Thinking of the territory differently
Einstein pointed out that a problem cannot be solved in the very terms in which it was created. The same can be said of the territories and transition. Concepts and modes of action created for the local management of territories, considered as spaces for implementing policies defined at another level - as symbolised by the slogan "think globally, act locally" - are unlikely to be adapted to the new reality that requires us to rethink society, the economy and governance at the same time.
Starting this time from the territories: "thinking locally to act globally" means thinking differently about the territory, defining it differently, characterising it differently and managing it differently.
Here are some examples of the approaches promoted by Citego and found in the training modules.
Territory. A territory is a portion of space that has been developed by human societies over the centuries.
Rread You said ’territory’?. How does each discipline understand it? From ethology to philosophy (in French)
Territory of Life. It is the place of daily life for a part of society, an employment area, a housing area, a living area.
Read The territory as a central actor in the transition toward sustainable societies: from economy to oeconomy (in French)
The territory, a system of relationships and actors. A territory is defined not by administrative and political boundaries but by a density of relationships that are established there, many of which range from local to global. It is a node in networks of relations; Far from being reduced to territorial authorities, the territory can be seen as a local system of actors who establish more or less intense relations between them.
Read Territorial management of relations between actors; The Transition Factory Charter.
Actor’s territory. Moving from being a passive support territory for economic and social changes to a "collective actor" territory.
The four capitals of a territory. Tangible capital, natural capital, human capital, intangible capital. Intangible capital, the fruit of long apprenticeships, is the most precious: it characterizes the art of jointly taking up old and new challenges.
Territorial metabolism. The metabolism of a living being is the set of chemical reactions that take place in its bosom to enable it to stay alive, to reproduce, to develop and to respond to the stimuli of its environment. By analogy, the metabolism of a territory describes its internal functioning mechanisms and its exchanges with the outside world.
The ecological footprint of a territory. It is the impact on the biosphere of the society living in a territory. It is measured by the total consumption of fossil energy or non- or low-renewable resources, whether these are consumed directly or indirectly through the production process of the goods and services consumed by society.
Read Glossary of the Short treatise on oeconomy ; and The Transition Factory Charter.
Territorial Governance. Moving from the idea of "local management", which focuses on the administrative activity of local authorities, to "territorial governance", which is concerned with the multiple regulations of local society and involves both authorities at a higher geographical level, regions, the State, the European Union and other public and private actors.
See You said governance ? (in French)
Co-production of public good. The public good is not the monopoly of public actors but is a co-construction by a set of actors.
See Education for responsibility, a prototype of co-production of the public good? (in French)
Multi-level governance and active subsidiarity. Territorial governance is part of a multi-level governance that goes from local to global. Multi-level governance aims to combine unity and diversity in the best possible way and is based on the implementation of the principle of active subsidiarity.
Read Multi-level governance
[The transition]. A process of systemic change (concerning the way we think, govern ourselves, produce, consume, relate to others) that moves from the present society, which endangers the biosphere and the living conditions of future humanity, to an ecologically and socially sustainable society.
The territory and the management of relationships. The crises of modernity are crises of relations: between human beings, between societies, between humanity and the biosphere. Territories and global production chains (also called value chains) are the two most appropriate places to manage these three orders of relations.
Read The Transition Factory Charter
Economy. Term in force until 1750 to designate the art of producing the well-being of all while respecting the limits of the environment. This is the challenge of the 21st century, hence the idea of a "grand retour en avant" from economics to oeconomy.
Read chapter 1 "from economy to oeconomy"; - Short treatise on oeconomy
Territorial Economics. The approach of oeconomy at the scale of a territory. Its challenge is to radically reduce the ecological footprint of a territory. Among the possible answers: the circular economy which emphasizes the closing of production cycles so as to ensure well-being while using the least possible amount of non-renewable resources; the economy of functionality which aims to replace material goods by services; the social and solidarity economy, which emphasizes cooperation between actors and the direct participation of beneficiaries in the management of goods and services; industrial and territorial ecology, which aims to densify material and energy exchange flows within a territory in order to play complementarities and ensure that the waste of one becomes the resource of the other.
Complexity and management of relationships. A complex system is a system where the relationships between the parts of the system are more important than each part taken in isolation. A territory in transition must learn to manage relationships of all kinds, as opposed to the "silo politics" that generally characterize public action.