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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What an exciting start since launching last Thursday! 25 events are now registered in 18 cities across 11 countries, with almost AUD$1000 pledged to be given away for free! People are giving away as little as 5 Argentine pesos through to 100 Euros. Events are planned in places as diverse as the snow-capped peaks of Mount Perisher in Australia, the bustle of central Dubai, the Plaza de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires and the Tervuren Market (apparently ‘just near the Post Office’) in Tervuren, Belgium.

We’ve had amazing exposure for a group yet to write their press release. British actor Stephen Fry tweeted about the day to his 3,000,000+ followers. Harvard Business Review blogger Umair Haque, author of The New Capitalist Manifesto, also tweeted details to 160,000+ followers, with the story being picked up by UK Daily Telegraph finance writers. Reviews have gone up at Transition Voice and the Simplicity Collective’s blog, as well as this piece about Paying With Your Life, by Erfan Daliri.

Thanks to Samuel Alexander we now also have a theme song! Check it out here.

The response has been overwhelming (almost too overwhelming for this small, voluntary team!) but with the adrenaline still in full flight, we just can’t wait for Thursday to roll around and hope you’re excited too!

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In an effort to provoke some productive and inspiring dialogues about alternative economic possibilities, the Post Growth Institute is launching Free Money Day, a simple but hopeful initiative intended to engage people in the very conversations that just might turn this world – and our communities – around.

Free Money Day leaf cutout On September 15, 2011, at various locations worldwide, people will be handing out money – for free!  Here’s how it works: Equipped with nothing more than a ‘Free Money Day’ sign, a video or still camera, and a bucket of cash, people will hand out money – two coins or notes at a time – to complete strangers, asking them to pass one of them on to someone else.  The purpose is to raise awareness and provoke conversations about the benefits of sharing economies, and the possibilities for establishing them in the here and now.  After the event is over, videos and photos can be sent through to us for uploading, connecting these local activities with a provocative global event.

While the act of giving out money is symbolic – as are the amounts that will be shared on Free Money Day – the informal conversations that will be initiated are very real.  Critical engagement with the status quo has brought about concrete alternative economic practices as: collaborative consumption, cooperatives, food security projects, time banking, and more.

Free Money Day is not about rejecting the ‘money system’ altogether.  We acknowledge some of the benefits that come with a money-based economy, such as the ability to save for a rainy day, the ability to transport wealth across distances and disperse it among people, and the ability to store it and retrieve it when and where it is needed.  These are potentially democratizing features of money.  Yet some things just aren’t working. Think here of ever increasing forms of debt; the exacerbation of various global inequities; the notion of infinite growth on a finite planet…

The purpose of ‘Free Money Day’ is to re-engage with money, re-exploring the way we relate with it and use it, and the possibilities that exist outside of it, in order to re-invigorate some of these democratizing ideals and bring them into practice.

You can register to host your own Free Money Day event here, and sign up to receive updates here. All the information you’ll need to organize a fun and successful event is posted on the Free Money Day website.  And don’t forget to join the discussions leading up to and following September 15th!  We hope you’ll agree that this provides a great opportunity for us all to have some courageous conversations with the bonus of some fun added in!

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