I’m looking for critical readers whose comments will help me move towards the final version.
Could you help?
I think eGaia is more relevant than ever, as we are hitting the limits of the Earth in ways that people can see, with the melting of the Arctic, extreme weather events becoming common, huge pressure on food supplies, and more. The money system and the economy are on the edge of meltdown, with a collapse possible at any time. Public trust in the banks and the money system are so low that the radical ideas about money in this book might seem more acceptable.
At the same time, people are far more closely linked electronically, through social networks and mobile phones. Many of the ingredients of a collaborative culture are here, just waiting to be put together.
And there is an alternative vision growing, as many movements, like the Transition Network show. eGaia contributes to an emerging positive vision of the future that is sustainable, collaborative and community-based: a human family looking after each other and the Earth.
I think it adds some new ideas to what is emerging and pulls together various existing threads:
- a global collaborative economy that is locally-based but globally coordinated, bottom up, not top down
- using information systems to take over some of the functions of money so that the economy is driven by wellbeing of people and planet, not profit
- a range of exchange systems mixing gift economy approaches and complementary currencies
- a social system with constructive conflict resolution built in, not power based.
- a description of the natural world that shows that conflict is not the dominant process: symbiosis and cooperation are as important, and that humans evolved as the cooperative ape.
Before it is published properly I want to gather people’s views of it widely, so I am clearly reflecting the views of the community, and also to help me catch what is missing or mistaken. This will probably be my last big push on these ideas, and I want them to make a significant difference!
I know people are busy, so I am not asking people to read it all (although I would be very pleased if you did!) The book is in 4 parts, and I hope readers will read and comment on one or more. My primary questions are: Does this overall vision of the future make sense to you? Is it what you would like to see? What is in it that you don’t like, that grates on you? How should I change it? And how would you suggest that I promote the book? And of course, tell me about any errors you spot, whether conceptual or just typos or grammar/spelling.
I am planning to start serious work on the final version in the middle of November, so please send me your comments by 15th Nov. at the latest, and much sooner if possible.