This is an amusing day-in-the-life look at a group of farmers in a small Russian town who created their own barter currency to avoid the runaway inflation and stiff loan fees, and the way the government is trying to crack down on them. The trial is covered by a journalist who knows more about the law then the farmers, and it gives a great insight as to how a local currency comes into being and is used effectively. And it shows how small-town local wisdom can make so much more sense than federal laws. For example, the DA attempts to prove his case by saying, “if someone wants to get back what you owe them and you decide not to give it to them, then legally no one can get anything out of you. It’s all dependent on your reputation and good name. From the point of view of the law this isn’t enough!” This could be any small town in any country.
Otto Scharmer, Co-founder of the Presencing Institute and lecturer at MIT, published a Blog in the Huffington Post this week laying out a pattern language to discuss how to access deeper layers of the social field to help people awaken to their co-creative potential. While the world of presencing may seem far from the world of economics, as Otto uncovers in this article, the need for co-creative flow within and between organizations is a blind spot that may be holding many groups back from being truly generative. At one point in the article, Otto lists eight “acupuncture points” at the core of transforming the economy. Being able to re-think these economic assumptions, and allowing new concepts to emerge without resistance is essential to our ability to create radical and lasting social change.
Sometimes it seems like we’ve already got big corporations on the run with new models like AirBnB, Uber, B-corps, time banks, open-source solutions and such. So why is Wall Street only getting more powerful? This article teaches us that there is a hierarchy of “new” power that needs to be in place to take on the old consumption-based companies and we can’t stop at just educating ourselves on a couple of them. Just like any good succession plan, we need to graduate from the simplest and least effective structure and move towards adoption of the most effective, with full participation in all levels.
This article is a great overview of these structures and should make you want to dive in to each!
From Triple Pundit, article The Next Stage of Organizational Evolution states: “The old lens of separation, scarcity and selfishness are giving way to the deeper eyes of ecological-awareness … This ecological consciousness is the premeditation of regenerative, flourishing, soulful business; our future depends on it.”
Businesses as well as governments are dealing with the effects of climate change, and it is now obvious we need to move in a new direction. Public sentiment towards socially and environmentally conscious businesses is growing rapidly and new models, such as benefit corporations, are becoming mainstream. The old strategy of extracting resources for short-term gain without regards to the future is no longer working. This article steps us through some recent trends and emerging business plans, while giving insight as to why organizations are shifting from the traditional top-down hierarchies to more organic, nature-inspired models. We will all need to re-tool our way of thinking about management and capital in this new, challenging time.
“This new report considers a number of policy options and investments that would help advance a circular economy and benefit the climate and job market.” Read the full article.
What is a circular economy? It’s recycling on a global scale… output from one industry powers another, reusing valuable materials that are currently being thrown away as more is extracted. Find out more here.
There are many books about money out there, how to make it, how to save it, and how to spend it wisely. One of the best is Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin. Her approach to money is more about mentality, scarcity vs. abundance, than numbers and gimmicks. She eloquently describes the traps that people get caught in thinking about money. She explains how you can adjust your thinking from worrying about not having enough to intentionally deciding how your time and energy is invested in meeting your needs an desires. This is an essential skill to have to be financially sustainable. This book is a game changer for many. There is also an audio version that is equally amazing. Building a better relationship with money is a core component of Financial Permaculture. Learn more about this book and Vicki Robin’s new book about eating sustainably at her website vickirobin.com.
The Plant in Chicago has re-purposed a 93,500 square foot industrial building into an incubator for sustainable food production businesses. It houses demonstration farms, education facilities, and 125 good jobs for the community. They are exemplifying the principles of Financial Permaculture by cycling energy and resources between businesses, stacking functions, and creating financial intimacy among a group of business owners and the community. Their business model combines a Non-Profit and a For-Profit to provide flexibility in raising funds, accounting for profits, and sharing resources. In many ways, this is a great example of a Regenerative Enterprise. Visit their website to see their Current Tenents, Classes and Workshops, and Events.