Culture is comprised of shared rules, beliefs, and attitudes, which shape our perception and interpretation of life events. Culture shapes our thought processes and understanding through distinctive linguistic interpretation, forged by experience and environment. It also facilitates our creation of a unique and comprehensive view of our relationships to other beings. The logical outcome of this formulation of cultural ecology is the assumption that others perceive the world in a like manner, and this in turn spurs us to form interpersonal relations with those who are perceived to be culturally similar. How we understand and exhibit culture, therefore, influences how we comprehend experience and express our discoveries to others in order to create and maintain a common world view.


1 Cultural resiliency
We live in a small world of ever-increasing connectivity, with both cooperation and conflict occurring on a global scale. Individuals, companies, and communities are linked through worldwide systems of communication, transportation, and commerce. Similarly, individual products and services are linked to the global value chains in which they are created, delivered, and used. .Because sustainable development involves a complex interplay between economic, environmental and socio-cultural considerations, it follows that for a country to achieve sustainable development it must consider all these issues in making short- and long-term development plans. However, environmental considerations cannot be appreciated if there is lack of up-to-date information, knowledge, tools and skills to address the various issues. Therefore, if the needs of the present generation are to be satisfied without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, capacity building should be central to the sustainable development agenda.
Community well-being draws its definition from the WHO’s articulation of the right to health: “The right to health embraces a wide range of socio-economic factors that promote conditions in which people can lead a healthy life, and extends to the underlying determinants of health, such as food and nutrition, housing, access to safe and potable water and adequate sanitation, safe and healthy working conditions, and a healthy environment” (Comments on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ,2000). As such it includes physical and mental health, social health, economic health, cultural, and environmental health. Ryan-Nicholls & Racher (2004) define community well-being or wellness as the “ability of a community to balance between various barriers to health and those things that support health.
Cultural resiliency is the capability of individuals, families, groups, and communities to cope successfully in the face of significant adversity and risk. This capability changes over time, is enhanced by protective factors in the individual/system and the environment, and contributes to the maintenance and enhancement of health.

Resilience has been linked to social support community cohesion, self-esteem and self-efficacy, social capital. At the community level, resilience is linked to the economic and political context and the strength of a community’s social institutions and social networks. At the individual or household level, it is associated with economic, cultural and social resources. Lack of civil engagement and community identity and social cohesion have been identified as contributing to a nation’s ability and willingness to recover from unexpected threats and traumatic events. Community cohesion draws on shared experiences, a common sense of worth and an expressed collective identity, sustained by shared values and beliefs. In this study collective resilience refers to the bonds and networks of relationships, reciprocity, trust, and community norms which hold communities together. These bonds provide support and protection for individuals, and also facilitate the recovery process. These social bonds are frequently referred to as social networks or social capital. As with resilience, the definition of social capital is contested, but it generally means the social networks, norms, trust and resources embedded in a shared social structure, which enable people to cooperate effectively in pursuit of their common interests and shared objectives. Social capital may be bonding, bridging or linking. Bonding social capital refers to relationships among similar people and groups. Bridging social capital describes social networks across place, class, gender, ethnicity and religion. Linking social capital relates to vertical networks of trust across power or authority relationships. Different meanings are attached to social capital depending on one’s ideological positioning.
2 Planning for deep living
'Deep living' describes itself as 'deep' because it regards itself as looking more deeply and holistically into the actual reality of the human ecological niche. Deep living takes a more holistic view of the world human beings live in and seeks to apply to life an understanding of how the separate parts of the human ecological niche, which includes all life forms, function as a complex whole. In this contex, deep living is a social strand of 'deep ecology' whose core principle is the belief that the living environment as a whole should be respected and regarded as having certain inalienable legal rights to live and flourish, independent of its utilitarian instrumental benefits for human use. This philosophy has fostered a system of environmental ethics and has provided a foundation for green movements aimed at living sustainably.


Fig 1 Categories of local social objectives for community betterment through deep living and factors that have to be managed to reach a holistic vision of a resilient culture.

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Cooperatives are organizations that are owned and democratically controlled by the people they serve. In a political sense they infuse economies with the basic values of democracy and provide citizens with a means to effectively address the shortcomings of the market-driven economy. Many people take the view that cooperatives are the solution to lots of today’s major economic, social, and environmental problems. This is because co-ops are democratically controlled and are motivated primarily by the goal of providing services to their members, not by generating profits for their owners and investors.

As a result of their democratic, services-first design, co-ops are much more likely to avoid the negative consequences of economic institutions which are primarily driven by the quest for ever-increasing profits. It can be argued that latter model of economic development has led to two centuries of economic instability, inequality, and environmental degradation in the Western world. There is a growing feeling that the coming decades, co-ops can lead the way to undoing these fundamental flaws in our economic system.

In Wales, these ideas led to the project known as 'Deep Place: Tredegar'. This was launched in 2014 as an attempt to imagine a different future for communities in Wales which have been dogged by continuing inequality and poor economic performance. The project seeks to develop a vision for a future that is not scarred by poverty, gaps in educational attainment and health inequalities, which was the solution argued by the Report of the Welsh Cooperatives and Mutuals Commission (2014). As a model, the protagonists identify four key local economic ‘sectors’ that are critical to the future success of a more localised economy in Tredegar: food; energy conservation and generation; the care sector; and, e-commerce and employment.

http://www.regenwales.org/upload/pdf/042814110201Executive%20Summary%20English.pdf