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July 2014

How on Earth Update

image credit: Iswanto Arif

Dear Wonderful, Awesome Supporters,

Thank you so much for all of your support and confidence in us.  We deeply appreciate your encouragement and help in all their forms!

We know that we have not been as communicative as we should have been. There are many reasons for this, but instead of giving you excuses, we’d rather just offer you a sincere apology and a commitment to try to be better about this in the future.

How on Earth is How on Earth going?

We are happy to report that we have been making a lot of progress with the How on Earth book project on many different levels, including: researching, writing, getting feedback, promoting the book, moving forward with our publishing and distribution plans, and designing and developing the How on Earth website.  It’s a lot of work for such a small team, but we feel we’re managing it quite well.

An early sign of success on the promotional front is that How on Earth has been trending on Amazon’s list of “Hot New Releases” in macroeconomics.  Reaching number 3 out of 67 books isn’t bad!

In terms of the writing, we are approaching a good first draft of the entire book.  The book will have five main chapters:

Chapter 1 – Possibility: How the Emerging ‘Not-for-Profit Ethic’ Changes Everything
Chapter 2 – Probability: Why the Future of Business May Well be Not-for-Profit
Chapter 3 – Necessity: Why Our Collective Flourishing Requires a Not-for-Profit World
Chapter 4 – Viability: How a Not-for-Profit Macroeconomy Can Work, For Us All
Chapter 5  Capability: How We Can Co-create a Not-for-Profit World by 2050

Our database of not-for-profit enterprises continues to grow and we now have information about nearly 200 distinct not-for-profit enterprises, in 19 of the 20 official sectors, located in 23 different countries all over the world! As these represent the diversity of the many millions of not-for-profit enterprises worldwide, it’s clear that the foundation for an economy based on not-for-profit business is already being laid.

On this note, if you know of any particularly successful not-for-profit enterprises, please tell us about them, so that we can add them to our database.

In the year since we started this project, we have gained many priceless insights and what we believe to be genuinely new understandings of how the for-profit economy creates and exacerbates inequality and ecological destruction through the for-profit ethic, banking system, financial markets, derivative markets, debt, ownership structures and speculation.  And this has led us to a better understanding of how the Not-for-Profit World economy will turn all of this on its head. The book will give you the full picture, but for now, just imagine how everything would change if the entire banking and finance industry were mission-driven and not-for-profit.  Imagine what kind of effects would ripple out from that sort of banking sector. We can promise you that the potential is very exciting.

And here is a good place to say a big “Thank you!” to Sarah Reibstein, in New York City, who has been doing a super job of helping us with the research efforts. Thanks Sarah!

Having conducted a LOT of research and having discussed our ideas with economists, business managers, social scientists and a wide array of citizens, we are more confident than ever that the Not-for-Profit World model is absolutely essential to being able to create true prosperity for all and foster ecological stewardship.

On the Ground

In an effort to get feedback on the model and to promote the book, Donnie has been busy giving talks and workshops about How on Earth and the Not-for-Profit World economic model throughout the US.  In the past couple of months, he has presented the NFP World model at Commonbound, the Ashland Food Coop, and discussed the proposal with many of the people attending the New Economy Coalition’s Commonbound conference.

Jen was also able to sneak in a brief introduction to the book’s main concepts at an international workshop she co-facilitated and the ideas were very well received.


We have also gained some exciting endorsements for the book from a number of well-known writers and activists, including Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level; Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible; Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade and The Real Wealth of Nations; Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slowness; and Randy Hayes, founder of the Rainforest Action Network and director of Foundation Earth.

These endorsements and an updated description of the book can be read in full on the How on Earth page of the Post Growth Institute’s website.

How are we getting these endorsements without a complete manuscript?  In part, it’s a matter of trust, but more so it’s because we’ve described our model in-depth to these people and it just makes a lot of sense to them.

Website Sneak Peak

Although the official How on Earth website is still in its final stages of development, we’re giving you a sneak peek of what it will look like here:

Big thanks go out to graphic designer, Chiara Aliotta of Until Sunday creative agency, and web developer, Chris Hehn of Web Code Guy, for their fantastic work on this!

We’ll be in Touch Soon!

Again, we apologize for being out of touch, but, as you can see, we have been extremely busy trying to get the book out for you to read.  In fact, we’ve been so busy that we have much more to tell you, but we don’t want this email to be overwhelmingly long. So, we have already started working on the update email for August, in which you’ll learn more about our publishing and distribution plans, how the promotion is going, how the website is shaping up and the details of Donnie’s upcoming UK book tour, scheduled for September.

We hope that the content of these update emails somehow compensates for their infrequency.  Of course, we always welcome any questions, concerns or comments you have regarding the How on Earth book project at: info (at) postgrowth (dot) org, as well as emails from anyone able to give us a hand with research, data entry, or just about anything else!

Thank you so much again for your support, encouragement and patience with this process.


Donnie, Jen, Fernanda and Brian

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