A Local Peace Economy

Issue Details


Our mission is to encourage people to reflect on how we are all invested in the war economy, take actions to divest from it, and find ways to invest instead in a just, peace economy, creating conditions conducive to life. Join us!

We live at a time where the economic power is concentrated in the hands of the wealthy, who control political, social, and economic systems to safeguard and expand their power. This process has exacerbated the chasm between rich and poor and led to the violent extraction of the planet’s natural resources; resulting in a social, ecological, and economic crisis that threatens life on earth.

Even though there is evidence that shows that humans are predisposed to be cooperative and sharing, the war economy survives by creating the experience of scarcity that forces the reliance on greed, selfishness, competition, and a sense that we are separate.

Every transaction we make in our daily lives ultimately contributes toward building a peace economy or a war economy, a world of compassion, justice and well being, or a world of indifference and violence. The peace economy model encourages us to reinvest in our local communities, in the people. It calls for creating cultural, social and economic models that cultivate a sense of respect and self-determination for all our communities. We cannot make these changes without the foundational building blocks of the very peace and justice we are seeking. The first step is realizing the impact that our daily behaviors, ideologies, actions have in local and global communities and change these in a way that reinvest in the people and the earth.

Join us in divesting from the unjust, extractive war economy into building a just peace economy for all.

PeaceEcon33.png The Local Peace Economy defined in the inspiring words of fellow allies and leaders who have already layed the fertile grounds for peace:

The foundation for world peace is building an economy where every community is self-reliant in basic needs such as food, water and energy. 

Judy Wicks, founder of BALLE, and author of Good Morning, Beautiful Business 

People who live in highly self-sufficient local communities are less likely to get involved in large-scale violence than people whose existence depends on world-wide systems of trade.

E.F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful 

We have created a dangerously polarized world that is linked together more closely than ever before. War is caused by our inability to see relationships to each other.

 —Karen Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood

Start NOW!

        Want to grow your local peace economy,                                                ...but don't know where to start?

Here are some resources, and steps that can help you start.

Crisis is inevitable; we see it happening both in the planet and in people’s lives. Historically, these crises vacuums have been filled with exploitation and accumulation of wealth. Growing local just peace economies will build solutions to the vacuums created by the extensive extraction and exploitation.

How will the transition from a war economy to a peace economy look like? How will we build it? We all participate in different economies, we all invest our time, energy and resources in different practices, both extractive and regenerative. Divesting from the extractive war economy means taking power away from it, and instead building a just peace economy, which is based in cooperation and equity.

  • Watch How We Live - Transition towards a Just Economy

  • How are you building a peace economy for all?
  • What does peace mean for others? What does peace mean for you?

Your connection locally and your imagination can be your guides, but if you need assistance, here are some steps and examples:

It is global warming and the war economy.

Recognition -- Recognize, learn, reflect, act. Be aware of the impacts your daily habits have on people and the planet. Where are you not living your values?

  • We all contribute to the extractive war economy by living extractive practices and values.
  • We can’t fix the economy and the planet with the mindset that caused this crisis in the first place. Corporate, violent “solutions” will continue to benefit the few at the expense of the many.
  • How are you contributing to war, poverty, state violence? What is the purpose of your actions? Is it to create a caring environment, or to create profit? The “green economy”, for example, is also a war economy when its purpose is to create profit.
  • Some people don’t have many choices, do you? People are just trying to survive. What choices you can make to support the livelihoods of people and the earth?
  • What do you engage your time, thoughts, energy in?

*It is global warming and the war economy.   

Support local, national, and global efforts against violent and extractive practices. Amplify your voice.

  • Shift the power balance. At the root of the problem is an imbalance of power. 
    • We are all building power together. Our reinvestment efforts are embedded within a mass social movement of interlocking justice struggles. Underlying all of our work must be a deep commitment to solidarity organizing and accountability to the communities who are the driving force for change.
  • Connect with movements that are working against extractive/violent practices. Go to actions, sign petitions, share information, donate, support:

Corporate greed

Militarization Environmental injustice
Immigration enforcement Occupation and gentrification
Criminalization War
Police violence  

 *These groups are mostly based in CA. Find you local groups!

Invest your daily money/energy in regenerative community-led businesses, such as co-ops, instead of investing in extractive corporations.

