The Gift Economy

Did you come along to our December meeting? If so, you would have learnt a little about the gift economy and experienced a gift circle. This appeared in the newsletter afterwards and provides some links for you to delve further into the subject.

The Gift Economy

In contrast to the market economy’s insistence that we monetise everything that we do or give, the gift economy works on giving what we can and trusting that we will be able to find what we need from others. And while it might sound radical, it is a system that has been found in some smaller societies around the world, and is already evident here in things like Freecycle, open software, ‘couch surfing’ holidays and, of course, the Incredible Edible movement.

Lewis Hyde’s books The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World and Common as Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership are ground-breaking works worth asking about in your local bookshop.

Mark Boyle has lived without money for some time, and you can read a Guardian article about him, or try his website, The Moneyless Manifesto.

There is also a website, the Gift Economy, with lots of articles, videos and links to explore further.

And I would like to recommend the YouTube video of Amanda Palmer’s TED talkThe Art of Asking, which explores what can happen when you are prepared to ask people to give.