I decided to pursue this passion about economics, money, the dysfunctional relationship we, both as individuals and as a society, have with them and how we can heal such relationship. What a journey!! It all started without my conscious consent to it.
I came to Australia to do a master of environmental management. I had a couple of student type of jobs to 'survive', always concerned about the economy, I didn't exactly know why but something didn't seem to be right, specifically in terms of economic development and environmental degradation, sustainability seemed impossible in these terms. However, money and economics always seemed to be the main platform sustaining our delusions. Then I met Paula and Alvaro, who God put in my way to start a conscious process of awakening. After many many maaaaany personal issues around frustrating mainstream green jobs, I ended up attending an Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, became a CAIBU, also member of Brislets and Transition Annerley, all with the purpose to get out of the old dream and built a new one for the global population.
In all this research about money I decided to tap into my own narrow idea that if your work is good you must be a volunteer or if you get some money, it must be very little. Then I came up with Changing the Economic Dream event and said "ok, the basic problem with money is that it is hoarded because it's been kept scarce so you create some sort of feeling of never having enough, or always needing more because otherwise you won't be able to live. Also, the way we create money makes it more available to those who already have it, and more scarce to those who already lack it...right, I'll charge enough to cover the costs, enough to provide an excellent event and enough to reinvest and redistribute profits amongst those who also want to change the economic structure but like me, lack the tool".
From the moment I made the price known to the public, I started a frantic race to make sure everything was covered. I abandoned my self to the event, all sorts of anxious feelings came up, the head would not stop asking me questions, all day sitting in front of the computer, trying to be everywhere at once, the house started to reflect my inner state of unease, my personal relationships also reflected that, plus I haven't been able to make clear to people what is it that I want from this and future events. Then I got a series of emails that took me deeper into my fear to failure and further away from my inner peace. Things that usually didn't affect me, started to do so, I became more vulnerable to the 'out there' world and felt into the old game of allowing the illusion of the world to impact my state of being. I felt into the game of "you" and "me", and "those who hurt me"...I discovered that my relationship to money is not at all healed and that I have a fear to failure, but I also remember that there is no way to fail because in any case I will learn. Once I pass away some time in the future, what will happen to failure?? Failure doesn't exist...I'm not here for others to think that I am perfect. If I depend on what others think and say of me, then I am prey of the world, then I am not in the world but of the world. I even discovered that I was giving strict monetary value to all my work!! As if money reflects the true value of what we do...that is how entrenched the illusion is.
Big breath....a week away with family and the opportunity to sit in front of the sea, recharge my batteries and return to daily spiritual practices, learn from my plants, thank all this and start returning to the flow of Life and the Love of God. There is nothing wrong with money. I believe that the problem is our relationship with it. That is, our relationship with ourselves that is reflected in how we see money, how we create it, why we create it, what we use it for and what we want to do with it. Our relationship with money says quite a lot of how we see ourselves and how we value our actions. Money is a catalyst of social processes but it is us who make of it a limitation to the full expression of what we are capable of.
Thus I managed to let go some of my own issues and decided to change venue and change some of the logistics. By doing this I am able to reduce registration costs, incorporate more community building features to the event, give people more options to attend, encourage trading in BrisLets, take pressure out of my shoulders, and finally I thought that instead of me reporting on how I am reinvesting money from the events, it would be best if people voluntarily donate to a list of projects I am involved in. That way they could use the donation process to discover their own relationship with money. There is still information to gather but, things are flowing much easier than a 2 weeks ago and I feel I at peace with the decisions.
Mixing Symposium and economics
The Symposium gives a general framework of the state of the world and some of the causes, but it doesn't specifically tap on the economic issue even when the topic is tacitly present throughout the material. My purpose is to work on that bit that I feel is missing. I would like to provide the space for like-mind people to start conversations in whatever way feels right for them to enter in action specifically in the area of economics...I say 'specifically' but notice that there is a HUGE space for infinite possibilities to work on. That is why I chose Open Space Technology so that you make the calls and follow your own ideals instead of me telling you what I think is right. I'll provide a framework to the topics but you will make the decisions, and if you even want to say that the framework is not appropriate, that is great, that is how we'll progress in this journey, that's what your feedbacks are for and I thank you in advance for that.
A project for the future is to specifically create an Economic Symposium with the help of, or in partnership with, the Pachamama Alliance, to make sure I keep the intention and purpose of it.
Summarizing a couple of projects I have in mind, this is what you would be able to donate to:
Community Currency Magazine, where I am in charge of following up what's happening in Australia and New Zeland to report, link and write articles about it. Next issue will be out in about 3 weeks or so.
Community Exchange System (CES), which is the accounting platform that most of Australian LETS, including Brislets, use to register their tradings, is working on the Open Source version of it, which involves huge amounts of money. It would benefit 8000 of users in Australia and many other thousands of people around the world. It is a big step towards efficiency of the system.
Community Forge, which is working on how to allow trading between the CES and other systems to make trading even more world wide.
The Future Of Money Project, by Venessa Miemis consists in a video interviewing money innovators...I am in love of the vision of these people.
The New Economics for Humanity, which is to provide as much space as possible in many places and start creating the community of people who want to work on this...there is an awful lot of work to do...so every cent you donate will help. I'll create a Donations page where you'll be able to choose where you want your money to go.
Thanks to you all and thanks to all the people behind this work...yes, all of you.