Mark Boyle, aka The Moneyless Man, is a writer and activist best known for founding the online Freeconomy Community, and for living without money since November 2008.

Boyle writes regularly for the Freeconomy Blog and British newspaper The Guardian. His first book, The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living was published in 2010, and its proceeds go to the Freeconomy trust, towards purchasing land for the foundation of the Freeconomy Community.

Mark Boyle’s formal education is in business, but he has frequently cited his viewing of the film ‘Gandhi’ as an event that changed his life.  This, along with experiences selling organic food and critical conversations with friends, led him to begin envisioning a world that did not rely on money, which he saw as creating a disconnection between people and their actions.  This inspired the Freeconomy Community, which has over 25,000 members in over 150 countries, and shares similarities with websites such as The Freecycle Network, Freegle and Streetbank. The Freeconomy Community allows people to share, moving away from exchange economies towards a pay it forward philosophy.

A few months after creating the Freeconomy Community, Boyle set out on a two-and-a-half year trek from Bristol to Porbandar in India, the birthplace of Gandhi. However, he was forced to turn back only a month into the trip, as language barriers halted his journey shortly after he arrived in Calais. Later in the same year, he developed an alternative plan: to live without money entirely. After some preparatory purchases (including a solar panel and wood-burning stove), he began his first year of moneyless living on Buy Nothing Day 2009.

Boyle has received considerable positive and negative publicity for his moneyless lifestyle, appearing on television, radio and other media in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, USA and Russia. Much of the attention has focused on his day-to-day routine, including food, hygiene, and traditionally expensive aspects of life, such as Christmas.

Alongside the online component of the Freeconomy Community, several areas including Bristol and London hold Freeskilling sessions, where freeconomists take turns to pass on their skills in free one-off evening classes. Past topics have included subjects ranging from charity fundraising and anger management to bicycle maintenance, bread-making and campaigning skills.

Boyle is currently working with others to set up the UK’s first land-based Freeconomic community. Other founding members include Shaun Chamberlin, author of The Transition Timeline (2009), and Fergus Drennan, also known as the BBC’s Roadkill Chef.

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