When the Finance Lab community meets James Quilligan

Part of the Lab’s work is to inspire and connect a broad spectrum of people around challenging questions and perspectives of finance, systems change and leadership. This includes involving people from the Lab Community such as James Quilligan.  James is a Finance Lab Champion who hosted a special diner about the Global Commons for us on May 10th at the Clerkenwell Kitchen.  This diner was one of the 12 seminars organized by School of Commoning as part of James’ learning expedition to the UK.

The objective of the evening was to use the power of conversation to discover and support the emergence of a commons-based economy. Thirty-five people from investment, banking, accounting, leadership coaching, social business and civil society were gathered.   All guests came with a shared awareness and enthusiasm for the Global Commons Agenda and were taken on a journey with James to address the question of “How would a commons approach shape the future of finance?”

Here are some of the questions raised during the lively discussion that took place in between a sophisticated main course and a chocolate delicacy as a desert:

  •       Shall businesses care about the direction of the monetary system?
  •       Have the economics of human needs failed us?
  •       What would an economy of replenishment look like?
  •       The recovery of our suppressed commons as a source of non-monetized value
  •       The recovery of our suppressed commons as a source of participative governance
  •       The supportive role of finance in setting-up the mechanisms to fund the commons trusts

Of course this is just a hint of what was discussed.  Deeper insights into the debate can be found here.

While the last candles of the Clerkenwell Kitchen blew out, questions to James were still streaming out, emphasising the eagerness of the audience to build collective intelligence around the role of finance in a commons-based economy. The ball is now rolling and it is up to the Finance Lab community to incubate the possibilities that commons trusts offer to build a financial system that truly sustains planet and people.

Written by Sylviane Herren