New Economy Advocate, Consultant & CEO
Donnie Maclurcan is passionate about making a difference. At 20, he attained the Guinness World Record for the fastest journey on foot across Australia, raising $30,000 for the sight-restoring work of The Fred Hollows Foundation. He spent the following 10 years presenting to school, community and corporate groups about our ability to end avoidable blindness, while simultaneously undertaking a bachelor’s degree in Human Movement Studies. Gaining accreditation as an exercise physiologist, he worked with hundreds of athletes, culminating in coaching the Fijian national sailing team. During his 20s, he also worked with Sydney’s homeless, then as a telephone counselor and coordinator of a lobby group for Aboriginal justice. His time on the New South Wales Human Rights Education Committee motivated him to spend two years co-developing a case study for Australian high school students about the tragic drowning of 353 asylum seekers on their way to Australia in 2002.
Believing that additional supportive structures could help fellow Australians seeking to make a difference, Donnie established Project Australia. Through an online toolbox and database, as well as pro-bono consultancy, the organisation helped hundreds of not-for-profit projects start, scale and sustain their work. Simultaneously, Donnie worked for Australian Rotary Health, organizing the Great Australian Bike ride (raising $200,000 for mental health research), and assembled a directory of over 500 community passions and skills in his then hometown of Brooklyn, to the north of Sydney.
Continuing an early interest in world affairs, Donnie taught English and mathematics in South Korea, was a journalist at the World Social Forum in Kenya, and obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Technology, Sydney, assessing the social implications of nanotechnology’s global emergence. His research resulted in various international presentations, including at the United Nations level, translation into multiple languages, and the publishing of two books: Nanotechnology and Global Equality and Nanotechnology and Global Sustainability. With his doctoral thesis sparking a passion for economic justice, Donnie co-founded and is now Executive Director of the Post Growth Institute, where he has led the development of the (En)Rich List, the Offers and Needs Market proces, the Post Growth Challenge, the Post Growth Alliance, Cascades Hub, and Free Money Day: an international event, now spanning 31 countries, where people hand out their own money to strangers, asking them to pass half on.
Drawing on his diverse experiences, Donnie has consulted to more than 400 projects across 30 countries, provided more than 300 workshops and talks in 12 different nations, and helped community projects crowdfund more than $400,000.
Distinguished Fellow at the Schumacher Institute, Affiliate Professor of Social Science at Southern Oregon University, Fellow with the Findhorn Foundation, and Associate with the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures, Donnie is presently working on two crowdfunded books: How on Earth: Our Future is Not-for-Profit; and The Not-for-Profit Handbook: How to Start, Scale and Sustain Resilient Projects in an Ever-Changing World.