This is the transcript of my audio interview with Helena Norbert-Hodge
Rob: My guest tonight is Helena Norberg Hodge, she is the author of Ancient Futures, she is the producer and co-director of the wonderful, must-see documentary "Economics of Happiness". Here websites are:
HNH: Thank you-- very glad to be here and I was glad to meet you too.
Rob: So I got to know your work through the movie "Economics of Happiness." What is the elevator pitch for that, just a short description of what that's about.
HNH: It's a wonderful invitation to seeing the problems we face in a different light, and basically the "Economics of Happiness" shows us that not only can we solve our problems in a more strategic and systemic way, but that it is also already happening at the grass roots. It's a perspective that gets us away from a lot of self incrimination and self blame, which is dominant-- in the dominant media the message goes out that we ordinary consumers and citizens are dreadfully greedy and don't care about the environment, don't care about poor people and we are basically destroying the world. And it is a very misleading picture, because what is destroying the world is that we have allowed, basically through ignorance. We have allowed an escalation in Corporate and Banking power to really create a quite a monstrous system, a Techno Economic system that just isn't serving us and that is dominating the discourse, the thinking and sending us down the very narrow alleys of trying to protect the Environment, and in the Environment you know there are millions of different categories, we may care about birds, we may care about just about the whales, we may be concerned about Global warming, we may be concerned about pesty exclusion, but the fact is that all of these crisis have a root cause in this system and once we recognize how the system works and start focusing on strategic parts, we are not going to turn things around overnight. But we can really start making in progress rapidly. So that's what this film is about.
Rob: Okay, I am going to give you my version of what this film is about. To me this film is about how destructive this globalization is, to people, communities and cultures, and the film walks through a number of different ways that it turns healthy communities into damaged materialistic customers. And it provides a solution which is localization-- getting back to local.
HNH: Yes very good that's much better than my pitch.
Rob: So how long ago was it that you put out the movie.
Rob: That long already? Wow.
HNH: It still making the rounds in the world though, it's in about 20 languages. Just shown in Ukraine and very popular in Italy and it is still being used also in United States but perhaps more now abroad. It's a very good tool for raising awareness and getting a focused coalition in local communities to start rebuilding those local economies and local communities and it's really a very powerful tool, I hope the listeners will look for it and use it in their own communities.
Rob: I got a copy of it and I played it in my community in a number of different settings, where I basically played it and then had discussions and it went great. I know that you have some kind of an arrangement that people can do that and just collect donations to cover the showing costs and thing's like that.
HNH: That's right, absolutely and often what people do is, it's almost like a mobile conference bringing voices from around the world. You know like Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben and very powerful and intelligent voices that you can bring in to your community obviously at virtually no cost and then very often people will also organize a panel of local people have already started some initiative to give a voice to what is happening and what people have been doing, so it's a very good tool.
Rob: Ok, so what has happened since then? Now I am setting you up so that you can talk about your conferences coming up.