Financial Permaculture: collection of articles

Bill Mollison, co-founder of Permaculture said:

That is, what I’m trying to tell you, it’s no good any longer just being an organic gardener or farmer, we have to be effective financial and political units. And we’re gonna have to face that. Just as it was very hard for us to learn to garden, then hard for us to learn to collect seeds, once the multinationals took over the open-pollinated seed market; we had to become seed growers. Now it’s very difficult, we have to become bankers. There’s no good trying to pretend we don’t have to. We can run away to the bush, build a mud hut and grow ducks in the garden, it’s not gonna do it. The coals will still be burnt, the land will still be eroded, and the forests will still be cleared for newsprint if we run away to the bush. So, there’s no escape, we’ve just gotta stop running away, stay where we are and start to face up and fight. Good, as long as you’re fully persuaded of that we can get on with the course….” — Bill Mollison, 1983 PDC (emphasis added)

Our systems are failing us: Prem Rawat in the interview “History Repeating”.

The challenge for financial permaculture, then, is to design an economic system which provides a platform capable of providing the basics; people care, in harmony with nature, planet care, in a fair way, fair share.

The elements we have to deal with in this redesign include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • the concept of property
  • money
  • banking
  • complementary currencies
  • financial transaction
  • the concept of capital
  • fiscal incentives to encourage the three “cares” above
  • the concept of the firm
  • the concept of circular economy
  • community and local economy

Financial incentives

At national policy level, the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation,, postulated that the modern monetized and digitalis ed economy could, with the right stabilisation controls in place, offer a platform where prosperity could develop for all citizens.

See the briefing paper here that explains how Environmental Fiscal Reform could be applied.

Read more about the stabilisation mechanisms in the white paper here.FSSD align report R1HC

Understanding capital without the money

This article gives an explanation of capital as infrastructure: something used in the production process, but is not used up or incorporated in the final product.

Read the article here on A Very Beautiful Place website.

The same article introduces the reader to the concept of ecological maturity and economic maturity.

The Concept of Real Capital

At the heart of the economy that is a permanent culture is real capital. This explains it. Download here.

The Biomass Municipality

The Biomass Municipality ensures biological nutrients circulate locally, that soil enhancement and biogas are extracted from the waste stream and that the local economy thrives as a result.

Read more here.

The circular economy

This article explains how fiscal incentives can be used to drive the circular economy. The slides are taken from a presentation to the Baltic Sea Action Group in Finland.

Currency design to foster the biomass circular economy

The white paper describes the next steps in development of a complementary currency: where the currency is not tied to national currency, but tied to local biomass and the products and services arising from it.

The 5P’s of the local economy

In order for a local economy to function, all of the five P’s must be in place and function together. Many local economy projects falter as one or more of the elements is weak or missing.

The 5 P’s: place, people, products, payment mechanism and projects (organisations).

We have found that the best way to understand the power of a functioning local economy is to participate in a simulation. The simulation measures the economic activity in the “community” where activity goes from zero to a functioning market in two hours.

Read more about the simulation here.

Investing in Local Economy


Units of Trust are investments in local businesses that are neither shares nor direct loans but preferential debentures that are issued in standard denominations so local community members can easily compare offers.

Unlike shares or direct loans, these debentures do not give money as interest, but products and services.

Download the white paper here.WHITEPAPER_Local-economyV1D

Community Finance Canvas

The canvas was developed to help communities address the financial side of their plans and was designed to provide the basis to create a business plan, including the three elements of financial planning: profit and loss, balance report and cash flow analysis. the canvas was also intended to help groups create a financial plan for their permaculture designs.

Learn more about the canvas here.

Communities are not companies

Communities are best placed to provide basic services in the face of coming fossil fuel use decline. They can also be more resilient and sustainable. Read more here…..

Designing service-providing communities.

The community is a more robust organisation for providing essential services than a corporation. Read more here

credit commons

Credit Commons

This is an online, global mutual credit system envisaged and being developed by Mathew Slater and Tim Jenkin. The platform allows users of any local currency to exchange with any other. The white paper is a good grounding in monetary theory and explains the thinking behind abandoning national currencies altogether.

Visit Credit commons website.


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