PODCAST: Pocacito Poco A Poco En San Anto

Click play to listen to podcast above.

Marisol Cortez & Greg Harman

Pocacito—POst-CArbon CIties of TOmorrow—is an initiative of the Washington D.C.-based Ecologic Institute, whose goal is to build trans-Atlantic solidarity and intellectual exchange around local creative efforts for a renewable economy and planet. As part of their “Eight to Infinity” tour (think eight cities, then lay the eight on its side to invoke ideas of a permanent economy/culture), they are on a mission to seed community building efforts around climate and environment with an understanding of the circular economy.

This week, that tour is idling in San Anto for three days before pressing on to New Orleans.

{You can hear Decleration’s interview with this year’s Pocacito guests at top, and view their first public talk below.}

Not unknown in the U.S., but definitely less well-established here than in Europe, the idea of the circular economy bears some resemblance to the emphasis within permaculture on modeling social and economic systems after ecological systems.

Whereas industrial economies are largely linear systems (extracting finite resources, converting them into products which are then consumed and disposed of as ecologically unincorporable waste), the circular economy attempts to “close the loop” on material flows, trading extraction for renewables and reintegrating “waste” into production in a process that more closely mimics biological flows and exchanges. As summed up nicely in this diagram from New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment:

Click to Expand View: Linear and Circular Economies.

As an online journal rooted partly in post-growth/post-development intellectual and political movements, we were excited to hear about Pocacito’s trip to San Antonio and eager to discuss with them the finer points of the circular economy, an underexplored paradigm this side of the pond, much less in SATX.

Because much of the official discussion and implementation of the circular economy has taken place from the top down, on the level of governments and industries, we were most interested to hear about local, bottom-up, and community-driven efforts not just to transform large-scale material flows but the social relations in which they are embedded. Click below to read more about the specific background and expertise of each Pocacito envoy:

Our hope is that those interested in or working on issues of the solidarity economy, climate justice, energy descent/democracy, permaculture, transition, resilience, degrowth, and cooperation will find inspiration here as well!

Here’s a video of their first talk, held at EcoCentro on Sunday, September 30, 2018.

Catch them at one of their next San Antonio talks:

Monday, October 1, 2018, at UTSA (“Radically Collaborative“).

Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at University of Incarnate Word (“From Circular Economy to Circular Society in San Antonio“).