The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR)

SEEK Updated
Resource Types: 
Web Site

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national research and policy organization founded in 1974 to advance community-centered, environmentally sound and equitable economic development.

To this end, we [ILSR] work with citizens, activists, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to design systems, policies, and industries that meet local or regional needs; to maximize local human, material, natural, and financial resources; and to ensure that the benefits of these systems and resources accrue to all.

Since 1974, the Institute has pioneered in several areas, including the "new localism," urban materials recovery (recycling and reuse), decentralized energy sources, locally owned businesses and publicly owned telecommunications infrastructure.

ILSR uses three approaches to achieve objectives:

  • Public education: ILSR offers books, reports, articles and interviews in journal, newspaper, radio, TV, presentation, and social media formats.
  • A library of rules and tools: The New Rules Project was launched in the late 1990s to address and overcome the reality of rules, which often undercut the possibilities for local self-reliance. The New Rules website idenifies rules that promote local self-reliance. This website also offers ongoing news items about local self-reliance efforts here and abroad, along with links to research documents and organizations.
  • Direct technical assistance: Assistance and outreach is based on the following criteria: 1) Something is already happening - inform and guide a community's involvement; 2) Illuminate the self-reliance paradigm; 3) Success is possible in the short term; 4) Skill set needed to provide assistance is available in-house, or within networks.

    These four criteria are based in the following areas of focus: solid waste, energy, retail business and telecommunications.

  • Topic Areas: 
    Sustainable Development
    Resource Management
    Target Audience: 
    Geographic Location: 
    All Minnesota
    Outside Minnesota
    Library loan: 
    Is training required?: 
    Contact(s) or order information.: 

    <b>Institute for Local Self-Reliance</b>
    2001 S Street NW, Ste. 570
    Washington, DC 20009
    <b>Tel</b>: 202-898-1610

    2720 E. 22nd St
    Minneapolis, MN 55406
    <b>Tel</b>: 612-276-3456

    WWW Link: (Add http://):