Tag Archives: butterfly economy

Occupy Together and Bring in the Butterfly Society

Things are happening so fast now that it is impossible for me to keep up with even a small part of it. Fortunately there are a few of us who are tied into many information sources and are able to follow some of the main currents. Tom Atlee is one of those. Here below is part of his latest, which comes from his newsletter and website. I encourage you to visit his site and follow the many source links provided there.

As I’ve said before, my own view is that society is going through a metamorphic change. The new emerging Butterfly Society will look nothing like the disintegrating caterpillar society. Perhaps the Occupy movement is a manifestation of that process by which the previously dormant “imaginal cells” become active and begin to form the organs of the Imago (the butterfly). The transition will challenge our adaptability, our strength, our courage, and our imaginations. Let us resolve to make it an opportunity to bring out the best that is in us.

From Tom Atlee: http://tom-atlee.posterous.com/occupy-the-future-together; Short URL:  http://bit.ly/noDVm7

Dear friends,

Things are still wildly bubbling in and around the Occupy movement, which is still radically expanding and evolving.  Despite many growing pains, the co-creative, committed engagement of the participants is inspiring.  So many among them are using the disturbances in and around them as a motivation for personal growth and collective innovation.

Occupy Together is, as they say, a phenomenon.  It is such a passionate, complex, self-organizing initiative that even chaos and complexity theories have a hard time adequately explaining it.  It is ALIVE!

The word “occupy” – as a connotation-rich idea or meme – is itself a fascinating part of the movement’s impact.  It invites everyone who wants a new and better world, to claim a space where they can work together to co-create that world.  So far, that space is usually a public park.  But that’s expanding and morphing:  More people are talking about occupying a school, a workplace, a bank, a heart, a profession, an industry, a government office, the airwaves, our minds – any “place” where some piece of the new world needs to evolve and replicate itself to become the actual New World.  And the word “occupy” suggests commitment to that place, persistence in it, putting down some roots, claiming and owning and taking responsibility for holding it and making it good.  That’s why, as Chris Hedges notes in the video below, that when one occupier is removed, ten more show up.  That’s why I hear someone has bought or rented a large indoor space near OWS for use by the protesters during the winter.  We all know that this is our new world these folks are holding space for and carving out under rain and billy clubs.  They are working on our behalf and so many of us naturally feel called to work on theirs.  We kinda know we’re all in the same boat now.

In communities of practice that use Open Space and World Cafe, facilitators speak of “holding space for conversations that matter”, and of the importance of having a clear intention or focus or powerful questions into and around which such conversation can flow as it makes its way to its not-yet-seen sea – the future outcome that is “wanting to emerge” in and from the group’s passionate explorations.  They speak of self-organization being driven by “passion and responsibility”.  I see OWS and its kindred occupations providing a passionate focus that resonates with millions of people of all types, in all sectors and strata of society, and holding space for a whole-society conversation about what’s going on in our world, about where we’re headed, about where we want to go.  It doesn’t matter who we are or what our place is in the society.  OWS asks us to look around us, see what needs to be done, and to occupy the space needed to make it happen.  “Take responsibility for what you love.”  A far better future is waiting for us to occupy it.

I hope you find the many articles and videos below as inspiring, fascinating and useful as I’ve found them.

Blessings on the Journey.

Coheartedly,

Tom

My Summer 2011 Newsletter

The long silence

It’s been a long time since I sent out my previous newsletter in mid-February. That doesn’t mean I’ve been inactive—quite the contrary, I’ve just been too busy to document all the things I’ve been doing or to compile the list of important links and resources I want you to know about. This edition is intended to remedy that.

I returned to the U.S. from Asia in mid-February for a four month stint, but am now back in Thailand for an indefinite period. While in America, much of my time and energy was taken up with preparing and delivering some new presentations, providing media interviews, and trying in vain to keep up with email and other correspondence. The first few weeks in Tucson were devoted to resting up, reconnecting with friends and colleagues, and taking care of some personal business details.

By the middle of April, I had completed a new presentation which elaborates the themes that I began expounding more than a year ago about societal metamorphosis and the “Butterfly economy,” and added more material about “new finance” to my perennial topic of alternative exchange.

The North American tour

Long-time friend and associate, Les Squires, made it possible for me to venture up to Colorado for a few days in April to conduct a series of presentations, discussions, and consultations. Highlights of that trip included my presentation titled, Money and Finance in the Emerging Butterfly Economy, which I delivered to the Highland City Club in Boulder, and another presentation on The Butterfly Economy at the Louisville Public Library. These were co-sponsored by various Transitions groups and individuals and will eventually be made available on my website http://beyondmoney.net.

I had a rewarding but exhausting trip back east in May, with family visits sandwiched in between presentations in Florida and Toronto. The first of these was a workshop that I was asked to provide for members of the Financial Planning Association at their annual retreat. I titled it, Financial Planning in the Emerging Butterfly Economy: Realities, Trends and Discontinuities. You can view the power point slide show at http://beyondmoney.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/greco-fpa-powerpointrevpost.pps. I have a recording of my narrative which I would like to combine with the slide show but I’ll need some help to do that. If anyone has the skills and the time to work with me on that, I’d greatly appreciate it.

The hardest part was the last 4 days in Toronto where I gave a lecture at the MINT film festival on the first day, two TV interviews on the second, and workshops on the third and fourth days, with a lot of consultations in between. That trip was hosted by Glen Alan who, as the new director, has put renewed vigor into the Toronto Dollar currency project. Glen, who happens to be a musician and operates a professional recording studio, is well-connected, very effective, and a fountain of energy.

