Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Their website is www.livingeconomies.org
"BALLE is a growing alliance of businesspeople around the US and Canada, who join local BALLE networks dedicated to building local living economies. BALLE comprises 37 such business networks with more than 11,000 business members overall. It is our mission to catalyze, strengthen, and connect these local business networks. "
Saturday, November 25, 2006
He spoke about the grand challenge the world faces right now - to continue to manage our affairs along the lines of "empire" through domination or through "earth community" partnership with eachother and other beings in nature.
The outcome of our choice will lead to either the "great unraveling" of our world based on the centuries of organizing our affairs "Empire" or the "great turning" a return to a more integrated and sustainable way of living on planet earth.
"Empire organizes by domination at all levels, from relations among nations to relations among family members. Empire brings fortune to the few, condemns the majority to misery and servitude, suppresses the creative potential of all, and appropriates much of the wealth of human societies to maintain the institutions of domination."
"Earth Community, by contrast, organizes by partnership, unleashes the human potential for creative co-operation, and shares resources and surpluses for the good of all. Supporting evidence for the possibilities of Earth Community comes from the findings of quantum physics, evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, anthropology, archaeology, and religious mysticism. It was the human way before Empire; we must make a choice to re-learn how to live by its principles."
He elaborates in an article based on the book:
David points to the grand moment we are in, and the opportunity we all have to change the course of our time through telling new stories of ourselves, our world, our history and our relationships to eachother and other living beings on the Earth.
He emphasizes that this turning need happen in our politics, our culture and our economy:
The Great Turning begins with a cultural and spiritual awakening—a turning in cultural values from money and material excess to life and spiritual fulfillment, from a belief in our limitations to a belief in our possibilities, and from fearing our differences to rejoicing in our diversity. It requires reframing the cultural stories by which we define our human nature, purpose, and possibilities.
The values shift of the cultural turning leads us to redefine wealth—to measure it by the health of our families, communities, and natural environment. It leads us from policies that raise those at the top to policies that raise those at the bottom, from hoarding to sharing, from concentrated to distributed ownership, and from the rights of ownership to the responsibilities of stewardship.
The economic turning creates the necessary conditions for a turn from a one-dollar, one-vote democracy to a one-person, one-vote democracy, from passive to active citizenship, from competition for individual advantage to cooperation for mutual advantage, from retributive justice to restorative justice, and from social order by coercion to social order by mutual responsibility and accountability."
At the Socially Responsible Investment Conference he spoke to us in financial side of the equation about the importance of recognizing the problem of our economy dominated by the unhealthy model of centrally run publicly traded mega-corporations, which are disconnected from it's employees, environment and communities. ( he wrote about this at great length in his prior book "When Corporations Rule the World.")
He emphasized that we must not only reform, and eventually replace what he calls the "death economy" but also must focus on the creation of a "living economy" based on local and regional commercial relationships of businesses based locally and large corporations which are responsive to welfare of the environment, workers and the community.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
New ideas, networks and collaborative brainstorming are some of the most important tasks at hand to create the underpinnnings of the new economy.
I'll let them speak for themselves:
One is http://www.xigi.net/
"xigi is a new kind of research tool for the market that invests in good.
What's unique about xigi is that it interlinks a database of structured information about the organizations, players, and deals in this market with an unstructured conversation (a group blog) about them. It's now in Beta test phase."
and the other is Springfield
The Springfield Open Exchange
The Springfield Open Exchange was inspired by a chemically contaminated, abandoned street in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States of America, where the need was felt to give value, to that which had been abandoned.
Further inspiration is the collaboration by millions of people to develop computer software for free use and distribution - the 'Open Source' software phenomena. The fundamentals of this collaboration will be used for The Springfield Open Exchange.
The Springfield Open Exchange will be a place to introduce, create, explore and collaborate on innovative and evolving financing mechanisms and economic models. The core of these mechanisms is the principles of triple bottom line returns and complete transparency throughout all business activities.
If we all agreed to give greater value to economic models that improved our lives - we could. Some of the models and experiments being contemplated include:
- Employee Stock Ownership
- Green Business Development
- Local Living Economies
- Bottom of the Pyramid Commerce
- Private Stock Exchange
- Mirco Loan Connection
- Alternative Currencies
- Patient Capital Connection
- Sovereign Nation Stock Exchange
- Traditional Financing Instruments
- General Agreements
In the event you are interested in any of these models or are interested in introducing another, please contact us. This part of the site is under development and will be ready soon.
call us at +1.802.251.0110
or by e-mail at email@example.com"
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Simply put, less harm is not good enough. We have to restore ecosystems!
For our economic endeavors, the pioneering work is being done to actually figure out ways to make money while restoring and conserving ecosystems.
In order to do so, we have to define measures to actually show the economic benefits of natural systems and define ways to profit from their protection and restoration.
A group at the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford is developing the field of Conservation finance which integrates biology, business, economics, engineering, law, and a good dose of real world practicality into the design of conservation investments.
Gretchen Daily and other researchers at CCB are creating a framework for conservation finance, in order to how to accomplish two primary outcomes:
- increasing the flow of resources into conservation
- allocating that flow most efficiently.
Here's excerpts from a review on her sight:
"Through engaging stories from around the world, the authors introduce readers to a diverse group of people who are pioneering new approaches to conservation. Daily and Ellison describe the dynamic interplay of science, economics, business, and politics that is involved in establishing these new approaches and examine what will be needed to create successful models and lasting institutions for conservation.
Dan Janzen, a biologist working in Costa Rica who devised a controversial plan to sell a conservation area's natural waste-disposal services to a local orange juice producer.
We meet Adam Davis, an American business executive who dreams of establishing a market for buying and selling shares in environmental services such as water purification by forests and flood protection by wetlands.There's also John Wamsley, a former math professor in Australia who has found a way to play the stock market and protect native species at the same time."
Here's an article I found on and the company he formed. Althought it is no longer in business, the sites he was operating are now healthy wildlife sanctuaries - thus he accomplished a degree of restoration.
"Private efforts to conserve native species, on the other hand, have proven highly successful. One sterling example is Earth Sanctuaries, Ltd. (ESL), a company which has had some dazzling successes bringing back species from the brink of extinction and changing the way that both conservationists and governments think about endangered species protection in Australia.
Earth Sanctuaries, Ltd. (ESL) was incorporated in January 1988. Revenues would be generated by attracting visitors and through consulting work. The goal of the company would be 'to ensure the survival of remaining Australian native flora and fauna within a commercial environment, [and] to maximize the returns to shareholders.'
As of 2002, ESL had successfully reintroduced 25 mammal species to their former range and eradicated feral cats, foxes, rabbits, and goats from more than 10,000 hectares.At its peak of land ownership in 2001, ESL owned 10 sanctuaries covering more than 90,000 hectares Since restructuring in 2002, ESL has sold most of these properties, but they remain wildlife sanctuaries of note.
Warrawong remained ESL's most popular and lucrative site, featuring tent-style accommodations (local planners would not permit permanent lodgings), a restaurant, gift shop, native plant nursery, and dawn and dusk nature walks. It has won numerous tourism awards, including runner up in the Conde Nast Travelers Choice Awards in 1997. In 2001, about 50,000 people visited Warrawong."