Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bayo Akomolafe and the launch of the IAL at the 'Voices of Hope in a Time of Crisis' symposium, New York City

My friend Adebayo (Bayo) Akomolafe, who I originally met through the site here a few years ago, was recently appointed as the Coordinator of the International Alliance for Localization (IAL). The IAL was launched at the Voices of Hope symposium in New York City back on November 8th, 2014.

The Alliance for Localization is a project of Local Futures, an international non-Government organisation that has been working for more than three decades to support alternatives to the global consumer culture. The IAL represents transition towns, eco-villages, small business cooperatives, spiritual communities, seed sharing networks, local currency practitioners, gift cultures, civic society, and new movements across the planet. The International Alliance for Localization (IAL) is a powerful response to the multidimensional crises of our times.

Bayo speaking at the IAL launch in New York City

Within this eighteen minute video I have embedded at the bottom of this article, which was filmed at the symposium, Bayo starts off talking about his childhood and how he was brought up, which becomes more relevant about half way through his talk, as you will see.

I quote Bayo from his Facebook page, saying that this talk "was was a deeply intense moment for me - as I came 'apart', opening myself to what sought to be heard. I look forward to the beautiful, humble, next elegant steps the IAL team will be taking to weave a 'movement of listening'."


Bayo starts his talk by speaking of a story about Obatala, son of Olorun, which he first heard as a child growing up in Africa. Bayo explains that Obatala had a vision, a vision of a world that was full of trees, mountains and all things green. When Obtala had this vision, there was only sky and seas, no lands. Obatala decided, lets create trees and people. He descended a golden rope from the sky and came down to the surface where he dispatched a chicken. The chicken sprinkled the ground everywhere and in the wake of what the chicken did, mountains and forests were created, as well as New York and the subway system of course...

He created people, Bayo said. He created the settlement of where he comes from. Bayo explains that they learned to distrust his own culture based upon what they were taught. They were taught back then that their origins had nothing to do with Obatala, that their origins had everything to do with a man, a woman and an apple, as well as a big explosion which caused everything to come into being.

Bayo then explains other lessons they were taught, specifically around having to be like the white man to succeed in life. Bayo says he tried to change him self to be more like the white man because of his situation. He says that he felt back then, if he continued to do this, to change and move away from his tribes true origins, he could build a real future for him self.

He says he then went on a quest for absolute truth with his future studies and explains the types of books he read over time. To hear the rest of the story, you will need to listen and watch Bayo explain it.


Bayo Akomolafe at the "Voices of Hope in a Time of Crisis" symposium from The Economics of Happiness on Vimeo.

For more information about the IAL and Local Futures go to localfutures.org. (The IAL is yet to have a direct website)

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