The Tipping Point System

Thrivable Local Economies

Paul Hawken

“We are the only species on the planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can't print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present and calling it gross domestic product....

“...What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.

Paul Hawken - Commencement Address, University of Portland, May 3rd, 2009

The Tipping Point System (TPS) aims to develop a new growth model that is based on thrivability principles and an implicate order economic model (that is, cosmomimicry applied to economics). By working with the growth dynamics of healthy living systems and qualitative growth feedback-loops in the design, adaptation and regulation of our economic systems (from nano to micro to meso to macro to cosmo), we can start to shift our current trajectory away from business as usual. This strategy also includes regenerative and circular economy initiatives. The first city to adopt a circular economy is Amsterdam and the Netherlands is at the forefront of the transition from a linear to a green, inclusive, regenerative economy.

The TPS Thrivable Economies Strategy uses the coming together of large groups of people at festivals and music events to kickstart local thrivable economies at scale based on four key tactics:

  1. Issuance of Value Currencies: A predetermined value of a complementary currency (possibly using crypto tokens) are issued to every fan and festival goer who wishes to accept them. Value Currencies are a new type of currency that underpin a Wisdom Economy. To read more about Value Currencies, go here.
  2. Acceptance of Value Currencies: Building on the pioneering work done by the Transition Town Network on complementary local currencies, we will work with retail stores local to the festival to accept these tokens as full or partial payments for products and services long after festival goers have returned home. This develops a vibrant community currency in which all participants experience firsthand the value of “keeping it local.” The benefits of community currencies and their historical precedents have been well documented, and we refer to the Covestment with Community Currencies strategy to bring retailers onboard.
  3. Community Marketing: We use an open-source social network emerging from festivals and other real-life gatherings to make visible the local suppliers that accept the Value Currency.
  4. Behaviour Nudging: Once a vibrant local economy is established (within 12 to 24 months of first issuance), the Value Currency is used to nudge behaviour toward supporting the TPS Contest strategy. In time, this behaviour nudging could lead to the full-time employment of unemployed citizens.