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Charles Eisenstein

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About Charles

Author and speaker

  • Author of several books covering ecology, economics, society and philosophy
  • Advocate of the gift economy
  • Driver of positive change
  • Regular speaker on TV, radio, conferences and other events
  • One of the biggest thinkers of our time
If you could invite 1 person to a dinner party – who would it be and why?

My brother. He is a farmer in a remote location and would enjoy being present at an interesting dinner party. Plus he is a really good story teller.

What motivates you? Makes you happy?

I feel happiest when my children are happy, when I know I have done my best and that my work has been received by those who are meant to receive it. 

What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?

Please don’t just get by on raw talent. Do each thing beautifully, step by step, from the ground up, respecting what it wants to be. And, you don’t need to qualify or to deserve it, to receive love. 

If you could make 1 global change – what would it be?

For one thing to change, everything must change. And if one thing truly changes, then everything will change. Therefore I cannot really answer this question, plucking one thing out of an interconnected matrix.

What are your Top 3 achievements?
  1. Staying patient with my children when the stress was intense.
  2. Continuing to write when I received no recognition or economic support and facing my inner critic that said I’m crazy or naïve.
  3. Being a trustworthy friend, at least on some occasions.

Properly speaking, none of these are "my" achievements, but are only possible because of the love and support I have been so fortunate to receive from my community. 

What does sustainability mean for you?

It opens up the question: What is it that we want to sustain? And then, what do we NOT want to sustain, to make way for what we want to create?

What was the most important event/influence that changed your perspective?

It is hard to pick just one, but I can say that living in Taiwan when I was 19 and again through my twenties was a huge influence, because it showed me that there are other ways of seeing the world, other conceptions of what is important, real, and possible. It accelerated my questioning of what I’d be given to understand as the way of the world. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

The water is rising now from many springs. 

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