The Four Degrees of Sharing

4 - town car shareJanelle Orsi wrote a great piece for Shareable called The Four Degrees of Sharing.

The opening paragraph is a great summation of what Shareable, a new online magazine I’m producing these days, is all about actually.

“Sharing is a big deal these days. Sharing is a growth industry, a new field of study and of practice; it presents a realm of career opportunities, a new way of life, and a concept around which we are restructuring our world. Sharing is the answer to some of today’s biggest questions: How will we meet the needs of the world’s enormous population? How do we reduce our impact on the planet and cope with the destruction already inflicted? How can we each be healthy, enjoy life, and create thriving communities?”

I really like Janelle’s approach.  She’s makes a new perspective easy to grasp.

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The Sharing Solution

My friends Emily and Janelle, authors of The Sharing Solution, are giving a book talk in San Francisco tonight.  Janelle is know to break out in song during her talks, so don’t miss that.  Here’s the details:

Janelle Orsi and Emily Doskow present The Sharing Solution
2251 Chestnut Street (Marina neighborhood), San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 7:30pm

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Beyond Awkward, September 2009 Abundance League Meeting Notes

Last week we had a World Cafe styled brainstorm to raise our collective romantic IQ. Love and relationships are private, yet so necessary to a great life. This gave our temporary mutual aid society around love and relationships a special energy, not to mention sparking lots of laughter. I commend those who came and shared their needs, fears, and ideas so openly. Everyone held space for the vulnerability that comes with love and relationships without taking it too seriously either. Below are the ideas that the group generated about dating and relationships in two 15 minute brainstorms.

Dating ideas:

-For those of you that hate dating, remember that dating is a skill. You can get better at it, which will make it more fun and increase the chances of finding a good mate.
-Don’t have sex out of relationship
-Or to put it another way, dating doesn’t necessarily mean having sex with different people, it can mean a nonsexual way to find someone to commit to
-Find and pursue your passions, this better the odds of finding someone who shares your passions
-Have no expectations, or to put in a Zen way, do not become attached to the outcome, be and act in the moment, this is one of the secrets of doing well in any field

Continue reading ‘Beyond Awkward, September 2009 Abundance League Meeting Notes’

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Meeting Reminder: Beyond Awkward – Dating & Relationship Strategies That Bring Joy & Confidence

Just wanted to remind you about our meeting this Thursday where we’ll share our knowledge about dating and relationships to raise our collective romantic IQ.  You want more love? Come and get it.  See meeting details here.

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September SF League Meeting: Beyond Awkward – Dating & Relationship Strategies that Bring Joy & Confidence

For our September meeting we’ll tap our collective intelligence using the World Cafe process to share ways to make dating and relationships more rewarding.

The idea for this event came out of a conversation with my friend Erica. Dating and romantic relationships are central to creating a great life, but for many people navigating the sea of love is daunting. Dating misfires and relationship meltdowns are the norm. There’s no way to make love pain free, but Erica and I thought that suffering could be reduced, and perhaps dramatically. The pitfalls we discussed included differences in expectations about dating and love relationships, a lack of frameworks for how to find a partner or nurture our most important relationships, a lack of awareness about what we actually need in a partner, and varying levels of interpersonal skill. There’s no question it’s complicated!

As Erica and I talked about the pitfalls, we began to see that many of them could be addressed. And what waited on the other side was something we all seek – more joy and confidence in our romantic lives. We also recognized that there’s a lot of wisdom out there, but it’s not evenly distributed.

So this is a call to all those who either seek wisdom or have wisdom to share. Let’s attempt to raise our collective relationship IQ in a focused burst of effort. In case there’s any question, this event is open to folks of all sexual orientations.

I hope to see you there for an experiment we’ll create together.

When: Thursday, September 17th, 6:30-9:30pm
Where: Citizen Space , 425 Second St., #100, San Francisco

6:30 – 7:00 Arrive – mingle, nosh
7:00 – 7:30 Member announcements lightening round: share your passions, needs & gifts quickly
7:30 – 8:00 Break – nosh, make connections based on announcements
8:00 – 9:15 World Cafe on dating and relationships
9:15 – 9:30 Clean up, take the discussion to the 21st Amendment

-Willingness to help others and receive help
-Healthy stuff for the potluck
-Yourself, friends

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October Abundance League SF, Screening & Discussion of Re:Invention

The media constantly reports how the economy is hurting people, which can be disempowering. To offer a counterpoint and make space for healing, we need to tell new stories that shift the conversation to new possibilities. What if we saw the crisis as the crucible where deep alchemy happens? How would we evolve as a society if we faced the economic meltdown with courage to see the wisdom that is waiting on the other side?

