Aug 10, 2021Liked by Ian Edwards

Since we are working with human language here, nature can be anything we want. If we think of nature as a bank, then it is a bank with constant deposits (of sunlight) being added to the account. Of course we are constantly making withdrawals or converting assets to ones that are not liquid (keeping up the water references in the other comments) into junk bonds or tying up assets (like a 100 year CD). What is most important in my mind is if it resonates enough with people, corporations and governments to have them be responsible bankers, depositers and spenders of the money/assets (nature). I think banking relies on an open system (unlimited growth?) where as nature is a closed system. Like any metaphor you can only take the similarities so far. It depends on the culture too. DO people see the economy as the number one concern? Most folks in the US probably, but other places maybe not. I could go on but I won't at this point.

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Aug 8, 2021Liked by Ian Edwards

What a beautiful opportunity for inquiry. I really like the thought process that goes as you muse on a Bank of Nature. The analogy is wonderful for opening to ideas and the role of banking.

In other communities, we've examined the essence of financial tools, banking, and the role of community as stewards and receivers.

Working with your analogy through a Bank of Nature, I wonder at a deeper essence for our emergent 'respectful of nature' system centered not in structure but in flow. I wonder at foundational structures at a time where we're asked to get more comfortable with uncertainty and build skills based on riffing in responsive patterns.

I am fascinated that the word bank (and cash flow, revenue streams, etc.) mirror words for water and are the language of all flow systems. In flow systems, components (money, water) are pooled, released, saved and harnessed for power, or gently trickled out to appease the waiting masses (people or seedlings).

If we drop to flow as essence, instead of structure as foundational, doesn't intention become more paramount?

Is it for the financial capital to generate single bottom line profit, or holistic systems regeneration? Is the character of the capital stream purely financial, or does it carry other forms of capital (natural capital, social capital, intellectual capital, components of the carrying economy, etc.)?

If it’s regeneration, are we regenerating communities (skills for democratic and inclusive leadership, participatory budgeting, etc.) or the environment (livelihoods for regenerating water tables, or soil, or forests).

If we identify nature as a bank, are we finding structure to pool money without identifying the harnessed energy we’ve banked and the role of release in what should be dynamic role in healthy flow? Is nature container only, or should we frame more deeply and learn from indigenous thinking to see it as living, responsive, brother and sister?

That said, I find this analogy opening to new questions and answers. In traditional finance (Business As Usual -- BAU), mortgages, bank deposits, dividends, etc., are indeed flow. But at the essence of flow becomes opportunity for more responsive financial tools (i.e., Royalty Notes, Revenue Based Financing) but also opportunity to reuse and reimagine old financial tools (Royalty Notes-- again, Mortgage Backed Securities, Public Holding Companies, etc.)

As a bridge to lever understanding for a new narrative, it is perhaps highly effective. I like the creative tension the idea generates. Looking forward to learning more as you imagine and actualize the Bank of Nature.

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Aug 8, 2021Liked by Ian Edwards

Yes, I do believe so. If we first gather proper ecocide laws. And corporations no longer have more power than a person.

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Seeing Nature like a bank is a powerful metaphor that can energize the paradigm shift we need to make, from reckless Nature as an Afterthought (“someone else will clean up this mess, while I get to keep all the money”) to prudent Nature Aforethought.

Of course, Nature can never be made into a money bank, because money is a human construct, a human social convention for human social interaction.

But we, as humans, can construct a money bank that speaks for Nature, keeping a count of what Society takes out through enterprise and technology, and requiring that Society pays back what we take out, with interest.

Real banks use lawyers to collect debts that are not repaid voluntarily.

How can a Bank of Nature that speaks with a Voice for Nature, as a Proxy for Nature, monetize the debts that Society owes to Nature, and then use the law to collect those monetized debts owed to Nature that Society does not repay voluntarily?

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