martin kirk

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[louisville, co]

This is an interview between Joe Brewer (Research Director) and Martin Kirk (Head of Strategy), both at

the rules


3 min – my first discomfort came w public attitude.. they were locked in w global voices via those who speak the loudest.. ie: best response to global poverty for rich people to give money to poor people et al..

4 min – that poor people need to be more like rich people..  virtue=wealth.. poverty=lack of virtue.. because

so hooked on charity story.. because so hooked on charity business model..

6 min – questioning that.. led to.. opp to help set up the rules..

7 min – deconstructed wording of ngo.. 6 yrs ago.. started the rules 3 yrs ago (video in 2015)

8 min – peak – didn’t mind that it was going to take a long time.. but that people didn’t seem to be rising to the challenge.. the rules was a relief

11 min – joe: trust your intuition.. seek truth..



via Martin and Jason (2017)

Why is development failing? This brings us to what the Gates’ letter omits.  The letter focuses so unwaveringly on foreign aid that you’d be forgiven for believing that charity is all that’s needed to address poverty. We hear nothing of the systemic forces that drive poverty and inequality in the first place, such as – to name just two relevant examples – tax evasion and avoidance, and intellectual property rights.

yes.. let’s go deeper

ie: roots of healing.. via a nother way sans money/property/having ness

For all its candor and color, here, in black and white, is what the annual letter doesn’t tell you: that our global economic system is designed in such a way as to channel our planet’s wealth into the hands of a tiny elite. The proof? The eight richest men in the world – of whom Bill Gates is one, even after donating $30 billion to the foundation – have more personal wealth than the poorest half of the world’s population combined.

Changing that system at its root – by *stopping illicit financial flows, shutting down tax havens, creating a fairer trade system, battling climate change and helping to build resilient local economies and communities – would require those with power and wealth to dismantle the very machine that created their privilege. That sounds unattainable but if the Greek roots of the word philanthropy literally mean for “**the love of humanity” surely such drastic change that would benefit people and planet is the point

*how about making finance/tax/exchange ness irrelevant..

**let’s go more drastic..


via Martin and Alnoor (2016)

If the rules are to be changed, we cannot expect the system to autocorrect. We must change them manually.

a nother way

Aggregate economic growth does not translate into less poverty.

We become connected, in very real and actionable ways, by a realization that we are all being screwed by the same basic set of rules.

Most importantly, we start to see new and different solutions. Ideas that previously seemed to only mitigate one problem can start to be seen to mitigate all.

deep enough for all

As we contract new types of relationships, with each other, with our communities, with nature itself, we will usher in new types of social relations based on a vast range of diverse and mutually supporting solutions that will render the old paradigm, with its slavish adherence to ideas like perpetual growth, wholly obsolete.

a nother way


another via Martin and Jason

Martin Kirk (@martinkirk_co) tweeted at 4:52 AM – 12 Jul 2017 :

Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem? (

..there’s something fundamentally flawed about a system that has a prime directive to churn nature and humans into capital

ours is a system that is programmed to subordinate life to the imperative of profit.

millennials aren’t bogged down by these dusty old binaries. For them the matter is simple: They can see that capitalism isn’t working for the majority of humanity, and they’re ready to invent something better.

Our leaders will tell us that these ideas are not feasible, but what is not feasible is the assumption that we can carry on with the status quo

 a nother way  ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…].. 


Martin Kirk (@martinkirk_co) tweeted at 10:25 AM on Tue, Aug 01, 2017:
Capitalism’s excesses belong in the dustbin of history. What’s next is up to us | Martin Kirk

seemed unable to even engage with the notion that capitalism itself might be the problem.

why would anyone want to denigrate that capacity by believing that capitalism is the final system we can come up with?

We can start by changing how we understand and measure progress.

rather.. start by disengaging from the measuring..


sept 2017 – another via Martin and Jason


@TheNextSystem Thought you might like this, incl. the namecheck. Thanks for all your great work!…

Capitalism has become a dogma, and dogmas die very slowly and very reluctantly. question it can trigger a visceral reaction; it can feel like an attack not just on common sense but on our personal identities.

It would be a sad and defeated world that simply accepted the prebaked assumption that capitalism (or socialism, or communism) represents the last stage of human thought; our ingenuity exhausted.

The path to a better future will be cut by regular people being curious and open enough to challenge the wisdom received from our schools, our parents, and our governments, and look at the world with fresh eyes.


