Saturday, September 15, 2012

Celebrating Free Money Day

Dr. Donnie Maclurcan plans to spend part of this afternoon giving away a total of $500 to complete stranger in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. 

"Free Money Day is a global invitation for people to explore, in a liberating and fun way, what it might be like if our relationships to money were a little better," says Donnie in a news release.

Which explains why this Australian doctor, who is a co-founder of Post Growth Institute, the sponsoring organization, will be giving away money this afternoon.

And he isn't the only one, according to the news release: "One hundred and twenty-two Free Money Day events are scheduled across 6 continents and 23 countries, from India to Nigeria, Colombia, Australia and the U.S. More than US $3,600 has been pledged."

People who receive money on this, the second annual Free Money Day, are being asked to give half of it away to someone else.

Today's activities are a way for people to explore the dynamics of sharing. In the process, Post Growth hopes people will reflect on ways of creating prosperity and well being in a world plagued with financial problems, and poverty on an individual level. The organization recognizes there are limits and costs to growth, an idea many of us were first introduced to back in the 70s by the Club of Rome's book Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind

The notions in that book have developed over the years, and are often expressed in terms of sustainability and the need for public policies to make that possible.

A powerful voice for sustainability today is the Worldwatch Institute which each year publishes a book called State of the World devoted to an aspect of sustainable development. Last year's State of the World, subtitled Innovations that Nourish the Planet, focused on food. State of the World 2012 focuses on Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity.

Post Growth shares similar concerns about sustainability, but seems to place more emphasis on involving ordinary people at the local level who would form a global community. From the Post Growth web site:
Our aim is to create a movement of 10 million people who are convinced of the need for futures beyond economic growth, believe they are possible and feel inspired and supported enough to play a role in their emergence. Post Growth members work to create thought-provoking and reasoned information and initiatives, opportunities for meaningful action and connect like-minded individuals and groups working towards post growth futures.
Currently Post Growth is a virtual community, with collaborators spread across many countries and our core team hailing from Australia, the United States, Canada, Greece and (occasionally) Sweden. We come from a wide range of backgrounds each committed to making a better world for everyone.

Donnie explains, "Free Money Day is a global invitation for people to explore, in a liberating and fun way, what it might be like if our relationships to money were a little different....

"As living becomes progressively harder for many individuals, sharing becomes more obvious as a path to sustainability.... 

"With world debt at over US $190 trillion, and debt connected to growth economics by necessity, now is the time to explore how we might thrive in futures beyond economic growth."

The timing of Free Money Day is no accident, as it coincides with a pivotal event in the 2008 financial crisis: the fourth anniversary of Lehman Brothers investment bank collapse.

I'm thankful to Donnie Maclurcan for informing me about Free Money Day. Before starting my morning writing I made a quick check of Tweetdeck, and he had sent me a direct message asking me to write about it.

That invitation neatly answered the question I was struggling with: what will I write about this morning?

And it raises another questions also: Who might I give money to this fine day?

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the excellent article and for getting into the spirit of Free Money Day!

    Jen and the Post Growth Institute team