Re-Imaginging Money: An Invitation

money-butterflyImagine you had a voice in setting the interest rate for your loan. Imagine if your savings not only earned you interest but directly benefited nonprofit organizations working for social and environmental good in the world. Or if you could meet representatives from the companies you were invested in to hear firsthand about the projects your money was helping to fund. In an age of impersonal, disconnected finance, imagine stepping out of the conventional economic model and finding a more transparent, participatory way of using money. This is already happening at RSF Social Finance. By questioning assumptions about how money works, RSF is creating new models for engaging with finance, and for forming collaborative financial relationships with communities and organizations. RSF envisions a world in which money serves the highest intentions of the human spirit and contributes to an economy based on generosity and interconnectedness.

John Bloom, Vice President – Organizational Culture at RSF, will visit MWS on November 30, 2016 to explore how we as individuals might reach a new understanding of our economic selves. By re-imagining money, reconsidering our personal habits and cultural conditioning, we can participate in creating a new economic story for ourselves and our communities. Inquiry and dialogue are essential to transforming our relationships with money. By coming together, as investors, donors, and entrepreneurs, we can explore the role of money in achieving our shared goals and find new ways to connect more deeply with what we care most about. Each of us has a purpose in life, a journey of discovery and recognition. When we are able to serve that purpose to the benefit of others, and to recognize that we in turn benefit from others’ gifts, then money can move in a way that brings greater equity to our economy and compassionate action becomes possible.

Join us for a conversation about money, values, and the need for a new economic story. This community education event is open to all. November 30, 6:30pm ~ Admission is free. Your RSVP is appreciated to assist with planning –  please type RSF in the comments section below.

Further Resources

An article describing how Community Pricing Gatherings inform the RSF process for deciding interest rates for Social Investment Fund investors and borrowers.

A Social Lender Pursues a Radical Experiment in Financial Transparency and Participation

 

Visit the RSF Social Finance website to learn how it aims to transform the field of philanthropy. Shared Gifting Circles bring collaboration, transparency and community wisdom into the grant-making process and give distribution and allocation authority to the recipients of gift money to create mutually beneficial collaborations.

Shared Gifting Circles

 

Re-Imagining Money

money-butterfly

What is money? What can our relationship with money teach us? How does money connect us to what we care most about, both personally, and as a community? Join us for an evening of conversation with John Bloom to explore these and other questions.

John Bloom is Vice President, Organizational Culture at RSF Social Finance in San Francisco. In his work at RSF he addresses the intersection of money and spirit by facilitating conversations and developing programs that support personal and social transformation. As part of this work he has also helped develop awareness of issues of land and biodynamic agriculture.

Bloom is the author of The Genius of Money and writes frequently for RSF’s Reimagine Money blog. In his latest book, Inhabiting Interdependence, he explores approaches toward transforming the conventional habits of mind and practice that have led to today’s economic imbalance in our own lives, and in society as a whole. Acknowledging that money has permeated almost every aspect of daily life, including our relationships to nature and to one another, Bloom suggests we reconsider our personal and cultural conditioning, and our systems of economic exchange. He asks us to imagine how, in the next economy, we might steward our natural resources, work, and forms of capital in a framework that supports and celebrates our humanity and our capacities as individual human beings.

John Bloom will visit Rhode Island to lead a conversation about money, values, and the need for a new understanding of our economic selves. At Meadowbrook Waldorf School on Wednesday, November 30th at 6:30 pm. Open to all, admission free. Join us, and please share this invitation to help bring voices from all walks of life into the evening’s conversation.

Holiday Faire at Meadowbrook: Nov 18 & 19

Come and experience the Meadowbrook Waldorf School Holiday Faire. On the weekend before Thanksgiving, families are invited into a wonderland of activities, performances and plenty of holiday cheer. Meadowbrook’s Holiday Faire began as a fundraising market place, offering a wide range of high quality children’s items and unique gifts for all ages. It has since grown into a celebration of family that draws visitors from around the northeast region.