Our guest facilitator for this month is dedicated to exploring these questions. Catherine Goerz is a filmmaker whose creative mission is to catalyze social change by documenting stories of people who have experienced crisis and transformation in this economy. Catherine’s journey into film making began when she lost her job 2008. Inspired by the idea that her layoff was an opportunity for positive transformation, she decided to document how other people were responding to the loss of homes, investments and work. After traveling cross-country for 4 weeks in a RV, attending the inauguration, and shooting interviews, she created a documentary short called “RE: Invention.”

Continue reading ‘October Abundance League SF, Screening & Discussion of Re:Invention’

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The Alternative Economy, Abundance League Notes August 2009

Wow, pretty good turnout for August. Big thanks to Heather, Amy, and Rick for a virtual tour of the alternative economy in the Bay Area. Some of the highlights of our talk:

-The point of establishing different methods of exchange is so that our economic transactions better support what we value most – health, nature, good relationships, being involved in our communities, self-determination, and broadly shared opportunity, etc.. An economy and culture focused maniacally on profit, growth, and marketplace values marginalizes what we hold most dear.

-There are many options for structuring our economic life and that they can coexist. Buying and selling in a marketplace using a single currency is just one option. There’s barter, time banking, sharing, gifting, free markets, alternative currencies, and more. These can co-exist and complement each other in an ecosystem.

-For the designers out there, that levels of trust and the scale of the social system can be a guide as to which method of exchange is optimal. For friends, family or high trust communities, a gift economy or generalized reciprocity works well. For national and global trade, widely accepted currencies work well. At the city or regional scale, barter, time banks, and alternative currencies can work. Your design choices also depend on your social goals.

-That there’s a lot of activity in developing the alternative economy, but it’s early in the game. Much work is needed to strengthen the movement. It’s up to us to create what serves us best.

-That there are many opportunities for us to jump in. For instance, Heather, Rick, and Amy are hosting a Festival of Grassroots Economics in Oakland on September 26th at Humanist Hall, 390 27th near Broadway. They need volunteers. I hope you volunteer or at least attend. Here’s the link to the festival:

The next meeting is September 17th. The topic is Beyond Awkward: Dating & Relationships Strategies That Bring Joy & Confidence. We’ll be sharing World Cafe style how to do better in dating and relationships.

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Reminder: Abundance League Tonight on the Bay Area’s Alternative Economy

I’m fresh out of enticing event language this morning.   Just come out.  Would love to see old friends or meet new ones.

See here for event info.

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Quote of the Moment

Sent to me by Don Steiny.  This is one of the assumptions which the abundance league is based.   My experience is that this is true.  My advice.  Be generous.  Encourage others’ generosity on a regular basis through some structured way, like an event.  Do this over a period of years.  See what happens.   I did this.  My life was transformed in positive ways that far exceeded my expectations.  In fact, I have a hard time processing how great life can be because how ingrained my assumptions are that it’s an dog-eat-dog, zero sum, every man for himself game.  It doesn’t have to be.

“There is a stream of research — which economists routinely ignore, reject, or are unable to process — that shows self-interest is not hardwired but is in fact a social norm that gets stronger or weaker depending on the assumptions that people hold about their own behavior and those around them.”

- Bob Sutton

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The History & Future of Money, July Abundance League Notes

Big thanks to Ken Lynch of SCC Bank and the Carbon Coin project for a wide ranging discussion on currency.  There were several key points from the meeting, below is what I remember.  To all the currency experts out there, feel free to correct me in comments.

-The overarching theme was that monetary systems change over time and that it’s likely we’ll see change in our lifetime, perhaps a big one.

-One change that can be seen over time is a fluctuation between use of the dominant currency and community currencies.  When times are tough, community currencies come into vogue.  When times are good, the dominant currency gains in dominance.  However, the long-term trend is toward fewer currencies.   We may be moving toward a monetary mono-culture.

-That there are advantages to a central bank and currency and disadvantages.  And the same with complementary currencies.   It all depends what kind of society you want.  A central bank and currency makes trade easier, but seems to concentrates power into a small number of hands.  Community currencies may be more economically democratic but can make trade between communities difficult.

-That governments or central banks tend to degrade their currency over time as they accumulate more debt, or something like that.  An example is that the U.S. went of the gold standard in the 70s so that paper money had absolutely no intrinsic value except the trust we put in it.

We didn’t get as much time for discussion as we normally do, but the conversation did continue well into the evening when we moved it to the 21st Amendment.   And it was great to see the co-founders of Abundance League, Scott Levkoff and Polly Whitaker, who brought their inspiring vibe to the experience.


The next meeting is August 20th.   Check out meeting details here.

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