Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Co-Intelligent Economics

Co-intelligent economics is not one thing, nor is it absolute. It is a guiding vision and sensibility.
To the extent an economic system helps living beings and living systems meet their deep needs in healthy sustainable ways - accessing the wisdom and resources of the whole and its parts on behalf of the whole and its parts - it can be said to be co-intelligent. This is something to strive for, a standard against which to measure any given economic activity, system, or proposal.
Economics is about the creation, distribution, and use of resources, the satisfaction of needs, and the capacity to pursue one's purposes in life. Most current economic systems are unduly grounded in materialism, quantification, money, and consumption - as exemplified by financial speculation, GDP, and vast concentrations of wealth - channeling resources in ways that all too often impede the ability of most participants to meet their real needs and pursue their highest aspirations.
We see signs of co-intelligent economics in sustainable-green economics, local economics, cooperative economics, gifting and sharing economics, and the economics of "simple living" that values relationships, creativity, and joy more than commodities. Many forms of co-intelligent economics are best practiced in small groups and communities. But larger economic systems can evolve in co-intelligent directions with the assistance of online networks for peer-to-peer collaboration, sharing, and gifting; new forms of credit and complementary currency; more holistic definitions and measures of economic activity; and policies that motivate self-interested market behaviors toward wiser outcomes.
Many forms of co-intelligent economics have existed for centuries or millennia. In recent decades new, technologically empowered forms have been emerging with increasing speed. As the harms of the existing economic order become more obvious to more individuals, communities and classes, initiatives proliferate to establish economies that free and satisfy more people with less threat to nature and the future.
The materials below represent some of our efforts at the Co-Intelligence Institute to track and make sense of these important emerging trends and possibilities.


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