Let’s assume we agree that our current money system is not working and we want a different one. How do we get on the path to improvement? How do we decide what a new system should be? How can we move towards a good decision? If you’ve made it this far, I hope you have enough understanding and enthusiasm to take another step.
Chapter 8 presented an alternative money system that is the work of many reformers who have gone before us. However, it’s worth a couple blocks to acknowledge that the best possible solution will come from engaging a broad and diverse community. Even reformers are capable of confirmation bias and missing a key element. The next few blocks suggest some steps to broaden the dialogue, and clarify and agree on values and goals – the necessary first steps to effective reform.
Controlling the process vs. controlling the outcome
The most successful decision-making employs a facilitator focused strictly on the process who has no agenda or axe to grind. The best decision-making follows a process:
- Engage all the stakeholders
- Engage a diverse group of informed, independent thinkers
- State the problem
- Gather the facts
- Clarify values
- Define goals in general and concrete terms
- Allow space for strong feelings
- Brainstorm many alternatives
- Establish criteria for choosing among the alternatives
- Discuss the pros and cons, benefits and burdens of each alternative
- Keep pushing for alternatives that will bridge conflicting interests
Again, a diverse group of informed and independent thinkers make the best decisions. Gather with like and unlike minds! Broad engagement will make it easier to generate the groundswell of support that is required to get a law passed.
With social media technologies we can engage everyone interested in defining our new money system. We can use local community meetings, online wikis, forums and a coordinating matrix. We could achieve a good plan in a relatively short time.
Looking at the data, the next inevitable market crash is going to be the Big Daddy of all crashes. We may be called upon to come up with a plan for system change in short order. Here’s a way to do this.
In addition to online forums, Meetups and Open Space Technology are excellent ways to gather large groups.
Open Space is a meeting approach that works for 5–2000 people over 1–3 days. Harrison Owen, the originator, explains this approach works best when the following conditions are present, namely high levels of:
- Complexity , in terms of the tasks to be done or outcomes achieved;
- Diversity , in terms of the people involved and/or needed to make any solution work;
- Conflict , real or potential, meaning people really care about the central issue or purpose; and
- Urgency , meaning that the time to act was yesterday.
Changing our money system fits these criteria. You can find more information about how Open Space works at osius.org, Open Space Technology Institute-US. The technology is free to use and simple to learn (though, like everything, experience and practice at facilitating an Open Space is valuable.)
Meet with your neighbors. Join me as I lead an online group starting in January 2019. Use Kickstarter to fund a town or city Open Space.
Study & discussion
This book is intended to be a start. The next section offers some group discussion questions.