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January 2015

How on Earth Update

image credit: Saul Cuellar

Dear How on Earth supporters,

Happy New Year!  We hope that 2015 is off to a great start for all of you.

A lot has happened since our last update, in August. We apologize for not sending out another update until now, but we’re sure that in reading all of the news below, you’ll understand why we’ve been so busy.

Donnie and Jen have been presenting the Not-for-Profit World model at numerous events, as a way to test the ideas rigorously, in advance of final writing and publication.

Jen presented the NFP World model in a Group Assembly Process at the Degrowth Conference in Leipzig, during the first week of September. She also took the opportunity to discuss the book with as many people as possible at the conference and received lots of positive feedback and encouragement.

Donnie’s UK speaking tour was also a hit. From September 12 to October 6, he traveled around the UK, speaking about the book at places like the Impact Hub Islington, the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems, Transition Town Totnes and the New Story Summit, just to name a few. People at all of the venues welcomed the ideas and were impressed with the model. Many of Donnie’s presentations were recorded and uploaded and are great online resources to which we can direct people who are curious about our ideas.

At the end of October, we published an article about the NFP World model in the Guardian newspaper, which got lots of discussions going on social media.

One important insight we’ve gained from sharing the How on Earth ideas in more public forums is that we’re right on track. We have yet to encounter an argument that can’t be addressed by a deeper explanation of the model. That said, we’ve also learnt more about how to take people on a journey such that the transition to a NFP World seems all the more necessary and possible.

In the meantime, we have been gathering more data, doing more research, further developing the model, and writing more of the book. Sarah has found lots of great data and information that support our ideas.

We are also waiting to hear back about two articles about the NFP World model that we submitted to the academic journals, New Community Quarterly and Ephemera. As you can see, we are doing our best to get the word out about the book in as many different circles as possible.

In collaboration with the University of Southern Oregon, Donnie has launched a not-for-profit enterprise incubator, called the Cascades Hub. This allows us to put some of the recommendations of How on Earth into action, on the ground. It is a step towards strengthening the foundation for a Not-for-Profit World social movement, by incubating NFP enterprises in a way that is replicable around the world.

We have also received a grant for $10,000 from the JustPax Fund to cover the costs of the first print run of 4000 copies of How on Earth.  We are so grateful for this incredibly helpful donation!

As for actually publishing How on Earth, our current plan is to have a complete first draft of the book by the end of March and to publish by June.

Although we’ve received lots of messages of support and patience from you, we would like to take the opportunity to explain why this book project is taking so much longer than we had initially planned.

All of the hard work we’ve done in the last two years has been part of a wider strategy to create a foundation of support that will not only propel the book to prominence as soon as we publish, but will also provide the basic framework on which a burgeoning social movement can grow.

When we launch How on Earth, there will already be:

  • a large, diverse, international network (including key influencers) that will happily help spread the word;
  • writers and journalists who will publish reviews of the book;
  • venues happy to host presentations of the book;
  • an interactive website that includes the main ideas of the book, as well as real-world examples of the emerging Not-for-Profit World; and
  • a NFP enterprise incubator with practical experience.
screenshot of, which will be launched in the coming months
screenshot of, which will be launched in the coming months

So, although this work has caused delays in the book-writing process, it will most definitely pay off when we publish. We have accomplished so much already and we are still at the beginning of the Not-for-Profit World journey.

And without your support, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much already.  Thank you for your patience, understanding and ongoing encouragement!


Jen, Donnie, Sarah and the PGI team

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