal.
Think OutWord is a peer-led training in social threefolding for young adults that began in 2008 and is loosely situated in the northeastern United States. Through the training, participants gain deeper insight into contemporary social phenomena and explore different methods by which they can become increasingly engaged in socially transformative work. Think OutWord also works to practice Steiner’s economic ideas in the financing of its conferences and other events.
Social Self is a project of Adonis Press that addresses social issues in the light of Rudolf Steiner’s insights. It works in close collaboration with the Center for Social Research, and operates, like Adonis Press, within the framework of the Hawthorne Valley Association in Ghent, NY.
Editor’s Note: Travis Henry offers a compendium of relevant information and resources about threefolding and the possibilities for separating economic, political and cultural affairs, each with their own leadership. Specifically, the website features pioneering, expert research providing threefold maps, flags, and explanations for the countries and nations of the world and responding to the question: What might a free cultural sector look like, wherein the myriad of humanity’s cultural nations might again flourish?
Triodos Bank, a bank in the Netherlands with branches in Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain, is associated with the philosophy initiated by Rudolf Steiner. Triodos only lends to and invests in organizations that benefit people and the environment. They connect savers and investors who want to change the world for the better with entrepreneurs and sustainable companies doing just that. They are the only specialist bank to offer integrated lending and investment opportunities for sustainable sectors in a number of European countries.
With more than 900 Waldorf schools in 83 countries, Waldorf Education is the fastest growing independent educational movement in the world. In 1919, Steiner spoke about the need for social renewal, for a new way of organizing society and its political and cultural life. He developed Waldorf Education based on a profound understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child. Waldorf teachers strive to transform education into an art that educates the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head.
Editor’s addition: Steiner intended the Waldorf movement to take the lead in advancing independent education that is free from government control and financially accessible to all.
Organizations and Initiatives Working to Some Degree in Harmony with Rudolf Steiner’s Ideas
Editors’ Note: There may be little or no conscious effort to work from social threefolding ideals as expressed by Rudolf Steiner by the following organizations. In each case we have tried to show some correlation between the initiative’s activities and Steiner’s perspectives. It may well be the case that there are other aspects of its activities that are contrary to Steiner’s perspectives.
B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 850 Certified B Corps from 28 countries and 60 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business. Delaware became the 19th state (plus D.C.) to enact benefit corporation legislation.
Aspects of Relevance: B-Corps take a practical approach to overcoming self-interest and fostering altruism in business practices by considering the needs and well-being of all stakeholders, an important step towards true price, association, and other related ideals.
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
BALLE is the fastest growing business alliance of values-aligned entrepreneurs, business networks, and local economy funders in North America. Through collaboration, the members identify and spread innovative solutions and business models for creating healthier, sustainable, and prosperous communities. They have a growing network of 30,000 local entrepreneurs spanning 80 communities.
Aspects of Relevance: BALLE’s innovative, mission-driven business alliance practices some important aspects of the principle of association by supporting collaboration and mutual aid in the economic sector.
Basic Income Movement
Basic Income is a form of minimum income guarantee that differs from those that now exist in various European countries in three important ways: it is being paid by the government to individuals rather than households; it is paid irrespective of any income from other sources; it is paid without requiring the performance of any work or the willingness to accept a job if offered. www.basicincome.org, online documentary about basic income:
Aspects of Relevance: The Basic Income movement is a controversial — controversial because it is a government program rather than working with the economic principle of true price — attempt to separate work and income and decommodify labor, basic principles of Steiner’s Fundamental Social Law.
Community Land Trusts (CLT)
Editor’s Note: A CLT is a model of land stewardship in which a non-profit entity with an elected governing body holds and stewards a piece of land for the purposes of affordable housing, farming, or other productive uses. Occupants of a CLT own the houses or buildings and any improvements that they make to the land. However, they do not own the land itself, but instead have long-term leases on the land, which are renewable and can be passed on to family members. In this way, the land is no longer subject to speculation and the fluctuations of the market but becomes a matter of secure rights, with consideration given to both the needs of the community and the ecology of the region.
Aspects of Relevance: The CLT model provides a viable means to decommodify land and integrates an associative form of stewardship and decision-making.
Community Supported Agriculture and Beyond
Editor’s Note: Over the last twenty-five years, Community Supported Agriculture has become an example of how to foster collaboration between producers and consumers. It is a locally-based mutually-supportive economic model wherein consumers share the risk and benefits of local food production with farmers by pledging financial support before the season in exchange for a share of the harvest. The idea of associative community supported initiatives has spread beyond agriculture. Community supported artist collectives, bookstores, musicians, theater companies and more, have emerged.
