On February 22, 2013 the Center launched the beginning of the 2013 Film Series with The Economics of Happiness at the freshly refurbished Indiana Theater. The film, which suggests that we create a system in which goods and services are produced to fulfill real human needs, rather than to generate more consumption, was well received by the over 100 people attending the event.
During intermission a short panel was held on how to bring ideas of localization and sustainability to Indiana County and Southwestern PA. Panelists included Molly Rush of The Thomas Merton Center, Craig Stevens of The Three-Rivers Community Foundation, Ian Haffling of the IUP Environmentally Conscious Organization (E.C.O.), Jane Baumer, and Professor Susan Comfort of the IUP English Department, all spoke at the event.
“I want us to recognize the wealth that we have in the people of Indiana county, and that there is real wealth here in this room.” -Dr. Susan Comfort
Even more ideas emerged during the group discussion following the film. The audience’s drive and creativity seemed to know no bounds as participants mentioned everything from the development of local currency, establishing a co-operative food market, and starting community supported agriculture (CSA), to building more community gardens and time-sharing plans.
The inspiration drawn from the discussion at the Center’s first screening demonstrated the strength and passion possessed by the people of Indiana, showing that our community is ready and willing to generate a local, sustainable economy through cooperation, commitment, continued education, and action.