Chapter 1

Here’s what we know…

“We think we tell stories, but stories often tell us, tell us to love or hate, to see or be seen. Often, too often, stories saddle us, ride us, whip us onward, tell us what to do, and we do it without questioning. The task of learning to be free requires learning to hear them, to question them, to pause and hear silence, to name them, and then become a story-teller.” Rebecca Solnit

The economy is the root cause

The converging crises we face are symptoms of a shared root cause: economic designs based on an outdated and harmful narrative – that we are separate from nature and each other.

If we are going to salvage what nature we have left and avoid further societal breakdown, we need to radically transform our economy, which means changing that narrative.

The economy is the root cause
The economy is redesignable

The economy is re-designable

Our economy is not a fixed machine, it is living and designed, by us, so it can be redesigned.

The troubles we face are bugs in a bad design that no longer works, an economy that destroys life.

We need to upgrade that design, probably so that it looks like a donut (circular at least), locally shaped and globally networked.

We need to design ‘An Economy in Service To Life’*.

(*this work is already well underway)

Stories shape the economic design

Stories weave narratives that shape the way we think, feel and act. Stories about our economy – what it is, how it works, what matters in it – have helped to weave and maintain a harmful narrative of separation in our culture.

This narrative means we choose unfit policies, which reinforce our stories and the harmful narrative, validating the economic designs that are destroying the conditions that create and sustain life.

Stories weave the narrative that shapes our reality

The stories we tell ourselves weave a bigger narrative that forms the fabric of our reality.

We need a better narrative

A narrative that reflects the latest and most ancient understanding about how we are connected with the natural world and with each other.

That human health and planetary health are intimately entangled.

That we are a part of nature, so for us to survive and thrive, nature must survive and thrive.

We already have this narrative – the narrative of interconnection, of ‘interbeing’.

Now we need our stories to help bring it into our culture.

Stories For Life, that will help us design the ‘Economy in Service to Life’.

This work explores how we can do this.

“The biggest challenge we face is shifting human consciousness. The planet doesn’t need saving. We do.”

Chapter 2 - Wait, Econowho? »