Community Supported Theater
Aspects of Relevance: CSA is perhaps the most widely used associative business model wherein producers and consumers can come together to dialogue and collaborate, considering the real needs of the farmers as well as the local community (an important step towards decommodifying labor and embodying true price). Member-owned models are examples of ways to decommodifying land and capital wherein the community stewards the farm and its assests. Several of the first CSAs in the United States were directly influenced by Steiner’s associative ideas.
Complementary/Community Currency Movement
Complementary/community and local currencies are usually used as a complement to a national currency. Some examples are:
Individuals in The Berkshires, MA, trade $95 federal dollars for $100 BerkShares at any of the participating banks and then spend them at face value in participating local businesses. Their use aims to strengthen the regional economy, favoring locally owned enterprises, local manufacturing, and local jobs, and reducing the region’s dependence on an unpredictable global economy. The program hopes to eventually uncouple from the dollar and instead use a basket of local commodities as the standard of value for the BerkShares.
Aspects of Relevance: BerkShares is particularly impressive because of its flexibility and scope, demonstrating that it is possible to begin to imagine Steiner’s call for a new basis for money issuance outside the complete control of government or business interests (Steiner indicated that it should be issued by an autonomous economic organization). BerkShares’ intentions to create an independent standard of value for the currency also parallels Steiner’s indications.
Editor’s Note: Ithaca HOURS (Ithaca, NY) are not backed by federal dollars and can’t be freely converted to thenational currency, so their most striking attribute is their independence from the dollar. They’re valued at $10USD each, as that was the average local hourly wage when the program started in 1991, and businesses and residents are encouraged to use one Hour for one hour of work.
Aspects of Relevance: while the Ithaca Dollar is independent of the US backed dollar, one downside is that it ties money directly to labor (wagery) instead of to the products of labor, because businesses and residents are encouraged to use 1 HOUR for one hour of work. Treating labor like a commodity to be bought and sold was a main concern of Steiner’s. However, they also make interest-free loans and grants to local non-profits, fostering a healthy circulation of capital and serving in an associative capacity at the transition point of money issuance.
Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS)
Editor’s Note: LETS systems are local accounting systems that monitor and record transactions of goods and services between members using credits in an electronic (web-based) system. Every transaction is recorded in the accounts of the consumer and producer/provider in question, as a debit and credit respectively, so the quantity of available currency is reflective of the economic activity actually taking place, as opposed to depending on the rule and judgment of a centralized administration, e.g. the state.www.gdrc.org/icm/lets-faq.html www.transaction.net/money/lets
Aspects of Relevance: LETS reflect the idea that money is an accounting system for our economic transactions and shouldn’t be issued by the state or based on government currency. Also noteworthy is the associative gesture of a local non-profit working to issue credit and maintain a healthy medium of exchange at the community level.
The Co-Intelligence Institute and Co-Intelligent Economics
Co-intelligent economics is not one thing, nor is it absolute. It is a guiding vision and sensibility. To the extent an economic system helps living beings and living systems meet their deep needs in healthy sustainable ways – accessing the wisdom and resources of the whole and its parts on behalf of the whole and its parts – it can be said to be co-intelligent.
Aspects of Relevance: Co-intelligence can be seen as the wisdom arising from collaborating groups of people in an associative sense, taking the time to understand the perspectives of people in the various aspects of the economy. This multisided intelligence enables participants to make informed decisions rather than relying on the uncontrolled supply and demand or the chances of the market.
Fair Trade is a simple way to make every purchase matter. When you buy a product with the Fair Trade Certified™ label, you know that the farmers and workers who produced it were paid better prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and earn community development funds to empower and improve their communities.
Aspects of Relevance: The Fair Trade movement 1) begins to understand labor as a rights issue rather than an economic one by ensuring safer working conditions and protecting the environment 2) works in the direction of overcoming self-interest and true price by securing fairer prices and compensation for producers, 3) encourages association, by fostering visibility and acknowledgement between producers, distributors and consumers, and 4) facilitates access to capital and the healthy circulation of surplus capital towards community and business development.
The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
Ecological Economics is concerned with extending and integrating the study and management of nature’s household (ecology) and humankind’s household (economics). This integration is necessary because conceptual and professional isolation have led to economic and environmental policies which are mutually destructive rather than reinforcing in the long term. Two groups working on ecological economics are The Transdisciplinary Journal of the International Society for Ecological Economics which is transdisciplinary in spirit and methodologically open and The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics which is a transdisciplinary rsearch, teaching, and service organization focused on developing integrative solutions to society’s most pressing problems.
