How to Birth a Life-Affirming Economy With Ferananda Ibarra

Aug 26

Sometimes I imagine the global economy as a hospice patient, frail, ineffective, and dependent on the care of others. Do we have the courage to grieve this impending death? This may be dramatic, but the deep systemic problems of our ancient, market-based and U.S.-dollar-based economy indicate that capitalism is mortal, too.

Acknowledging and then resolving emotions such as fear, grief, and anger allow us to metabolize the economic struggle into joy, because every death makes way for new life. As our guest, Fernanda Ibarra, highlights in this interview, new economic opportunities and systems of exchange are emerging. Interrelatedness, diversity, and creativity are patterns of nature, and this intelligent design is reflected in a life-affirming economy. We believe in discovering and participating in coherent systems designed to encourage collective intelligence. She is instrumental in projects that intend to access and engage the creative potential of humanity.

Why has Ferananda been experimenting within the gift economy for nearly a decade? Because it allows her access to greater variety of value creation. When exchanges are not limited by utilization of national currencies, we can tap into greater human ingenuity. Many people are constrained by the fear of needing to be paid or to pay with money. It liberates creative potential when people experiment with other ways to exchange, such as tool libraries, Timebanks, and complementary currencies. With so many needs unmet, isn’t it strange that we let access to money keep us from enriching each other’s lives? 

Often people are ashamed to ask for what they need and want. Let simplicity guide you. Get clear on what is most valuable to you, and then make a vulnerable request for that. Then be willing to receive.

Yet being willing to have these creative conversations has been at the heart of Ferananda’s value-exchange spectrum used at Village Lab. From full gifting to conscious contracts, there are a wide variety of ways they establish agreements with clients. This is about communicating needs and value. Reading this will expand your perspectives, its certainly the most evolved template for crafting money agreements that I have come across!  VillageLab Generosity Agreements

Ferananda shares information about wealth stewardship model. She knows intimately about the shadow and pain of investors and philanthropists. Many people objectify them as a walking checkbook. There is also much suffering about money for the entrepreneurs too. She and her partners at Village Lab guide all parties of the wealth-stewardship circles to first heal their beliefs about money. Then they can engage more fully in a supportive ecosystem, where resources are shared to create value for all participating.

“As we create the prototype, we are the integrators that bring the DNA to the architecture of the communities. And we encourage communities where everyone is seen with their gifts. Everyone is committed to sustain everyone in their highest expression. There is a big shift in the capacity to create and the access to collective intelligence.”

This fall, you can join Ferananda as she co-facilitates the upcoming 10-week MetaCapital Framework online master class titled “Designing Wisdom Economies.” This is accessible to the average person, with practical tools to understand and apply the framework. This includes four bottom lines: people, planet, profit, and purpose. There are also four types of impact. This is a monumental shift in our understanding of the ways we can contribute differently.

“What shifts in the gift economy is the nature of the relationships and agreements. It’s about agreements, not about win and lose. WE win.” Be clear what you are asking for. Be attentive to the flows of value that you want to create with the ask. For this is how we can birth a life-affirming economy.

Ferananda is a pioneer in the field of collective intelligence and New Paradigm Economics. She has implemented complementary currencies and currently focuses on Deep Wealth Design for communities and organizations. She has lived in the Gift Economy since 2009. She co-founded VillageLab, an organization focused on Regenerative Whole Systems Design and The Metacurrency Project which is developing tools and platforms for open sourcing the next economy. Find out more the MetaCapital online masterclass “Designing Wisdom Economies.”

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