Instead of buying at Walmart, for example, buy at your local co-op or community store. Why co-ops?

  • Find your local food co-ops
  • Are you part of a divestment campaign? Want to find ways to reinvest in a regenerative economy? Check out Regenerative Finance projects/tools- Regenerative Finance shifts the economy by transferring control of capital to communities most affected by racial, climate and economic injustice.
  • Time Banks- a way of giving and receiving to build supportive networks and strong communities.
  • Connect with people and organizations that are creating change and building the infrastructure for a peaceful and just economy.


Self-local-governance. Be engaged in your local politics.change_the_rules.jpg

  • Be prepared to change things internally and externally. Be connected to local, national, and global movements, but also be part of, for example, county/city commissions. Shift power internally; contest for power at the level of governments.
  • Change the culture by working locally. National and global policy reforms, like LGBTQIA rights, had happened with local fights.

Challenge the status quo/your beliefs and assumptions.

Learn to unlearn, re-learn - the media has filled our minds with trash. Unlearn the trash, learn the love. Be open to learning about different perspectives (listen), be critical, ask questions, be compassionate.

  • "People will not go someplace we have not first traveled to in our minds." Imagine, reimagine, be creative, be diverse.
  • We created what we live in, we can create another way of living.
  • Pop-Ups for Peace- Spaces for open dialogue, reflection, critical thinking, and imagination can ignite visions for change and motivations for collective action.

When you "divest" from the extractive/war economy, can be automatically investing in a peaceful one, by changing the narrative and taking a stance. BUT it is not about reacting all the time, we have to be proactive. What are the roots of the problems we live with? How can you support/build real solutions? Communities and people are building community-led solutions for resilience, justice and peace. Connect with them.

Any questions and/or feedback, please email us to: peaceeconomy@codepink.org


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Pop Ups for Peace- facilitating conversations on peace 

A How-To Guide for Gifting Circles

7 Ways to Divest from a Militarized Economy

A glossary of common Local Peace Economy terms

 Suggested Reading 

  • This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

Check out these events

Connect to these movements

  • Transition Towns — a global network of grassroots’ projects seeking to build local resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability.
  • Small House Movement — a return to houses less than 1,000 square feet in active support for downsizing and simple living.
  • Mankind Project - a global network of peer-facilitated men's groups.
  • Willing Workers on Organic Farms — a global network of organic farms willing to host travellers on a work-trade basis.

Allies/Board of Advisors

If you’d like more information about becoming partner, contact our campaign manager.

Here’s the full list of our friends and allies.

Local Peace Economy Glossary

Local Peace Economy Glossary

A NOTE from the editors:  This is a very short glossary of terms often used in the Peace Economy movement, starting with Economics. We love this definition by our ally and advisor Judy Wicks: “Economics is nothing more than human ingenuity organizing human labor to transform the natural world into new products for use by others. That process can be life-affirming, or can be degrading to those involved and to the planet itself.”

Banking and Investment Terms

Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, activities, interests, and goals. In terms of banking, this is a bank that is usually locally owned and operated, serving the needs of local businesses, organizations, and families.

Cooperative: a business, farm, store, or other entity that is legally owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.

Corporate: Most banks whose signs and ads we see everywhere are huge, profit-driven financial institutions. The top 10 U.S. banks now hold $10.2 trillion in assets. These banks are not held accountable by local communities or the US government to reinvest in local businesses and make capital available for cooperatives and other locally-based non-profit organizations.

Divest-to-Invest: a process of moving your money, energy, and thoughts from somewhere and investing them in another place/practice. Best known in the movement to divest pension and university funds from fossil fuels, but can be applied to any withdrawal of funds, individual or organizational, from the global or corporate economy to invest in the local peace economy.

Public: a movement to create “network of state and local publicly-owned banks that create affordable credit, while providing a sustainable alternative to the current high-risk centralized private banking system”. Currently the Bank of North Dakota is the only public bank in the U.S., but several municipalities are working on establishing their own.

Economic Systems

Barter Economy: a mode of trade where goods and services are exchanged, and reciprocity is expected.

Gifting Economy: a mode of exchange that is without an agreement for immediate or future reward or reciprocation. Participants in a gifting economy give as much as they can and pass it on. Gifting is a sign of care and support, not an exchange.

