An Experiment in Gift Economics

Posted on Nov 2, 2015
An Experiment in Gift Economics

In the year 2008 I was facing hard times. I was earning maybe $300 a month from book sales, I wasn’t known yet as a speaker, and I couldn’t really get a job because I was a single dad staying at home with three children including a three-year-old. One day, a workshop came to town […]

A Neat Inversion

Posted on Nov 23, 2014
A Neat Inversion

As an American visiting South Africa I was struck by the near ubiquity of domestic servants among white South Africans. Households that are in all other ways decidedly middle class have at least one and often two or three domestic servants. This bespeaks the enormous inequality of wealth that prevails in that country, one of […]

The Next Step for Digital Currency

Posted on Jul 22, 2013
The Next Step for Digital Currency

“Today’s national and supranational currencies have become a blight on this planet. Created through interest-bearing debt, controlled by financial elites, tracked by the surveillance state, and necessitating endless growth, money as we know it is a primary agent of inequality, injustice, and ecocide. What to do? One response is to attempt to transform the money […]

We Can’t Grow Ourselves out of Debt

Posted on Sep 3, 2012
We Can’t Grow Ourselves out of Debt

You can find a French translation of this essay here.   Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s pledge at Jackson Hole last Friday to “promote a stronger economic recovery” through “additional policy accommodation” has drawn criticism from economists, liberal and conservative, who question whether the Fed has the wherewithal to stimulate economic growth. What we actually […]

Conversation with James Quilligan

Posted on Jul 27, 2012

Last month I had the pleasure of a dialog with James Quilligan on the subject of the commons, gift economies, crisis, and transition. It felt like an especially significant conversation because James and I come from two different worlds. James is an internationally known policy consultant who engages with people in the highest echelons of […]

Why Rio +20 Failed

Posted on Jun 26, 2012

A Croatian translation of this article is available.   You know folks, I’m a bit worried about my 16-year-old son, Jimi. When he was 13, he grew three inches. When he was 14, he grew five inches. When he was 15 his growth slowed to three inches, and no matter how much I feed him, […]

For Facebook, A Modest Proposal

Posted on May 16, 2012

  General Motors recently reported that it will pull its advertising from Facebook, citing a low click-through rate among other indications that its advertising there isn’t effective. I’m not surprised — I for one have never clicked on a Facebook ad and in fact don’t even notice them. Like most people, I have trained myself […]

A Coal Pile in the Ballroom

Posted on Apr 19, 2012
A Coal Pile in the Ballroom

Economic growth turns social reciprocity and gift relationships (two components of GNH) into paid services. It converts pristine ecosystems into sources of timber or minerals. It converts silence into noise, starry skies into urban lights, kitchen gardens into supermarket purchases, mom’s cooking into fast food takeout. It replaces the village storyteller with the TV cartoon, […]

Sacred Economics: Money, the Gift and Society in the Age of Transition

Posted on Jan 12, 2012
Sacred Economics: Money, the Gift and Society in the Age of Transition

Transcribed Talk from January 13, 2012 at “The Hive” in Vancouver, BC.   Thank you for such a warm welcome. I’m quite amazed actually. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to this large a crowd that was just here for me. I’ve spoken to more people at conferences, but that wasn’t just for me. Part […]

Design and Strategy Principles for Local Currency

Posted on Jan 6, 2012
Design and Strategy Principles for Local Currency

Our society is fraught with a contradiction: on the one hand, we have vast needs that go unmet; on the other hand, we have vast amounts of labor, wasted resources, and productive capacity that could in principle meet those needs. Money is supposed to bring them together, but it is failing to do so. We […]

Money and the Turning of the Age

Posted on Dec 7, 2009
Money and the Turning of the Age

This article is fourth in a series, and draws on background covered in “Money: A New Beginning,” Part 1 and 2, and “Money and the Crisis of Civilization.” A German Translation of the essay is also available.   As the economic meltdown proceeds to its next phase, we begin to see the unreality of much […]

Money and the Crisis of Civilization

Posted on Apr 7, 2009
Money and the Crisis of Civilization

This essay has been translated into Spanish and into Romanian.   Suppose you give me a million dollars with the instructions, “Invest this profitably, and I’ll pay you well.” I’m a sharp dresser — why not? So I go out onto the street and hand out stacks of bills to random passers-by. Ten thousand dollars […]

Money: A New Beginning (Part 2)

Posted on Sep 10, 2008
Money: A New Beginning (Part 2)

This article has been translated into Spanish.   Our present monetary system generates a necessity for endless growth, embodies linear thinking, defies the cyclical patterns of nature, and drives the relentless conversion of all forms of wealth into currency. Furthermore, the concept of “interest” is the wellspring of our economy’s ever-intensifying competition, systemic scarcity, and […]

Money: A New Beginning (Part 1)

Posted on Sep 7, 2008
Money: A New Beginning (Part 1)

This essay has been translated into Spanish. An irremediable structural flaw lies at the base of our civilization. I call it Separation, and it has generated all the converging crises — economic, health, ecological, and political — of our day. It manifests as separation from each other in the dissolution of community, separation from nature […]

Who Will Collect the Garbage?

Posted on Jun 27, 2007
Who Will Collect the Garbage?

I had a conversation today about the beautiful world that I believe will be born out of the converging crises of our age. One characteristic of this world will be that each person will have recovered a very basic, simple birthright: to wake up in the morning excited and happy about your work for the […]