Friday evening is only for adults and offers an opportunity to shop out of sight of little eyes. Relax into the festive season and stroll a lantern path under the starry sky as you dip a candle. Enjoy live music from singer/ songwriter, Ray Jorgensen and a lively auction of items made by the students. Bring your friends, ‘BYOB’ and sample some warm Meadowbrook hospitality.

Saturday is a day full of activities that celebrate the joys of childhood. Bring your family and visit the magical Crystal Cave with its grottoes filled with gnomes and twinkling lights. In a quiet room, marionettes perform a traditional fairy tale. The school’s beautifully painted classrooms have tables of craft materials and volunteers to help you and your child create a treasure to take home. Refreshments are available and you are welcome to enjoy the forested campus as you picnic and explore.

Come and experience the Meadowbrook Waldorf School Holiday Faire. On the weekend before Thanksgiving, families are invited into a wonderland of activities, performances and plenty of holiday cheer. Meadowbrook’s Holiday Faire began as a fundraising market place, offering a wide range of high quality children’s items and unique gifts for all ages. It has since grown into a celebration of family that draws visitors from around the northeast region.

Begin your festive season with Holiday Faire at Meadowbrook and start a new tradition for your family. Doors open Friday, November 18th, 7 – 10 p.m. and Saturday, November 19th, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is free.

 

Third Grade Farm Trip

Contributor: Diana Carlson, Class Teacher of Grade 3 of 2015-16

I have just returned from spending a week with my third graders at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, New York.  We had a great time!  The students baked bread, made butter, and cooked supper for their classmates and teachers.  They planted seeds as the spring leaves popped around them in the April sunshine.  They woke in the chill dawn to feed and water the cows, chickens, pigs, and horses.  They also rode those horses, and cleaned those cows’ barn, and looked for eggs in the hen-house.  They skipped stones and waded in the river and ran and climbed trees, with old friends and new.  In the evenings they sang together, and practiced being quiet together so that everyone could settle down to sleep.Farm Trip 2016

Farm Trip 2016

The farm trip meets the developing nine-year old in many important ways.  For most of my students, this was their first extended time away from their family.  The nine-year old is developing an individual interior world; for the first time they realize that they can have thoughts and experiences that are theirs alone.  The experience of the farm trip, although shared with familiar classmates and teachers, is an individual, personal life experience outside of the family round.  Many of the students expressed surprise at how little they missed their families; they almost felt a little guilty at first, as if their self-sufficiency denied their affection for their families.  When the families arrived to pick up their dirty, happy children on Friday morning, the students were thrilled to reconnect and share their experiences with their parents and siblings.  They experienced that a separation is not a severing, and that they are able to have individual experiences and still remain connected, even over distance and time, to their loved ones.  This foundational experience gives the child the confidence to move out into the world in ever widening arcs as they mature.

We had the opportunity to share our farm experience with students from the Primrose Hill School in Reinbeck, New York.  The children enjoyed getting to know one another and see how another Waldorf third grade can be similar and yet different.  We knew many of the same songs and poems, we were following the same curriculum as outlined by Rudolf Steiner, we were the same ages.  And yet we had different class cultures, different personalities.  By the end of the week however, the farm teachers commented that the groups had integrated so harmoniously that they couldn’t tell which students were from Meadowbrook and which were from Primrose Hill.

The farm experience deeply connects the child to the third grade science and geography curriculum.  Now these students really “know” cows – their size, their smell, their slick noses and rough tongues, their beautiful eyes and placid natures.  To know a cow in this way is to have a deeper connection to all that comes from the cow – butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, leather, hamburgers.  The students also gain an understanding of the amount of work that creates their daily meals.  One student commented on how difficult it was to clean out the barn – how strenuous, how smelly, how relieved he was to never have to do that again.  And one of the farm teachers remarked, “Yes, and think – somebody has to do that every day or you would never be able to have ice cream!”  The realization that all we enjoy is derived from the work of others cultivates gratitude and a true understanding of the interconnectedness of our world.

Farm Trip 2016 IIThe experience of being at the farm planted seeds of understanding in the hearts and minds of my students.  I look forward to watching these seeds sprout and blossom in the years ahead.  I am grateful to Meadowbrook and to the parents of the third grade class for making this trip possible.