Aspects of Relevance: Like Steinerian economics, Ecological Economics works to understand economics holistically and inclusively. Among others, The Gund Institute’s efforts to create policies and management instruments that balance what is biophysically possible, ecologically sustainable, socially equitable, and efficient resonates with Steiner’s articulation of our world economy and the problematic nature of the dominance of one sphere of society over another such as the economy over the rights/political sphere or culture (e.g. the consequences of corporate power and control for human rights, the environment, etc.)
One Percent for the Planet
One Percent for the Planet is a growing global movement of over 1,400 companies that donate 1% of their sales to a network of more than 3,000 non-profit environmental organizations. The organization’s mission is to provide an opportunity for businesses to recognize and mitigate the fact that industry and ecology are inherently connected. However, the model also effectively demonstrates an activist approach to providing economic production to support individuals and organizations promoting and educating around environmentalism.
Aspects of Relevance: Promotes the healthy circulation (gifting) of surplus capital from the economy to support cultural life as well as developing an associative network of businesses and non-profit organizations.
The Mondragon Cooperative in the Basque region of Spain is perhaps the largest and one of the most successful examples of a worker-owned cooperative with 102 cooperatives and over 100,00 worker-owners. Mondragon’s worker-owners have an established pay scale, which dictates that the highest paid employee may not make more than eight times the lowest paid. Mondragon’s cooperatives are required to donate 10% of their annual profits to the cultural realm and another 10% to a pool for future entrepreneurship within the Mondragon community.
Aspects of Relevance: Mondragon is more than just one worker-owned cooperative, it’s an umbrella of cooperatives that consciously and deliberately work together, transparently and to some degree, associatively. For example, when overstaffing arises, instead of firing worker-owners, they can be retrained and moved to another job within the Mondragon cooperatives. Also, the nature of the organizational structure is such that individuals from all different types of work and levels of responsibility sit together on the board of directors, a democratically-elected body, which promotes better dialogue between entrepreneurs, managers, and workers and provides greater opportunities for perceiving the meaning and value of the work and everyone’s part in it.
Other worker-owned cooperatives, models:
www.evergreencooperatives.com, www.usworker.coop, www.equalexchange.coop/worker-owned
New Economics Foundation (NEF)
NEF is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being and advocates for economics as if people and the planet mattered. See especially the Happy Planet Index and the publication The Great Transition. www.neweconomics.org.
Aspects of Relevance: NEF projects work to reform our financial system to transform the impersonal nature of modern banking and finance and in this way are relevant to various aspects of Steiner’s ideas on capital and credit, such as the healthy circulation of capital and a focus on meeting human needs instead of personal gain and profit. Other projects explore alternative currencies and monetary policy, giving practical models and guidance to decommodify money, explore a new basis for money, and work differently with purchases, loans, gifts, and much more.
Red Tomato Distribution
This distribution company’s “Dignity Deal” starts in the winter when Red Tomato staff start a pricing conversation with the farmer to establish three numbers: last year’s average, this year’s ideal price, and the farmers’ personal price floor-the lowest price the farmer can accept without losing both money and dignity. With this information, RT staff are able to negotiate prices with customers with the full farm economics in mind.
Aspects of Relevance: working with various aspects of the principle of association and reimagining price formation such as feedback loops between buyers, customers, and farmers; transparency; shared risk; and farmer participation in negotiations. In this way, buyers, consumers, and farmers participate in establishing food prices.
Schumacher Center for New Economics
The Schumacher Center works to educate the public about an economics that supports both people and the planet. They believe that a fair and sustainable economy is possible and that citizens working for the common interest can build systems to achieve it. They recognize that the environmental and equity crises we now face have their roots in the current economic system. They combine theoretical research with practical application at the local, regional, national, and international levels—deliberately designing transformative systems and communicating clearly the principles that guide them. Programs include the BerkShares local currency program, the Community Land Trust of the Southern Berkshires, and others.
Relevant Aspects: The Schumacher Center creates and promotes ways to decommodify land, labor and capital, encouraging an ethic of responsibility and mutuality in economic life through primarily localized programs and initiatives.
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)
Editor’s Note: This is a catch-all term for the practice of loan-issuance and investment in socially- and environmentally-conscious businesses. There are more and more organizations and firms that are helping capital to flow to support community, culture, sustainability and business innovation. SRI works consciously to create new structures and relationships with respect to loan money and the issuing of credit, bringing mutuality and the role of association to the forefront.
Local Investing Opportunity Network
LION initiatives create a local investment opportunity network in order to facilitate relationships between investors and borrowers as a way of strengthening the economic viability and sustainability of the region and in order to foster a more vibrant sense of community. The first LION was formed in Port Townsend, Washington as part of the Transition Towns movement. They have since been launched in many other areas in California, New York, Massachusetts and Oregon.