Martin Kirk (@martinkirk_co) tweeted at 9:15 AM on Wed, Oct 18, 2017:
Can Basic Income Plus The Blockchain Build A New Economic System?

The difference is that where revolutions tend to simply replace one elite group with another, a renaissance reintroduces existing ideas into a new context.

Where revolutions typically attempt to reform an existing paradigm, a renaissance can transcend the paradigm as people organize and solve problems in completely new ways.

what if the UBI was delivered not in dollars or euros, but in a cryptocurrency running on a blockchain?..t

what if we used blockchain to disengage from money/income..

the blockchain is the technology that has the potential to bring all these other developments together to usher in a new age of collaborative social organization and post-capitalist economic logic.

neutral platforms facilitating peer-to-peer exchange, without the coercive social contracts of governments nor rent-collecting middlemen in the form of gigantic tech firms.

how about neutral platform facilitating p2p connections.. w/o coercive/rent-collecting mindset of measuring transactions/exchange

cryptocurrencies represent nothing less than an opportunity to redesign money..t



transcend the paradigm (words from above)

We’re designing and building one example of a positive “positive currency” in the world of cryptocurrency, called Circles. takes on grassroots characteristics. A smart contract creates new currency units at the same fixed rate for each user, and these users create relationships of trust between each other to exchange their newly minted money.


The digital renaissance is already giving some shape to the future. Our job is to help midwife it into full existence, before some less equitable, less safe alternative snatches it away from us.

anything that measures transactions.. won’t be equitable..


CONCORD (@CONCORD_Europe) tweeted at 0:33 AM on Thu, Nov 09, 2017:
It’s about questioning the SDG as the most appropriate frame to tackle the world’s current challenges… @martinkirk_co speech will guide you through that reflection

2 hr video.. kind of hard to hear


4 min – martin starts

5 min – what is an economy.. what is progress.. what makes humans happy..

7 min – how narratives change.. requires self correction and a willingness to be lost.. t

10 min – diff between stories and narratives

15 min – these mean more to my heart than my head

19 min – one of things we’ve got horribly wrong is believing world is a machine.. (it is) infinitely complex.. everchanging..

22 min – interconnections


from – we are protestors to we are protectors.. that one little word shift..  approach to life.. rich source of inspiration.. standing rock..t

holmgren indigneous law

standing rock

29 min – freedom when organize life around transactional models..capitalist way of life.. t

krishnamurti free will law

david graeber – only problem w capitalism is it destroys the planet and is based on work

30 min – zapitistas.. tribes at standing rock.. capitalism is wha they reject.. what they want to be spared from.. many n american first nations describe western nations as wetiko – deludes host into believing cannibalizing life force of others.. short circuits individuals ability to see self as enmeshed.. raises a self serving ego.. this false separation.. a cancer cell



genotype-phenotype gap

34 min – many places we can start.. i’m going to start w imperatives..

for (blank)’s sake

38 min – this means breaking w the sdg narrative..

40 min – it’s a lot to ask.. but we don’t have the time for anything less

if you want to exponentiate.. begs a means for 7bn to leap

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

43 min – think about money from a diff lens.. money as a claim on future energy use.. all money creates the demand for all money

perhaps times beg we disengage from money.. from measuring transactions..

44 min – never enough money to pay back debts.. by goal.. unbreakable

47 min – everything requires energy

53 min – blockchain.. 1 bitcoin transaction now uses as much energy as average house

55 min – only thing we can do now.. only thing worth our time.. is to reprogram the logic of the economy.. this is the imperative

and/or disengage form it..

what we don’t have time is to explore all the other econ models.. and there are plenty

57 min – (breaking up.. and harder to hear when comes in.. so may not be catching it correctly) steps: 1\ resist

1:00 – on measuring poverty – and incorrect/low measurements.. ie: 60% of humanity unable to secure resources..

1:01 – time to realize global econ not working for majority.. t

1:04 – fracture the logic of growth.. quit w gdp.. real hope

1:06 – indigenous 24% of earth’s surface.. 80% of world’s biodiversity.. so much inspiration for us in indigenous narratives.. sophistication of most poisonous messages of past.. we are not the experts..t

holmgren indigneous law

1:08 – we are feeding the develop story: rich country gives aid to poor.. to eradicate poverty for next 30 yrs.. that’s bs..t

1:10 – we are alive on this planet when it needs us most.. protection is so very needed.. throw off our reserve/fear/prof-egos.. only one task.. os.. t

reset differently – do-over



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Let your mind alone and see what happens

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