All of the Toronto proceedings were professionally recorded and are in the process of being edited. Glen and Ron Elmy are putting together a DVD that will be available from The MINT Film Festival website in less than a month. Watch for it on http://mintff.org. You can download a short video teaser now at http://www.ronelmy.com/files/thg.zip.

Already posted are my interview with Frank Touby (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvCruoYcN4Q), and my interview with Hugh Reilly (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7nOYCRHjOY&feature=player_detailpage).

My particular vision, interests and expertise are, I think, fairly well expressed in these interviews.

I’m hopeful that my Toronto visit and the follow-up activities will have a far reaching positive impact.

Funding the Common Good

CREW

Sometime toward the end of last year I mentioned an exciting new project called, CREW, the purpose of which is to provide a perpetual pool of capital to finance both for-profit and non-profit enterprises that help to create resilient, sustainable communities. It is one instance of an emerging phenomenon called crowd sourcing or crowd funding. CREW is not intended to provide any direct personal gain. Money we put in is not a loan, nor is it an ownership share, but a gift that is intended to be a permanent investment in the common good.

I have great expectations for this initiative, and as a member of the CREW Founder’s Circle, I invite you to join my CREW. We will together decide how the funds in our joint stewardship account will be invested. Just go to http://www.CREWfund.org/tomg, watch the short video, and click on the orange Join Now button.

Recent Posts to my Website

For those of you who do not regularly follow my posts, I’d like to highlight a few especially important ones. You can be notified of new posts by following me (tomazgreco) on Twitter.

  • The war against the middle class. It is ever more apparent that there is a deliberate policy to impoverish and disempower the middle class. As far back as 2006, billionaire Warren Buffet was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” More recently, Senator Bernie Sanders, in a speech to his Senate colleagues, plainly described the war that is being waged against the middle class by the super-wealthy elite and their minions in Congress. Find it at this post, http://beyondmoney.net/2011/03/28/what-happened-to-class-war-in-america/, and search “Sanders” on my site for additional material on the subject. This is not simply an American war, but one that is being waged globally, as we see from the austerity that is being imposed on Ireland, Greece, and other “developed” coutries.

One aspect of that war is the ongoing shifting of the tax burden from corporations and wealthy individuals onto the backs of the poor and middle-class. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains that part of it in a 2 minute video. See it at, http://beyondmoney.net/2011/06/20/the-truth-about-the-economy/.

Miscellany

  • I’ve written a new article, Reclaiming the Credit Commons, the Key to a Peaceful and Happy Society, that will be included in an anthology tentatively titled, Self-Sustaining Abundance: The Commons, Beyond Market and State. The book project is being supported by The Heinrich Boell Foundation of Germany, and is being co-edited by Silke Helfrich and David Bollier. It will be published early next year in English, German and Spanish.
  • One of my published articles will be included in the upcoming anthology What Comes After Money? which will be published later this year by Evolver Editions (http://www.evolvereditions.com) in partnership with North Atlantic Books, and will be distributed by Random House.
  • The Chinese translation of my book, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, is now in print.

I’m reassessing how I want to spend my time and energy from here on out. I’d like to be a little less busy, and direct the bulk of my attention to aspects of my work that are most creative, enjoyable, and effective. I’ll be cutting back on correspondence and lecturing, and emphasizing consultations and collaborations with groups and individuals working on projects that show promise of making major breakthroughs toward interest-free cashless trading, equitable finance, and economic democracy.

May we all find the courage to do what needs to be done, in a joyful spirit and with love in our hearts,

Thomas

Mobile phone (Thailand): +66 84 373 5645
Skype/Twitter name: tomazgreco

The Time of the Chrysalis?

As I sit sweltering here in Malaysia (and before this, in Thailand) observing the busyness, the massive amounts of construction, the noisy moving to and fro, the widening extremes of opulence and degradation, the scramble of people to earn or save a few pennies to buy a piece of the good life, I often feel despair about the human condition. But, as I’ve said in my books and presentations, it is clear that civilization is experiencing a multi-dimensional mega-crisis which must lead to a thorough social, economic, and political restructuring. I liken it to the process of metamorphosis from the caterpillar to the butterfly. My soul yearns for peace and quiet, fellowship, and positive engagement in the metamorphic process.

Where to find it? How to proceed? These are the vexing questions of the moment.

Over the past three years my nomadic lifestyle has provided numerous adventures of discovery in many parts of Asia. I think my time in Asia has given me a pretty good sense of the developmental trends and the conditions that ordinary people here must contend with. The apparent lull in the breakdown process over the past few months should not cause us to become complacent but should be taken as an opportunity to prepare ourselves and to intensify our efforts to build a better world.

The global economy, like the caterpillar must at some point stop growing. That point seems now to have been reached. If you have not seen it, the post by Darryl Schoon, Davos: The Bomb Shelter, clearly expresses my own views that the current financial crisis is unprecedented and “the crisis will end in a complete breakdown of the banker’s system of credit and debt…”

The next phase, the chrysalis phase, requires that we take the accumulated resources that are at our disposal and use them to create the new butterfly economy. It is not easy to ascertain how that process will proceed, what the specific challenges will be, or how we might best negotiate what Robert Theobald called, The Rapids of Change. Carolyn Baker’s book, Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilzation’s Collapse, may help us in that regard. Major portions of the book can be read for free at books.google.com.

Each of us now needs to ask, “Where shall I spin my personal cocoon, where is my cohort community, and how can I help the emergence of a new, sustainable, more harmonious world.