Money and Valuing Life

When:   Saturday May 25th – 11 AM until 4 PM (welcome from 10.30 AM)

Where: Amstelveel, heemtuin de Braak

With:    Willem Ferwerda, former director of IUCN NL and founder of Ecosystem Return, Sarah Denie (founder Beautiful Economy) and Li An Phoa (founder Beautiful Earth Action and Research)

We live in a time of large-scale global destruction. No wonder; our economic logic is such that we value the extraction and use of ‘natural resources’, while the conservation and regeneration of ecosystems are considered an economic cost. Continuous industrial growth has severely damaged the earth’ regenerative capacity, a process that today threatens the future of human life.

Throughout society, people are realising that our economy – oikos-nomos, the management of the home – is violating the ecology – oikos-logos, the rules and rhythms of our home planet. Businesses are waking up to the fact that they are dependent on the scarce resources they once considered unlimited, while governments are becoming aware that growing Gross National Product does not always coincide with long-term ecological and social well-being. Meanwhile, individuals and organisations around the world are redesigning our  economic activities, in order to make ecology and economy not conflicting, but complementary value systems.

Willem Ferwerda’s Ecosystem Return is one of these initiatives. As the work of John D Liu showed us during Earth Hope, large-scale degraded ecosystems can be regenerated. Deserts can be restored into thriving, diverse ecologies, creating natural wealth and sources of income for local communities as well as investors.

Willem is committed to making these stories known and understood around the world, as well as engaging businesses in the great opportunities of ecosystem restoration. With his new endeavour Ecosystem Return, Willem teamed up with global consultant McKinsey & Company, with whom he developed an investment model that clearly communicates the opportunities for companies to get involved in aligning natural and monetary wealth.

In Money and Valuing Life, Willem will show us a viable alternative to today’s dominant model of value-creation and give us insight in how we can build an economy that is sustainable and regenerative. Spring College will provide insight in how the distinction between money and value has become blurred in our current economic thinking, and invites you to thoroughly challenge your own value-perspectives.

If you are curious and wish to join Money and Valuing Life, please sign up by emailing to: You will receive detailed information on the programme and location shortly.

To allow for a diversity of participants, Spring College events are by donation. €30 per personFlyer 25 May 2013 will cover direct costs (not our time). You can transfer your donation to Spring College, NL38 TRIO 0254 8451 26 at Triodos Bank Zeist or bring cash money with you.

Feel free to share this invitation with anyone you think would be interested.


Heemtuin De Braak is located on the Amsterdamseweg in Amstelveen. Take the entrance located across the road from the Emmakade (if you come from direction A’dam on the Amsterdamseweg, you find the entrance on your left, just after the railway crossing).

If you come by public transport, the nearest bus stops are Julianapark, Amstelveen and Graaf Florislaan Amstelveen. You can also rent an OV-fiets from train station Amsterdam Zuid-WTC (15 minutes ride).

Meet the ‘Money and Valuing Life’ group of participants