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Sustainable Economies Law Center

Oakland, United States
Joined July 2016
Presence in: United States
Focus: Economic Empowerment, Environmental Justice, Governance, Labor & Employment, Land & Natural Resources

Sustainable Economies Law Center cultivates a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. We provide essential legal tools – education, research, advice, and advocacy – so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs, and other vital aspects of a thriving community.

Neither our communities nor our ecosystems are well served by an economic system that incentivizes perpetual growth, wealth concentration, and the exploitation of land and people. Communities everywhere are responding to these converging economic and ecological crises with a grassroots transformation of our economy that is rapidly re-localizing production, reducing resource consumption, and rebuilding the relationships that make our communities thrive.

However, as new solutions for resilience emerge, many are running into entrenched legal barriers: laws originally designed to protect people from the ills of industrialism are now preventing many communities from growing and selling their own food, investing in local businesses, creating sustainable housing options, and cooperatively owning land and businesses.

SELC exists to bridge the gap in legal expertise needed to transition from destructive economic systems to innovative and cooperative alternatives.

People Associated With This Organization

Neil Thapar

United States  
Sustainable Economies Law Center
Joined July 2016
Interests: Economic Empowerment, Governance, Labor & Employment, Land & Natural Resources
I am an attorney in the United States (in Oakland, California) where I work on empowering entrepreneurs and nonprofits working within the food system. I focus on legal education and policy advocacy to increase awareness of the law as well as remove barriers within the legal system to support small-scale, socially, economically, and ecologically just enterprises.

I am particularly interested in learning more about traditional means of managing resources as examples of how the US legal system can be changed to recognize customary rights, cultural norms, and non-market means of controlling resources.
Neil Thapar is the network champion (main point of contact) for Sustainable Economies Law Center.

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