Financial Systems and Local Economies

Right Livelihood and Alternative Markets

A Learning Journey

 at Wongsanit Ashram

Thailand is home to significant number of working models of community-based financial and banking systems that have been expanding and competing with existing conventional economic systems. We will visit and learn from these examples, exploring different concepts and drawing on their lessons learned over decades of implementation, including their contribution to wider community regeneration and self-governance.

During our journey we will be taking a closer look at why Growth Domestic Product (GDP) is an insufficient economic indicator and what alternative indicators already exist. Moving beyond purely economic towards local and community scale indicators for economic vibrancy and well-being, we will explore different guiding values for economic life and look at how collaborative consumption and peer-to-peer networks are already offering new pathways to engaging in right livelihood. Drawing on practical examples that people have adopted to build alternative markets for exchange and interaction, we will explore different options on how to ‘plug the leaks’ that drain local wealth in favour of multi-nationals and their stakeholders. We will examine how social innovation and entrepreneurship, e.g. social enterprise, producer-consumer platforms (CSA, farmer markets etc.) can help transition towards a world where a strong global economy is the result of effective collaboration between vibrant local and regional economies.