Congratulations and gratitude to everyone who participated in the 2011 Free Money Day!

The event was an overwhelming success.  With 63 events in 43 towns and cities, in 18 different countries, there were an estimated 1462 recipients of free money who then passed half of it on to someone else.  (Approximately $2759 AUD was given away on the day). It was exciting for us at the Post Growth Institute to see the diverse ways the event was taken up around the world.  One participant mailed money to strangers, one placed it in random places accompanied by drawings to give away with it, and another engaged in a virtual Free Money Day campaign.  Some people approached passers-by, while others waited to see if strangers would approach them.  As a social experiment, the options were endless, and we are looking forward to hear more about how it all went.

Participants everywhere seemed to engage with the deeper ideas behind the event.  As a result, the conversations that emerged on the ground, in cyberspace, in print, and on the airwaves were dynamic, and already wheels are turning in new directions.

For instance, Brendan Rigby suggests adapting the ideas behind Free Money Day to inform not only ‘economies of sharing’ but education based on sharing.  Donnie noted at one of the Sydney events that people were much more eager to receive when they learned about the expectation to pass something on to someone else, strengthening the idea that sharing really is what it’s all about!  And Nadia Bunce, blogging at Ethical Nippon, contextualizes Free Money Day within the larger movement of anti-materialism and the philosophy of slow.

In order to keep the conversations going, don’t forget to share your photos, videos, and experiences with us so we can make them available to others.  Also, if you have constructive feedback or ideas for future events, we’d love to hear from you.

With the Post Growth team having just held our Free Money Day event debrief, we’re now looking excitedly at how we can make this event even bigger and truly axis-changing in 2012! We look forward to the shared journey ahead.

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With Free Money Day just around the corner, we thought we’d post a general update to give you all an idea of the bigger picture:

So far there are 46 events registered in 30 towns or cities across 15 countries (we’d still love 4 more to make it an even 50!). There’s now a theme song and a video promo for the event. There have also been numerous blog posts, tweets, and facebook supporters as well as a tonne of friendly faces talking about it all on Twitter. Thank you to everyone who is hosting, spreading the word, or otherwise supporting the cause. It is certainly a collective effort!

Among those endorsing this event are Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest, who said this is “The best kind of street theatre!” and Murray Dobbin, who has put a callout to Canadians through Word Warriors to write letters to the editor about economic alternatives. Thanks to both of you for your support.

We are really grateful for the diverse range of creative contributions to this event. For those of you who are hosting: we’re looking forward to learning more about your experiences on September 15 – keep us posted!

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Canadian journalist and activist Murray Dobbin has been writing and speaking about alternatives to current political and economic arrangements for decades.  With five books under his belt and countless articles, talks, presentations, broadcasts, and interviews, he has been a consistent figure in Canadian political commentary.

One of his many initiatives, Word Warriors, is an avenue to mobilize all concerned citizens to get engaged in the matters that affect us most – which is, after all, what democracy is all about.

Word Warriors is a letter writing campaign that organizes citizens to present clear and unified messages to our media and governments via letters to the editor.  In Dobbin’s most recent Word Warriors callout, he urges people to challenge our media to take the Free Money Day message seriously: Media and governments must begin seriously attending to news and policies that do not present growth as the only economic option.

This is one more example of the creative ways Free Money Day can inspire ongoing dialogue about how to move forward collectively.  We’d like to encourage you to participate in the Word Warriors letter writing campaign.

Thanks Murray for your support!

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The momentum of Free Money Day continues to build, with the event manifesting in a variety of exciting and unanticipated ways.  Take for example this recent inspiring addition to the roster of participants:

The CreativeCrip's website promotion for freemoneydayThe author of The Creative Crip has infused Free Money Day with great meaning.  As someone who is housebound due to disability, this engaged citizen is hosting a virtual Free Money Day by creatively utilizing twitter and the pay it forward philosophy.  Here is an excerpt from the blog postwhere you can learn more:

“My original plan for 9/11 2011 was to write an update to my personal 9/11 story to mark the 10th Anniversary of one of the defining moments of modern history.  I’m not going to do that […]
This year I would like to do something to positively engage people from all walks of life and engender compassionate conversation.”

Now this is what Free Money Day is all about! …Mobilizing community by engaging people in ways our current systems and measures tend to overlook or disregard. …Shifting from despairing conversations about what’s wrong to exciting conversations about what’s possible.

Welcome aboard, Creative Crip!  We urge everyone to support this virtual campaign (twitter hashtag #CCFMD) reminding us that Free Money Day is a gift to be shared in whatever ways we wish!

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