We have accepted, almost universally (with the exception of, maybe, the best things in life) that money is a the ultimate indicator of value and worth. You may be a bricklayer working eight hour shifts and keeling over every night from the toil. You would receive a modest amount of appreciation. You may buy up web domains in bulk, do nothing with them, just wait and some of them will skyrocket in price as they become associated with a brand. Then you sell them off. It’s pure speculation, an income generated from doing no actual productive work at all, just being clever. Your line of work may not be valued as particularly beneficial to society, but your “shrewdness” and business acumen will be admired and gazed upon with envy. Does this make sense? Isn’t it time to develop a new sense of worth?
Based on local/regional value networks – “currencies” (vouchers) or time banks, on local dependencies, relationships and connections, interactions, common good, mutual benefit. Maybe we have become accustomed to seeing ourselves as mobile more than local. With our devices, we are constantly connected and available wherever we are. We hotdesk at work, not having our space as such, floating, not growing any attachments, any roots that hold us down. Still, even with all our uprootedness and frequent travel, whether we like it or not, we are still local, somewhere, at each point in time. Wherever we are, that’s where we contribute our sparks of life, your qualities. It’s also where we consume.
I contend that it will be best for our identity, engagement, subsistence and sustainability, community, purpose and enjoyment of life if the nourishment and materials we need would be produced just around us, and the stuff we no longer need turned into something useful for another kingdom regionally. Water from the roofs and the well in the garden, food from the greenhouse or veg patch or field over there, wood from the forest behind, energy from the sun above or the wind around, ingenuity contributed for mutual recognition and value, upcycled construction materials, soil regenerated from our “droppings”… the possibilities are endless, yet we focus on core competencies, streamline our businesses which usually involves cutting connections and optimising a single value generation stream, quite unlike how natures demonstrates connectivity: all species fulfil several purposes, and all main functions (production, consumption, mineralisation) are performed by multiple species or groups of species.
- Gunter Pauli’s Blue Economy: case studies of localised, multi-value economies – also see Gunter’s publications including “UpCycling”, “The Blue Economy”, “Zen and the Art of Blue”, and his talks available on youtube.
- The Transition Network
- The Permaculture Institute, Association (UK), the Magazine with lots of practical examples, and basic information about the Principles
- Terra Preta – some basic information from the Institute of Soil Fertility Management & Soil Biogeochemistry at Cornell University; there are various attempts to capitalise on the concept, e.g. the Biochar process, and even some attempts to patent the process of generating Terra Preta, which seems strange given that the method is 5,000 years old and therefore should be in the public domain by now!
Also see nature page.