Globalized Economy: an international exchange of goods and services. It is comprised of different economies in individual countries, each being interrelated with the other. Globalization involves trade across international borders and the selling of commodities in markets around the world, in highly speculative methods driven by profits to the 1%.

Green Economy: an economy that has its roots in political, social and economic developments that reduce the human ecological footprint, fostering sustainability. It should be noted that this form of economy has fallen under corporate control and a reductionist approach that has received criticism for not being sufficient to cope with the complexities of climate change and enviromental degradation, and sometimes leading to Greenwashing (see below).

Peace Economy: the cultural, social, spiritual, and economic models that cultivate a sense of respect and self-determination for all our communities. It is the relational, just way of managing our environments.

Sharing Economy: the redistribution, sharing and reuse of goods (such as used clothes) and services (such as car rides), often using the internet and social media, both for profit and in non-monetary transactions.

War Economy: an extractive and violent economy that creates inequality and injustice, and it is held in place by militarization, war, extraction, and exploitation. Philippe Le Billon, researcher at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, describes the war economy as a "system of producing, mobilizing and allocating resources to sustain violence."


Greenwashing: Using targeted advertising, public relations campaigns, and celebrity spokespersons to exaggerate environmental achievements, usually by corporations, in order to divert attention away from environmental problems caused by those corporations. For example, a corporation might spend more money advertising an environmental achievement than actually putting the money into doing it.

Participatory budgeting: a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making in which community members decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget.

Knitting for Refugees


Knitting Update!


Many of us have been shaken by the enormity of the refugee crisis. 

Every day we are given more information and the numbers are overwhelming. The United Nations refugee agency has reported that the number of refugees and migrants arriving on Lesvos, Greece continues to be high, at an average of 3,300 people per day.  It is not only Syrians who are fleeing their homes. Refugees from all over the Middle East including Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan are also desperately escaping their war-torn countries. Last winter 6,000 refugees died from the cold. The young and very elderly are especially prone to hypothermia and pneumonia

In the face of suffering, how can we take action?

At CODEPINK we created the Local Peace Economy campaign because at the heart of our work is the goal of creating cultural, social and economic models that cultivate justice and a sense of respect. The next step we take after dismantling and walking away from the violent, extractive, war-based economy that allows these conditions to exist, is building up and growing the peace we seek...for not only ourselves and our own communities, but for people everywhere.

To that end...

We are launching a nationwide call to action to help deliver warmth to refugees.

Items that are in serious need include:

  • Gloves, dark colored hats/beanies and socks.
  • 100% wool items are preferred, because warmth is a priority, and acrylic can be a fire risk for people living without electricity and in close proximity to open flames, as many refugees do.
  • If you are someone who sews, you can also make reusable menstrual pads, which are also in dire need.  

**Items must be delivered by Friday March 18th 2016.

Please feel free to also visit our Knitting for Refugees Pinterest Board for images, additional patterns and design inspiration.

Here are a few suggestions for starting:

  1. Do you knit, crochet or sew or have someone in life who does? Tell them about our call to action & how they can use their skills to help provide comfort and relief for refugees. 
  2. Gather a group of friends and organize a party around making items for refugees. Invite others in your community to join you by creating a Facebook event.
  3. Click here to find your local knitting, sewing or crocheting group near you and suggest this as project for the group to take on. You can also find groups here.
  4. Download our Knitting for Refugees Guide and hand it out at your gathering.
  5. Deliver our flyer to a knitting store near you.

We will support you by posting your event in our Action Calendarso you may share the event link & use it to invite your community and friends.

DON’T FORGET to submit & post pictures of your gatherings, and images of your finished products to your own Facebook page or Twitter account using the hashtags #knit4refugees and #peaceeconomy.

*Every Friday in the month of February we will select our favorite photo submissions and feature them on our national CODEPINK Facebook page

**Items must arrive to our offices by this date. To ensure timely delivery we suggest mailing packages at least one week prior (the week of March 6th or earlier). Items will be packed, and personally delivered to refugees by one of our CODEPINK staffers who will be in Lesvos to volunteer for a week in late March supporting refugees migrating into Greece.

Packages can be sent to:

3749 Buchanan Street #142
San Francisco, CA 94123


Please email peaceeconomy@codepink.org.

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