The Economics of Peace conference, held October 18-23 in Sonoma, California, brought together an amazing group of people working to bring about a different world built upon a different vision of economics, an economics that serves the needs of us all.
"As we act to reduce aggregate consumption, we need to recognize that Earth’s bounty is the shared birthright of all living beings and learn to share it equitably to the benefit of all," said David Korten. "The potential benefits of sharing prosperity go far beyond securing our mutual survival."
Andrew Kimbrell touched on the same core idea in his talk:
Indigenous societies were never based on market economies but on a mix of reciprocal service and exchange, redistribution of resources, and gift-giving in local situations. These societies based their economic behavior—redistribution, reciprocation, gift-giving, and localization—on the archetypal patterns of the natural systems around them. To survive we must follow their lead, and without delay. We must learn and integrate the great economic lessons of the salmon.'
What are the practical steps needed to shift into this new economy?
At root it is all about finding ways to nurture our sense of place and create a renewed sense of community. Creating alternative currencies is one piece of the puzzle, as Tom Greco explained. Timebanks are an excellent tool that have taken root in many different locations. Local currencies are another. We can become part of, or start, a worker owned cooperative as exemplified by the amazingly successful Mondragon cooperative from Spain. We can join up with the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, which brings "together small business leaders, economic development professionals, government officials, social innovators, and community leaders to build local living economies. We provide local, state, national, and international resources to this new model of economic development."
Finally, at Economics of Peace, we also learned about the Slow Money movement, which seeks to nurture capital "built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence." Want to know more? Please do watch this video: