Musings on Retreat

I’m writing this while on a retreat in deepest Cornwall with some women I know through a mindfulness group. It has been a lovely few days doing not a lot.. a guilt-free escape from our usually busy lives.

When was the last time you stopped and did absolutely nothing? I realise for me it has been a very long time.. partly because we live in the Yorkshire Dales, so any holidays or trips to friends or relatives involve a long drive and usually a whirlwind of activities and visits.

We have been lounging around reading, journal writing, meditating, sketching, walking, cooking, drinking lots of tea and wine and generally recharging our batteries.

It really has been an interesting experience to be properly ‘away’ with very limited mobile signal.. and actually quite liberating to do nothing.

The wind is whistling through the windows but the sky is blue and the crows are playing in the wind… this is my view…

view from Trefreock

Pretty good eh  🙂

Just Money – Banking as if Society Mattered

I have mentioned the U.Lab course Transforming, Business, Society and Self in a previous blog and this free course Just Money: Banking as if Society Mattered is from the same team at MIT. This time they look at how money moves around the exisiting banking ‘system’ and at examples of financial institutions working for positive change and doing things differently.

Hardly a week goes by without some story of dodgy behaviour from big banks so it may surprise you to discover that many credit unions and some banks are actually doing great things with their clients money. Understanding more about how this works gives you the knowledge to make an informed choice about what you do with your own money.

 

The 5 week course is free and runs on the edx.org platform and starts mid-April 2016 but you can register any time and work at your own pace.. blurb from the course page says..

What do you know about banking? Do you know what your bank does with your money? The recent financial crisis highlighted some of the most fundamental issues with the mainstream banking system.

This course looks into banks that operate differently, namely, “just banks” that use capital and finance as a tool to address social and ecological challenges.

This course is for anyone who wants to understand the unique role banks play as intermediaries in our economy and how they can leverage that position to produce positive social, environmental, and economic change.

The instructors of this course have worked for over 10 years with just banks from around the world, as well as in the fields of community development, economic democracy, and social change.

No previous knowledge of finance or banking is needed to take this course.

For more info or to sign up go to the Just Money page on edx.org

This is the first of several spin-off courses from the original U.Lab course and by 2017 there will be more from the same team of people on a range of topics.