The concept of economic growth and the concept of capital and all that goes with it, does not really make the world productive. Money and capital cannot be an economic value, capital is human dignity and creativity. Joseph Beuys
Transforming romantic gifts of love into potent agents for peace involves investigation into the nature and history of Valentine commerce. Global Witness has worked for more than a decade tracking links between corruption, war and trade.
Can we reverse these damages and create peace products - more connected chains of trade with sensitivity and sensibility to human rights, environmental concerns, actively engaged in the work of conflict resolution and all levels of peace?
"We are each other and we are the world. Our society runs in large part on the denial of that truth. Few of us would personally rob a hungrey three-year-old of his last crust or abduct his mother at gunpoint to work in a textile factor, but simply through out consumption habits and our participation in the economy, we do the equivalent every day. And everything that is happening to the world is happening to ourselves." Charles Eisenstein
Martin Donohoe's documentation underlines the beginning of the marketing and manipulation of products associated with romantic love and the devastating consequences. He explores alternatives - supporting ethical business and sharing poetry and heart-felt sentiments not necessarily tied to spending money:
If thou canst but thither,
There grows the flower of Peace,
The Rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress and thy ease.
Roger Cohen, journalist for the International Herald Tribune and NY Times, poetically posits the Rose as a Tool for Social Change.
At the School of Economic Science in London- the Economics with Justice class instructs
'principles of truth, love and service translated into policies for governments and economic planners and practical precepts for individual households and businesses.'
Economy - an ancient Greek word - originally meant 'rules of the household.'
Philosopher and author of The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible, Charles Eisenstein goes deep into the the history of economics in Sacred Economics - how we have grown to define it and how we can create new possibilities.
Money takes root in conscious and directed ways to represent greater rather than greedy values and our deeper better selves rather than our worst in Soul of Money by Lynne Twist, founder of The Hunger Project.
Colleagues from international Impact Hub (to inspire and support imaginative and enterprising initiatives for a better world) are incubating offices for social entrepreneurs in post-conflict areas.
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If blood diamonds have fueled war and torture then peace diamonds can fund peace.
Today's cultivation of cocoa with its history of exploitation in the Ivory Coast, moves towards fairer trade, re-imagined and re-branded.
If carnations were a symbol for one of the most peaceful revolutions in history (Portugal Carnation Revolution), what can they accomplish in direct trade for the Colombians who grow them?
From Northern Uganda's burgeoning flower industry; from newly discovered mineral deposits in Afghanistan's gem industry; the promise of peace via economic stability and social justice blossoms through current and future active products and systems of integrity.
This is the philosophy behind the VPP to eventually launch a creative community flower brand functional for peace from inner reflection, to community participation, to global intention, development and unity.
The Valentine Peace Project (VPP) - celebrating inner peace, community peace and the journey towards world peace.
From a student in Boise, Idaho's VPP poem: 'Let go of everything you know, And let all become new.'
Art is really tangible capital - we need to develop a concept of money that allows creativity, or art, to be capital. Capital is human capacity and what flows from it. Capital is what art is - creativity and human intention, from which a product arises. These are the real economic values. Joseph Beuys