Gift Economy Thinkers

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The gift economy spans traditional disciplines, so most of these thinkers are actually inter-disciplinary.


Robin Upton Developed Altruistic Economics, a decentralised accounting model that incorporates sympathy suitable for a non-hierarchical gift economy, together with Friend2Friend, a prototype computer system to implement it


Peter Kropotkin Russian anarchist, published Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, challenging Social Darwinism.
Vic Button UK pioneer of Give and Takes, started the Gift Economy Party in 2012


Terry Leahy Anarchist Sociologist
Marcel Mauss French sociologist, published Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques, a starting point for much of the study of gift economy over the past 80 years.
Genevieve Vaughan Feminist Gift Economy researcher, organiser of Gift Economy conferences and author of feminist gift economy books.


Yochai Benkler Law professor who has written about the economics, psychology, sociology & technology of internet-based networks of sharing an peer-production.
Anitra Nelson Ecological sustainability researcher, with a vision for money-free, local communities
Charles Eisenstein Altruist philosopher whose magnum opus questions the discrete and separate self.
Alpha Lo Author, group facilitator and Gift Circle pioneer.
Lewis Hyde Professor of creative writing whose book The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, on reciprocity and gift giving as relationship building has been an inspiration to many.

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