Monday, July 16, 2007


I know. This newsletter'll take a few minutes, but what's a few minutes when it comes to changing the world? If you don't have time now, just save it. We'll be here when you get back. :)

So. Settle in, and we'll get on the same page.

We'll start with the first part—the economics. History shows that we keep caring for the needs of larger and larger numbers of people: we've come from small hunter-gatherer economies to agrarian economies to a larger-scale plantation economy and then a full-scale industrial economy. Now we're firmly settled in a knowledge economy: we have an entire market based on the transformation of information from one pattern to another.

(Amazing, hm? It wasn't that many decades ago that the very idea would have seemed ridiculous. An economy based on information? On learning and then sharing? Absurd. Or phenomenal. :)

If history is any indicator, we're not going to stop there. So we might well ask: What's going to come after this knowledge economy?

Let's see.

If you look at everything from Microsoft's interest in humanitarian causes to the greening of businesses worldwide and the deepening interest in making a living that matters, it might make sense to imagine that a change is already happening.

We're shifting from an information economy to one that's values-based.

What does that mean? It means that businesses that are doing good will be the ones that do well. It means that companies that contribute to social betterment will be the ones who attract the best workers. It means that organizations who care about the consequences of their actions will be the ones that thrive.

(Oh. An aside: You know how evolution is supposed to be about survival of the fittest? It's more beautifully complex than that. Evolution privileges those who cooperate: a group of individuals is stronger than any one person. It's not just our cultural trajectory, but very biology, that's pointing in the direction of cooperation and collaboration. Face it. We're destined. :)

And so we're finding out it's not just possible to make money meaningful, it's essential. After a certain point, money that's not attached to some deeper value is worthless, and unsatisfying, and more and more people are waking up to that.

Which brings us to the 'changing the world' part.

Capitalism is arguably one of the most powerful forces on the planet. So, waking up to the deep change stirring within it, and tuning into those movements from inside, is thrilling. (And you can feel the change, can't you? There are people calling for careers that they can believe in and looking for ways to spend their money that doesn't result in social and environmental harm, and our numbers are growing and growing and growing.)

The more we can do to facilitate that shift, and to encourage the growth of both the businesses striving to reorient themselves and the people interested in supporting this new values-based commerce, the better.

Because there's still lots to be done.

And here we have the "happily every after." It's not an easy process. These sorts of fundamental changes (dare I say 'paradigm shifts'?) take time. It takes the commitment of thousands—if not millions—to increased awareness, to being conscious of the way we make and spend our money, and to staying true to our own values and making sure these our aligned with our economic actions. But working on this project, and being aware of our work, and knowing the deep significance of this... I don't know. It feels a bit like happily-ever-after to me.

This is getting long, I know, so I'll end here. We'll be sending another community update soon with news of how a few (or more than a few!) Zaadz members are already whole-heartedly participating in this sea-change, and how we see zPro as providing a new agora—or marketplace—for nurturing this young and incredibly fertile movement. I just wanted to set a bit of background first.

To set a background, and flash a huge grin at all of you for getting it. We're going to change the world, you know that?

You know that. It's already happening.

With more love and more gratitude than can be crammed in one little newsletter,

No comments: