[permaculture] The Earth Bank

Robyn Francis erda at nor.com.au
Fri Feb 19 17:13:06 EST 2010

I was instrumental in getting the Earthbank Society going in Sydney
Australia in 1984 with Robert Rosen, Alice Wise and several others. It was
never established to handle any money or funds, but to promote the concepts
and strategies for ethical investment, community economics and right

We ran several national Earthbank Conferences in the '80s that put the
concept of ethical investment on the radar of the mainstream business
community and media, and inspired numerous ethical investment funds,
community loan initiatives and promoted LETs and complimentary currencies
here in OZ. Robert Rosen became a key player working within the emerging
Ethical Investment movement over the next few decades, and is now often
referred to as the 'father' of EI in Australia. The Earthbank played its
role as an important catalyst. It no longer exists but what it inspired
lives on.

The PIJ (Permaculture International Journal) used to have an Earthbank
Section, which is probably the most comprehensive written record of its
activities and the EI and Community economic initiatives from the late '80's
to 2000. None of this has been put on the web.

Re legal structures, as with any enterprise the appropriate one for the job
is selected. In Australia there's investment trusts, Maleny Credit Union,
community systems have used non-for-profit legal structures such as Company
Limited by Guarantee and Incorporated Associations.
There's a lot of interesting case studies I could share, and would love to
go into more detail but have other urgent tasks clamouring for attention...

On 20/02/10 1:14 AM, "Andrew McSwain" <aeromax.way at gmail.com> wrote:

> I ran across an audio recording of Bill Mollison called "Funding The
> Revolution" wherein he described his use of credit-unions and
> socially-responsible investment banking to fund permaculture projects
> worldwide. He named his project The Earth Bank.
> There doesn't seem to be an online presence. Is it still in existence?
> Where/How can I contact them?
> If not that's not much of a matter for me, My real interest is in learning
> more about the history of it's formation as well as the actual business
> model (combination of legal structures used, how they applied them, etc.).
> If anyone can help me out, you would make my day! :D
> Thx,

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