International Society for Ecology and Culture
The International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to raise awareness about what it identifies as the root causes of contemporary social, environmental and economic crises.
The group claims that focusing on single issues – saving whales, blocking nuclear power plants, feeding the hungry, etc. – only overwhelms people and ultimately fails as a strategy. Instead, ISEC argues that societies must focus on the fundamental forces that create or exacerbate all these problems. Among those forces are economic globalization, corporate power, and conventional notions of technological and economic "progress". As a solution, ISEC promotes economic localization and other locally based alternatives to the global consumer culture, which protect both biological and cultural diversity.
ISEC is the parent organization of a program in Ladakh, or "Little Tibet", begun in 1975. The Ladakh Project includes a wide range of hands-on activities, including a renewable-energy program, and has won international recognition for countering the negative effects of conventional development in that region. ISEC’s founder and Director, Helena Norberg-Hodge, shared the 1986 Right Livelihood Award. The group is also associated with Counter-development.
ISEC has established a network to bring together groups and individuals from different parts of the world that are struggling to maintain their cultural integrity in the face of economic globalization. One measure of the international reach of this small organization is that ISEC’s many publications and videos have been translated into over 40 different languages.
ISEC’s directors also form the editorial board of The Ecologist magazine.
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