None of us are islands


By Rajasvini Bhansali, Thousand Currents Executive Director

As beings, none of us are islands.

Natural ecological systems or ecosystems demonstrate to us that we survive and thrive because of the interactions between species and elements. This is such an important lesson for all of us working to advance social justice.

The social movements and organizations we support in the Global South are increasingly taking lessons from ecosystems as well. They work in powerfully decentralized ways. For example, La Via Campesina is an international movement working “at scale” with 200 million small holder farmers and peasants all over the world. The movement is not focused on elevating a singular charismatic leader but rather works as a coalition of over 150 organizations around the world. 

Particularly in the international context, we forget that local systems and organized grassroots groups exist in all parts of the world. They are already addressing the most intractable challenges of climate change, rising inequality, and failing food systems.

We need not parachute in to solve peoples’ problems but in fact, ask: What is underfunded? How can we be of greatest use?

Around the world, thousands of brave, visionary grassroots climate solutions practitioners are implementing effective solutions. Grassroots solutions tend to emerge when leaders on the ground draw from and share indigenous, contextual, and collective expertise. They come from making deeper connections to the natural world, and from working directly with families as they cope with the unequal burdens and chaos created by climate change.