Gift Economy

Gift Economy

Gift Economy: What it is and why we do it

You might have wondered why Hawkwood, as an arts charity that has been heavily impacted by the economic challenges of the pandemic – continues to offer Conversations that Matter (CTM) and our Climate Action Labs through Gift Economy. Why do you offer events for ‘free’ when you need to financially survive?! A logical question! We thought we’d tell you why.

Gift Economy is based on a cyclical system of meaningful reciprocity.

I like to dream up the picture of a dusty marketplace from an imagined few lifetimes ago, where we would make precious goods and trade them for the neighbours garments, swap our fruits for their fruits, my apples for your eggs.

Everyone by nature has the capacity to become an expert at what they most love, such were the days of the marketplace. Now, imagine these little nuggets of inspiration, found in our Conversations that Matter, were our hand-grown and much-loved herbs. The tending has been offered through our seed-sowing, our kinship, our appreciation of interconnectedness and the generosity of Life. Like herbs, our CTM’s and action labs are offered to you as much loved ingredients – something you can take, if you choose, and use to make a great soup in the world!

Just like this, with these foundational parts to our online programme, we simply invite honest and humble trade. We call this the Gift Economy.

This economic model is grounded in simple and sweet humanity. It is not sponsored, or funded by anyone other than our community: YOU!

You are given the possibility and opportunity, purely by open invitation, to offer the currency that you feel is true to give, for what it is that you personally receive.

Here is a platform for genuine engagement and warm, human to human trade – based purely on trust, honesty with oneself and loving kindness.

It allows everyone, regardless of what they have to give, to partake in the inspiration, in the collaboration or enjoyment of these programmes.

From our side, there isn’t an expectation at all. The sessions are freely given. It is purely in the hands of the receiver to ask – how much do I wish to give in exchange for what I have received?

We thoroughly enjoy presenting our educational offerings on our platform. It is always a pleasure to connect with our wider, global communities and with many of you we know so well. Finding new and refreshing ways to approach the systems that prevail in our society is integral to Hawkwood’s mission.

Thank you for joining us in the experiment!

For more information on the Gift Economy concept, we recommend:

Please share your gift economy inspirations in the comments!

Written by Miriam Buck, Content Curator & Programme Manager, Hawkwood CFT


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