phonebloks

Is it time to Lego our faulty technology?

            I watched this very inspirational video today on a new product idea they call Phonebloks: [youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDAw7vW7H0c]   We are interested to hear your thoughts on a number of questions that this clip brings to the fore. # The idea of technology that is designed to break down or require an upgrade so that we will essentially keep someone in business # Related questions of ‘If we create something that doesn’t break down or require upgrade are we not putting people out of jobs?’ # The tension that might exist between the above questions and the solution this new technology seems to offer to one aspect of landfill waste and thus caring well for our  planet. So there you have it – in your opinion is the Phonebloks, as they claim, “technology worth keeping” or do you think it will cause more problems than it solves? As a person of faith are these questions we should even be wrestling with, or should we rather leave them to the technology...

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moneyless man

Freeconomy

Mark Boyle’s radical experiment in living without money in an alternative “Freeconomy” may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I certainly don’t foresee myself living off the grid in a converted caravan, foraging for food, cycling 100 miles a week and brushing my teeth with crushed cuttlefish bone. However, even if I never “opt out” of the current economic system to the extent Mark and others have, my soul resounds with the justifications for these radical shifts in living which Mark has made. Money, he suggests, has fundamentally disconnected the consumer from the consumed. We are no longer aware of the direct repercussions that our purchases have on people, animals and the environment. Money has facilitated that great divorce between our consumption and the embodied energy and physicality of the world. Secondly, Mark suggests that money has replaced community as our primary source of security. He describes this relational and spiritual disconnect in a jarring analogy: “Prostitution is to sex as buying and selling is to giving and receiving”.  Mark, the “Moneyless Man”, is on a quest to bring into balance his head, his heart and his hands; to start asking “How much can I give?” not, “How much can I get?”; to reconnect his consumption to the physical environment and interpersonal relationships. That I can get on board with. How...

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What stands out for me in my involvement with Common Change – Relationships [Ben Younan]

Ben has been involved with Common Change since the early days of the Relational Tithe experiment which was the forerunner to this Collaborative Giving tool that is now available for everyone to experience. In this short clip, Ben explains how for him it is the relationship aspect that really makes Common Change such a significant thing for his family to be a part of. [youtube=http://youtu.be/tf2DbRv3jpY]   For more information on how Common Change works or to sign up and get started head to the Common Change website and get connected. Also join and like ‘Common Change’ on Facebook or follow us @4CommonChange on Twitter....

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One reason I enjoy being part of Common Change – Brett “Fish” Anderson

Brett “Fish” Anderson has been part of the Common Change collaborative giving process for more than a year and a half and loves how the giving process is so closely linked to the relationship process. In this short clip he explains how Common Change suddenly became more real and alive to him when he saw it impact friends that he was connected to: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nBqu75Ueao]   For more information on how Common Change works or to sign up and get started head to the Common Change website and get connected. Also join and like Common Change on Facebook or follow us @4CommonChange on...

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GDP image

Measuring Well-Being, beyond GDP

For decades the Gross Domestic Product has been the gold-standard for measuring economic health, wealth and progress. GDP has become entrenched in our discourse, but it is a remarkably narrow measure of a nation’s overall well-being. It defines progress through the narrow lens that more is better – more consumption, more production, more exports. GDP entirely neglects indicators such as income inequality, the cost of underemployment and pollution, environmental impact and resource depletion or a broad range of social indicators including the cost of crime, the value of volunteerism and leisure time, education and community. As a measure of “progress” and national “health”, it is sorely lacking. Which is why many are looking toward alternative measures of well-being, that take into consideration economic, environmental and social indicators. Here are two short video clips which explain why and how GDP fails to paint a complete picture of growth, progress and well-being in the new economy, and how alternative measures such as Gross National Happiness or the Human Development Index can help us. Check out these videos and we would love to hear your thoughts: Well-Being in the New Economy What is Gross National...

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The ‘Sharing Economy’ or Sharing Econo-you? [some thoughts from Europe’s LeWeb conference]

              ‘The idea behind this year’s central theme, “The New Sharing Economy”, turns the principle of capitalism on its head, proposing consumer access to goods and services is more important than owning them.’ Although the idea of sharing resources and services is not particularly new, what is new is how mainstream it is becoming in certain sectors. Although this comment from Jeremiah Owyang [an analyst at Altimeter Group, named as one of 2010’s “Five Most Creative Small Businesses” by Fast Company] brings up one of the topical questions at the moment: “The sharing economy is actually the next phase of the internet. The first phase of the internet, people shared information. The second phase people used social media and anybody can share. Now we’re here today with the sharing economy which is the third phase of the internet. People use the same tools to share products and services and it is actually a very disruptive trend to existing corporations, governments and businesses.” Is big business going to take this lying down or what kind of backlash or counter-attack can be expected? In this previous post we featured here on Two Cents, we shared how New York regulators and courts were in the process of shutting down or taking legal action against a number of...

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