If money is power, vote with your wallet

On 8 November 2016, the world we live in was dealt another shocking blow. At a time when we have never been more aware of the importance of coming together, to fight poverty, to stop wars, and save our oceans, there is still a significant majority that are driven by fear, ignorance, and greed. 

As if history is repeating itself, people are drawing lines in the sand and building walls, when they should be voting for equality, support, and collaboration. For profitable, sustainable, ideas that make our world a better place.

 US flag at half-mast in Anchorage, Alaska, after the Orlando shooting. Photo taken days into the beginning of our journey.

US flag at half-mast in Anchorage, Alaska, after the Orlando shooting. Photo taken days into the beginning of our journey.

Since Jo and I left the UK over five months ago it feels like the world has turned upside down, like the world has regressed when it needs more than ever to evolve. We have looked on in helpless disbelief as economies have broken down and people become more hostile towards their neighbours. We find the order of things inverted. We ask ourselves - how can so many people be making such bad choices? 

Why? Because they are afraid.

We have spoken a lot about fear on our journey so far, and never has it been more evident how devastatingly dangerous this emotion can be. How infectious it is, and how quickly it can spread through the media when fanned by those that use it as an axis to lever their own political agenda. 

If you are unhappy with the current political climate then take this as a wake up call. Those in power are a product of our own collective actions. Fear got us where we are today. So perhaps we should not add fuel to the fire and instead promote courage.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
— Winston Churchill

Never in the history of man have we been more connected to each other and had more synapses in this planetary consciousness of ours.  More avenues through which to speak and listen. Through social media, crowdfunding and disruptive new businesses, power is being de-centralised. And being given back to the individual -  back to you. So put it to good use, unite people with good ideas, share knowledge, evolve, and take action. 

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
— Nelson Mandela

Naturally this is why those who have historically held power now feel vulnerable. Why they are now their most aggressive. 

The system may be broken - but we have the tools to fix it.

 MacroAdventure Co-Founder Dom writing this blog post at our hostel in Antigua City, Guatemala

MacroAdventure Co-Founder Dom writing this blog post at our hostel in Antigua City, Guatemala

Since Jo and I left the UK on our nine month journey from Alaska to Argentina, we have met over 50 inspiring entrepreneurs, mentors and investors all working hard to change the world for the better. Never before have we been so connected, had a greater ability to educate those around us, and as consumers, vote for what we want our world to look like. 

Thanks to innovators like Hatch Lab PDX in Oregon, you are no longer tied to your bank for a small business loan - you can go to your community to find investors who vote for what your doing by investing in you through crowdfunding. 

As an investor, you no longer need to invest in mining companies, financial products, and commodities over which you have little knowledge, little impact and no control. In Oregon you can now invest in your neighbour's business.

So let us lead by example, not by force. Enable people to spread ideas that work. 

There are now more ways to vote with your investment - crowdfunding is just the start. You can now vote for which businesses you want to see succeed, which projects you want to support and what you want your local community to look like. You can get to know the people behind your investment and help them to grow their business by buying their products.  As Lindsay Smalling, Curator and Producer of SoCap, told us in San Francisco:

Investment can now be an extension of your values

As Zach Berman and Ryan Slater from The Juice Truck in Vancouver also taught us, everything we buy is a choice and a daily vote for what we want the world to look like.

If you want to fight global warming, eat less meat and buy low energy light bulbs. If you want to save a rain forest or Indonesian Orangutan, don't buy palm oil. If you want to support your local farmers and local economy, buy local produce. It's not rocket science. It's your choice.

Thanks to entrepreneurs like Steven Trimble, Founder and CEO of Arctic Solar Ventures, people in Alaska can now have access to solar energy and can move away from oil-generated power. Thanks to Bibop G. Gresta, Chairman of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, the world will soon have access to carbon-neutral high-speed transport. Thanks to Pato Bichara, CEO and Co-Founder of Collective Academy in Mexico City, people have access to higher-level education at a fraction of the cost. Thanks to companies like EcoFiltro, people in Guatemala now have access to clean, safe, drinking water. And that's just for starters.

 MacroAdventure Co-Founder Jo chatting to Collective Academy CEO, Pato Bichara, at Impact Hub in Mexico City

MacroAdventure Co-Founder Jo chatting to Collective Academy CEO, Pato Bichara, at Impact Hub in Mexico City

 Dom with EcoFiltro Founder Phillip Wilson at the company's factory outside Antigua City, Guatemala 

Dom with EcoFiltro Founder Phillip Wilson at the company's factory outside Antigua City, Guatemala 

Over the last five months we have met so many innovators who are leading from the front to create and support businesses that will change our world for the better. So there is hope. 

There are creative, knowledgeable, and rational people out there united by their desire to make the world a better place, and using business to make it happen.

Lines may have been drawn but they are only the summation of a naive few. They will be dissolved by sharing knowledge and supporting collaboration between good people with good ideas. 

We may despair at the signal a marginal majority is sending to the world - that is the greatest concern and one which frustrates us all. But as individuals and as communities, we have never had more power and more choice to move away from systems we no longer believe in.  

Those that wish to fight for change, for justice, for the environment, for equality and for the planet, may do so every day by consciously choosing how they spend their money. So don't sit and complain. If it's that important to you, get out there and vote.