Another sensational morning on the Ridgedale Farm as the zenith of the 2nd PDC for 2014 draws nearer. Richard asked me if I'd like to follow the PDC again and write about the experience as we go and each day I am reminded of not just the incredible amount of information being placed in front of the students to gobble up, but also the diversity of people and the stories that are here in this moment. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience.
Speaking of rewards, we start the day on a positive note looking at money…yaaaay! It’s very necessary to understand if we are going to move our living standards, our emotional wellbeing and our planet forward. We've already mentioned at least a dozen micro- enterprises people could leave here and establish to create win- win- win businesses on super low start ups, from waste to mushroom production, property overhauls and complimentary farm enterprises for low risk, low capital start up.
A quick wake up call “the modern banking system is based on debt right, fractional reserve system of banking where money is lent out that doesn’t exist, private groups creating money and lending it to banks; the vehicles of the Capitalist Industrial Militarized Complex are largely unelected unaccountable groups”. We delve briefly into history to how the Meta system of economics seems to operate.
“If there was no debts we wouldn’t have money.” This might be easy to take out of context but Richard has a vast knowledge of these kinds of systems and really is quite captivating to hear him talk about it, he’s also very good at decoding it.
The good news is that Richard has just as many solutions as he does lists of concerning situations. Starting with “Are you in Debt? Can you design your way out of that? A very practical thing that you can do…make a money log for 6 months, make a simple note of every penny you spend and what comes in and just look at the patterns. It’s amazing to really look at where & how you use your money, money is a vote. Most of us go through life without an empowered relationship with money. There's a lot of discussion on creating new systems, what about just empowering ourselves in what we already have.”
There’s the International Forum on Globalisation (IFG), a research and educational institution composed of leading activists, economists, scholars, and researchers providing analysis and critiques on the cultural, social, political, and environmental impacts of economic globalization.
“Money in itself is just incredible as a communication tool, we’ve never designed a better communication tool than money…. yet we often have a very distressed relationship with it. How can we apply patterns & principles we observe in natural systems to this energy flow?”
“One defining principle for me is it needs to be local…. This is why we don’t even need to be certified, say Organic for example, we can totally outshine that by having intimate relations with our customers, wording out how we manage; we've looked at how some of the best farms around the world are doing this very skillfully. That kind of community embedding & support brings resiliency, and takes one away from fluctuating abstract market conditions.” Back home the most successful stall at our local farmers markets is Jim, not certified and he has no intention to be. He’s local and it’s an intimate consumer experience… winning!
We look at alternatives systems(LET systems, alternative currencies, local currencies in transition towns). How do we raise money for projects? We talk about Crowd Sourcing (kickstarter, indigogo) and investment sites like Crowd Cube, and look at what makes successful campaigns. We are seeing now that people are throwing very large amounts of money at ideas and businesses that they see as valuable and that are win-win-win. “It’s a way of doing market research while funding the business.”
We go back to Holistic Management, which assumes that successful enterprises must be Ecologically, Economically & Socially regenerative. You can't really separate the three if you want to design something "future- proof" RP.
I always love listening to the conversations that come up, people’s responses to this topic when Richard starts, I don’t really know, ‘decoding’ it in a way. I associate it with teaching children about colours for the first time. I can vividly remember when I learnt that green is made of blue and yellow. ”Whaaaaat!?!?!” went my expanding 4 year old mind. The same is in this class at this moment. An experience they have such an intimate relationship with, now being unveiled for what it really is, or more so, how it has been constructed to appear and be used on and by… as debt.