[permaculture] The Earth Bank

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Sat Feb 20 01:19:47 EST 2010

Andrew, have you looked at the Mondragon cooperative movement and its 
associated bank?

While it's not clear to me exactly what you have in mind, I suggest that

one ought not to be too ambitious about any particular instance of the 
kind of organization you are are thinking of, and

and it's more important that the pattern should be robust and adaptable, 
and capable of being reproduced many times,

and that the basic information about how to make it work should be 
easily understandable and widespread.

I wouldn't worry too much about sucking money from the conventional 
financial sector; more about enabling people to keep their own money 
doing what they want it to do; enabling healthy enterprises to grow and 
starving the unhealthy.

Keep biological evolution in mind.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Andrew McSwain wrote:
> Thank you very much Wesley and Robyn. Just the little effort you guys put in
> to share this information has already helped me tremendously in
> understanding the field that stands before me.  I'll check out the Credit
> Union and hunt down copies of that Journal.
> I am a business and investment specialist, but I started my foray into the
> permaculture scene and "alternative perspectives" long before i got heavily
> involved with the finance world.
>  Basically what I am creating is a mechanism that functions like a siphon- a
> Robin Hood Bank- to suck money from the financial sector (financial capital;
> i.e. money) through a variety of convoluted investment schemes then and
> transform it into social and ecological capital, that is, forms that can
> benefit society and the earth. Hopefully in the process it will also provide
> a solution to some of our culture's pathologies/neurosis and improve the
> quality of our spiritual life.
> Projects like
> •Credit Unions that fund renewable energy installations for schools,
> •Insurance and Retirement for Change-Agents,
> •and funding permaculture initiatives in the Brazillian Forests (in
> conjunction with the Landless Movement) as a solution for deforestation
> (among the fifty million other issues that permaculture addresses)
> I've become almost positive that the structure of this enterprise will have
> more than one legal title. I've been looking at a number of different
> models, and i think the one it comes closest to it is a Japanese Keiretsu: A
> central holding company that controls a variety of inter-dependent
> organizations. I understand how it would function, but there are some doubts
> about how to actually go about putting it into practice effectively.
> Having a record of what Robyn called a "comprehensive written record" would
> be invaluable for my efforts.

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