Karma Kitchen and the Gift Economy

kristy Community Development Solutions

Karma Kitchen and the gift economy
Sep 27, 2011 01:00 pm | katieteague

Last May I had the pleasure and fun of spending a couple of days with Bill Miller, Nipun Mehta, Pancho Ramos-Stierle and the gang of ServiceSpace (formerly CharityFocus). Put simply, ServiceSpace – a wondrous web of people, technologies, ideas and actions – is an astonishing expression of lived generosity. And the glue that binds the web together is love.

If ever there was inspiration for realizing an economy based on giving over accumulating, that brings relationship and our inherent interdependence with all life back into the realm of exchange, I witnessed and felt it in those two days. Better yet, I was even infected by this generosity virus and I’m asking more and more “how can I serve (you)” versus the mostly unspoken undertow of “what can I get (from you?)”

One of ServiceSpace’s more famous ventures into the Gift Economy is Karma Kitchen (now in 3 cities in the U.S.). I’ve been hearing about Karma Kitchen for years and finally had the joy of walking through the doors of this unique experiment. Here is a five-minute film I created out of being so moved by my experience of these two days and in longing to convey the essence of what it means to live in the gift.


Karma Kitchen