In times of radical change the first thing that MUST change, if you are going to survive and thrive, is your thinking about the very foundations of society itself. You must upgrade, or at least change, the mental "software" that governs what you regard as a meaningful work, your expectations for the future and how you will participate in your local economy.
This talk by Charles Leadbeater describes one optimistic path that society can choose. Think about how you would participate in a world where this sort of Pro-Am, open-source began to work as well as, or better than, the current industrial-government-services model.
Then think of how you would transition to such a model. What legal hurdles would you face? How do you avoid the walls and oppostion thrown up by those with an entrenched emotional opposition by those wedded to the old system?
How do you deal with a zoning request to the local county or city board when you want to take over the shell of a big box store, remove portions of the roof, build allottment gardens inside the walls and use the roof beams to hang your cisterns, water catchments and solar panels? Imagine the fury from local home "owners" who don't want an "eyesore" going up near them, from pro-growth (old industrial model version) local business types, from the city itself which will hold out hope that once gas gets back down real cheap a new Wal-Mart or Target is sure to move in?
This is what I mean by the "chump phase" of the coming Transition. There may be plenty of new systems that would work just as well, in some ways, as this late-stage corporate capitalism we have in the U.S. But how do you transition to it without your structure being torn to pieces through lawsuits over intellectual property rights, various ownership rights, taxation of "donated" time and talent, challenges to the existing suburban real estate - commuter model of work, etc.?
Hat tip to Jeff Vail for the link to Mr. LeadBeater's site and online chapters of his book.