My Humble Experiment
in Gift Economics
I invite you to participate with me in my own gift economics experiment.
Here is how I currently run my experiment:
I have three offerings: Community Events, Distributive Leadership with Groups and Organizations and Spiritual Strategy Sessions with Individuals.
I currently offer all my community events as: "No one turned away for lack of funds." Every event is genuinely offered as a gift. I encourage everyone to attend these offerings and enter into the gift experiment with me. I offer sliding scale guidelines because people have asked me for support in determining what would meet their needs and my needs.
My training and work within supporting groups in creating distributive leadership models is with Nonviolent Global Liberation (NGL). I am currently working intensively on a project to create a physical home base for our community that has been online until now.
I am also working with organizations applying what I have learned as an apprentice. All of the distributive leadership work I do is offered completely as a gift. I often pay to work which can include travel, lodging and food because the resources I have as a highly skilled citizen of the Global North give me access to resources that exceed the resources of the communities I serve.
So how do I manage to offer community events on gift and distributive leadership models to groups where I often pay to work?
I offer spiritual strategy sessions to a very small group of people who can pay me fees that sustain my material needs each year. This may seem ironic that I am advocating gift economics and then I charge fees. My intention is to eventually transition completely to a needs-based gift economic model. At this point, this system is the best I can come up with given the current opportunities and constraints in my life.
My clients work in education, healthcare, community organizing, water stewardship, law and social justice sectors. They range from C-suite executives to Directors of private foundations and everyone in between. It nourishes me to support people who share my level of passion to make critical changes that support them in their next internal and external shift in life.
Regarding my spiritual strategy work with individuals, I select clients based on the following criteria:
1. Those who are making an impact in the world that I believe is important for the critical shift that is needed for at this time of global crisis. It is not the scale of the work I am interested in. I'm interested in two specific qualities. One, is the quality of heart that is oriented towards care for the whole. Two, a burning desire which feels like a longing in your soul. A calling. There's a willingness to take risks in order to redirect the economic, social, political and environmental crisis we are in at this time.
2. The capacity to pay me a minimum of $325 US for a 1.25 hour session. This rate allows me to work with a small group of clients and have my rent, food and travel for my other work covered.
Recently, I co-designed a nine month Intensive Immersion with a client in preparation for a transition from the role of CTO. We met every other week for 85 minute sessions and completed three 5-hour outdoor intensives. On occasion, I can offer intensive immersions to clients for a particular change or transition. I am open to working with people who want to co-create this with me for fees that can support me doing my other work.
If you got this far, I appreciate you reading about my experiment in needs-based gift economics. I offer it as a completely imperfect and heartfelt experiment and sincerely hope more people will continue to join this growing movement.
To learn more about gift economics and the thoughts that have shaped me, please check out the Resources on my site.