Engagement: Starting with Purpose, Realizing Impact

Greetings, friends of Money & Life. My name is Nathaniel James, and I’m working with Katie as the Community Engagement Strategist and Coordinator. Simply put, I’m here to ensure that the film connects to the widest possible audience. More importantly, we see the film as a tool. We don’t just want people to watch; we want the film to empower them to act and make changes at the personal, community and global levels. I’m putting together the people, processes and tools to make that happen. If that excites you, please be in touch. My door is open to you. You can learn a little more about my background here.

We want to share with you the engagement and marketing strategy and some of the plans that are coming together. Before I dive in, I just want to say how honored I am to be part of this project. Katie is a joy to work with, and I’m meeting many wonderful people who are already out there making preparations to support the film’s release in March. The film is almost finished, and I can say that you – and the people with whom you share the film – are in for an experience you won’t soon forget.

Our lives and communities are so entangled with this system of money, but it is often difficult to understand and is such a taboo topic that we don’t often help each other come to grips with the what that entanglement means. Subsequently, money is a source of stress and isolation, and – at its worst – injustice, environmental devastation and violence. Besides being a beautiful film, Money & Life is an invitation to release the taboo and a tool that you can use as we strive to create a new economy that embodies our best selves.

Money & Life has a big story to tell, one that we believe will touch many lives. As an independent film, though, it has a small team and nothing like a big Hollywood budget for marketing and promotion. How are we going to make this happen? When I first joined the project last fall, I worked with Katie and our allies to draft a core strategy document, and I’d like to share some of it with you.

Sun Tzu wrote:

Purpose is the motivating force for achievement.   When you are doing something which serves your purpose, you are at your best. We cannot use what we learn without the fire of purpose in our hearts.

I started by asking “What is the purpose of Money & Life and what are the outcomes we want to see in order to know it is making its fullest impact?” After much reflection and deliberation, this is the statement of purpose and outcomes:


At its core, Money & Life is about awakening viewers to the gift of life, inviting people to reclaim their lives and their communities from the rule of money and sparking participation in the creation of a more beautiful world.

Tactically, Money & Life uses the economic crisis as an opportunity to educate audiences about the emergence of the resilient new economy movement, inspire people to find their place in the movement and provide them with support and resources in their exploration.


Money & Life offers questions and provoke audiences to seek answers for themselves. The film asks:

  • What is real wealth?
  • How does the dominant money system contribute to my sense of scarcity and separation from community and the natural world?
  • How can we move beyond being merely consumers, debtors and creditors, and put money in service to what we really care about as citizens and as human beings?
  • How do my financial choices align with my most deeply held values?
  • How do I embody generosity?
  • Can we design a monetary circulation system that fosters democratic equality?
  • What does it really mean to make a living?

The film’s distribution will take on a life of its own, as leaders and communities use the film and associated tools to further their own efforts in creating the new economy.

This will inspire a lively public dialogue, across the US and beyond, that leads to individuals making more authentic financial choices and community coordination to create and nurture collective wellbeing as we transition to the resilient new economy.

Whenever we are making a strategic or tactical decision about the distribution of the film and our approach to engagement, we return to this statement for clarity.

We would love to hear from you. Does this statement resonate with you? Do you have questions or ideas about how we can realize this purpose? If so, leave a comment below, post a note on Facebook or shoot us a message.

In future updates, I’ll be sharing the tactical plan for the film’s release, the methods we’ll use to measure the film’s success and other updates as we proceed.


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