In an effort to provoke some productive and inspiring dialogues about alternative economic possibilities, the Post Growth Institute is launching Free Money Day, a simple but hopeful initiative intended to engage people in the very conversations that just might turn this world – and our communities – around.
On September 15, 2011, people worldwide will be handing out money – for free! Here’s how it works: Equipped with nothing more than a Free Money Day sign, a video or still camera, and a bucket of cash, people will hand out money – two coins or notes at a time – to complete strangers, asking them to pass one of them on to someone else. The purpose is to raise awareness and provoke conversations about the benefits of sharing economies, and the possibilities for establishing them in the here and now. After the event is over, videos and photos can be sent to PGI for uploading, connecting local activities with a provocative global event.
While the act of giving out money is symbolic – as are the amounts that will be shared on Free Money Day – the informal conversations that will be initiated are very real. Critical engagement with the status quo have already brought about concrete alternative economic practices like collaborative consumption, cooperatives, food security projects, time banking, and more.
Free Money Day is not about rejecting the money system altogether. Some of the benefits that come with a money-based economy, such as the ability to save for a rainy day, the ability to transport wealth across distances and disperse it among people, and the ability to store it and retrieve it when and where it is needed are indeed helpful. These are potentially democratizing features of money.
Yet some things just aren’t working. Witness ever increasing forms of debt, the exacerbation of various global inequities, the cultural mindset of infinite growth on a finite plane
What comes around, goes around
The purpose of Free Money Day is to re-engage with money, re-exploring the way we relate with it and use it, and the possibilities that exist outside of it, in order to reinvigorate some of these democratizing ideals and bring them into practice.
You can register to host your own Free Money Day event here, and sign up to receive updates here. All the information you’ll need to organize a fun and successful event is posted on the Free Money Day website. And don’t forget to join the discussions leading up to and following September 15th. We hope you’ll agree that this provides a great opportunity for us all to have some courageous conversations with the bonus of some fun added in!
–Sharon Ede, Transition Voice