Damaris Matthijsen - Free, Equal, and Together

Guide Towards a Society and Economy, Beneficial to Human and Planet


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More and more people long for a society and economy that benefit all humans and the Earth. Damaris Matthijsen offers in this book new ideas, concepts, and methods to create such a world: the Free-Equal-Together society. She describes a clear way out of the systematic crises and offers practical excercises to take steps ourselves, really letting us experience a feeling of freedom, equality, and togetherness.

Crucial in this is the transformation of ownership and control of our commons: land, labor, and capital. Managed by people, not by the market or the state. PartnerShip is the form of cooperation with which we can retrieve our way towards love and trust, creativity and unity. And relearn how to take care of the whole from within.

Free, Equal, and Together is for everyone who searches for ways to work towards a society that honors all life.

Published in August 2022 | Hardcover | 416 pages | ca. 119,000 words
Full English AI translation available
Dutch edition published by Santasado

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Damaris Matthijsen is the founder of Economy Transformers, a movement and academy by, for, and with initiators of a radical and loving alternative. She is transition coach, teacher, speaker, and developer of new structures for the Free-Equal-Together society. Economy Transformers was selected for the Trouw Sustainable Top-100 and Damaris has won the Constructive Rebels Award 2020, organized by Society Is Us inspirational platform.


‘Damaris is the Kate Raworth of the Netherlands.’
Leonie van der Steen, Squarewise

‘If you truly want to be innovative as a pioneer, you have to reach for the sky as well as nurture your roots. That is exactly what this book does.’
Nancy Wiltink, Vers aan de Vecht

‘One of the most inspiring trainings I have ever done. Damaris precedes you in making your ideals practical with a beautiful example of how we can design organizations in such a way that it is innovative in all aspects and brings out the best of its people. Highly recommended for everyone that is a social and sustainable entrepreneur.’
Marieke Vingerhoeds, Elia Initiatives for the Future

‘After working as a high-profile lawyer for five years and at the Finance Ministry for two years, I knew for sure that our current systems will fail in the future. Damaris' book offers an important foundation for further thinking. I urge lawyers to read this book with great care and contribute to PartnerShip and creating a legal basis for these solutions.’
Yacob Mijhad, lawyer

‘PartnerShip is organizing with heart and soul in which each individual can come to full fruition.’
Rose, chef

‘This is future-proof community power!’
Pieter Hessel, Economy Transformers

‘PartnerShip puts our economy back in a personal perspective and accessible to all.’
Gérard Pillen, ritual coach

‘Critical thinking from the prevailing ways, based on distrust is nice but not enough. The PartnerShip offers tools to organize my company from the inside on my own way and from its purpose. By focusing on valuing instead of controlling, yet in touch with the current reality. Recommended to dive into!’
Mieke Koldewee, organizational advisor, dancer

‘There could be a huge gap between desire to act and actually doing what is necessary. This book shows us what needs to be done and that a humane and earth-worthy society is not just doable, it fits with who we really are. There are a lot of books telling us our current ways and finite, this book tells how we can solve things. It leaves you not beat but inspired, it shows an alternative.’
Marcel Heskes, Squarewise

‘We learn with knowledge and emotions why Mother Earth can take care of herself again.’
Bouwie Greenman, farmer, Earth Collective

‘Damaris is not afraid to ask the truly fundamental questions to rethink our economy radically. But she makes it practical at the same time. She challenges the reader to start from human values and translates them into new relations for ownership and legal structures. A must-read for anyone who wants to see how people are working on a better world - far below the radar of the large corporates.’
Rutger Claassen, professor Political Philosophy and Economic Ethics at the Utrecht University

‘Damaris' book is an accessible description of a logical future image of the world in which everybody can recognize themselves. And she offers the tools to realize it right away. Take this opportunity!’
Jennifer Benson, Economy Transformers


Foreword by Leonie van der Steen, Squarewise
Foreword by Henry Mentink, Veerhuis
0.1 Check-in
0.2 Motivation
0.3 PartnerShip in short
0.4 Reading guide
0.5 My wish for you

Part 1: From within... The basis for a society beneficial to human and Earth

Chapter 1: The primal source for the PartnerShip
1.1 Love and trust
1.2 The from within to outside principle
1.3 Free-Equal-Together
1.4 Six keys for a society beneficial to human and Earth

Chapter 2: Free and Together as organizational principles for the six keys
2.1 The Free-Triangle: I am, Value, Ownership
2.2 The Together-Triangle: Earth, Organization, Relation

Chapter 3: The invitation to development
3.1 Shadow triangles
3.2 Place, order, and balance in giving and taking
3.3 Closing and observation of the current age: from Free to Together

Part 2: ...To outside. PartnerShip, idea, from, and process

Chapter 4: Primal image of the PartnerShip
4.1 The wheel
4.2 Human as a loving creating being
4.3 The Source in the middle
4.4 The Source: its own status
4.5 From vision to mission towards the Source, from line to circle
4.6 Attention for the role of the initiator

Chapter 5: Key I am: Acting with passion and inner strength
5.1 There is a place on Earth for every I am

Chapter 6: Key Value: Meeting needs
6.1 Deploying capacities, self-determined
6.2 Money and economy are not the same thing
6.3 Balance in giving and taking
6.4 Money raising activities and overhead
6.5 The right price
6.6 Price-driven
6.7 Money, or something else
6.8 Risk and investments
6.9 Profit
6.10 (Chain) cooperation and associative economy

Chapter 7: Key Ownership: From, by, and with people
7.1 Taking ownership over experiences and insights
7.2 I want to and I don't want to (doubt from the danger triangle)
7.3 Perspective on ownership
7.4 Land as common
7.5 Capital as common
7.6 Creative Commons Relations
7.7 Labor to itself; meaningful work, free and self-determined
7.8 In closing: Transformation of ownership

Chapter 8: Key Organization: Equal and flat
8.1 Humancentric organizing
8.2 False hope (strategy triangle)
8.3 The PartnerShip in form
8.4 The Source body
8.5 The democratic organization: the work
8.6 Natural and shared leadership
8.7 A few tips on meetings
8.8 The power of decision-making
8.9 Creating your own legal space
8.10 When do you start the process?
8.11 Chosing a bridge
8.12 Governing
8.13 In closing

Chapter 9: Key Relation: Transparent and honest
9.1 Connected to everything and everyone
9.2 False power (strategy triangle)
9.3 What is your story?
9.4 How do you listen to your relations?
9.5 PartnerShip partners: connection and ending relationships
9.6 Taking care of the Source
9.7 Taking care of the cooperation
9.8 Circles of involvement

Chapter 10: Key Earth: Organism and wealth
10.1 Surrendering to reality
10.2 False surrende (strategy triangle)
10.3 Time
10.4 Life-death-life
10.5 Diversity and inclusion
10.6 The 'right' measure and natural growth
10.7 Sustainability
10.8 Wealth

Chapter 11: In closing: Building a new world
11.1 Check-out
11.2 Invitation to you
11.3 Acknowledgements
11.4 Realist


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