social change | March 03, 2013

Money Isn't The Only Form Of Currency: Jessica Jackley [VIDEO]

"I grew up with some angst and some stress about money," social change speaker Jessica Jackley told the crowd at a recent CreativeMornings lecture. When she was growing up, Jackley says that she would become extremely disheartened every time she learned about someone living in extreme poverty—to the point where she admits to sometimes having felt guilty for her own wealth. In the talk, she shared the story of how she co-founded KIVA (a highly successful microlending website) and how her relationship with money has changed over the years.

After filling the attendees in on her role with KIVA, Jackley dove into the important role that money plays in all of our lives—and what our interactions with money say about who we are. She says talking about money can often be awkward and uncomfortable, and that the way we spend or save our money says a great deal. The entrepreneurs she has worked with through KIVA—some of the poorest individuals in the world—often seem to have a more comfortable relationship with money than many in the developed world. First of all, she says that these people see money simply as a means to an end. Since they have so little of it, they do not attach their identities to money. This means that they are able to have more open conversations about money as it is not a defining characteristic of who they are. They don't see money as the only form of currency to achieve their goals, and attach their worth to other areas of life.

Jackley believes that this attitude can be extremely beneficial for us to consider. "We have more than just money to spend," she says in the talk, "and I think we should work for and ask for...more than just money to receive." When you attach your worth to something beyond a money, and place value on life's other rewards, Jackley says you can drastically change the conversation and potentially, one day, change the world.