A Short Review of Free Money Day 2011

By Janet Newbury

Congratulations and gratitude to everyone who participated in Free Money Day!

The event was an overwhelming success. With 63 events in 43 towns and cities, in 18 different countries, there were an estimated 1462 recipients of free money who then passed half of it on to someone else. (Approximately $2759 AUD was given away on the day).

It was exciting for us at the Post Growth Institute to see the diverse ways the event was taken up around the world. One participant mailed money to strangers, one placed it in random places accompanied by drawings to give away with it, and another engaged in a virtual Free Money Day campaign. Some people approached passers-by, while others waited to see if strangers would approach them. As a social experiment, the options were endless, and we are looking forward to hearing more about how it all went.

Participants everywhere seemed to engage with the deeper ideas behind the event. As a result, the conversations that emerged on the ground, in cyberspace, in print, and on the airwaves were dynamic, and already wheels are turning in new directions.

For instance, Brendan Rigby suggests adapting the ideas behind Free Money Day to inform not only ‘economies of sharing’ but education based on sharing. Donnie noted at one of the Sydney events that people were much more eager to receive when they learned about the expectation to pass something on to someone else, strengthening the idea that sharing really is what it’s all about! And Nadia Bunce, blogging at Ethical Nippon, contextualizes Free Money Day within the larger movement of anti-materialism and the philosophy of slow.

In order to keep the conversations going, don’t forget to share your photos, videos, and experiences with us so we can make them available to others. Also, if you have constructive feedback or ideas for future events, we’d love to hear from you.

Originally published in September 2011. Find out more about the Post Growth Institute on our website.

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