Insights on a Gatherer’s Economy

Insights on a Gatherer’s Economy

Donna Morton shares how she sees women reshaping the world

Donna Morton is looking at the science of men and women’s brains and says she’s discovering some compelling information.

Morton, CEO of First Power, is presenting at TEDx Winnipeg Sept. 15 on the topic The Gatherer’s Economy: Women Re-Shaping the World.

She notes during most of history humans were hunter-gatherers and there was a power balance between the genders and economic parody even in that simple economy, as well as balance in terms of human relationship to the living world.

There are some biological differences in the way men and women’s brains work, she says. Men have more gray matter and are good at chasing things down and having a single focus, which Morton calls “the hunter’s brain.”

Women tend to have more white matter activity, the connectivity parts of the brain, which lend towards problem solving, long-term thinking, complexity, and gathering information, which Morton refers to as the make-up of a gatherer.

“We’ve moved into a modern era that has over-emphasized the talents of the hunter and we’ve built a hunter’s economy where you chase something, you bag it, you target it,” she says, noting much of the language in modern economy and enterprise uses the hunter’s language.

Morton says some of the economic capacities from a gatherer’s knowledge, such as thinking long-term and problem solving with the crowds, “come into solve the biggest problems we have.”

“It’s not going back to caves, it’s saying how do we draw on a richer, broader intelligence right now to solve the problems of the global economy,” she says.

Morton spent six weeks this summer as an Unreasonable Institute fellow, living and working with 25 other high-impact entrepreneurs tackling the world’s social and environmental problems.

She says the Unreasonable Institute and TED programs are examples of the world reinventing itself in real-time.

“I met people from India and Africa and across the globe that are amazing examples of that new economy, of a gatherer’s economy. And they’re tenacious, driven, creative, lovely people that I have incredible amounts of faith in,” she says.

“I feel like this reinvented economy already exists all over the world and it’s about us being it, it’s about us exposing it and sharing it and building it consciously.”

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Jennifer Neutel's picture
Jennifer Neutel

Jennifer Neutel is a Story Advocate and Generative Journalist at Axiom News. She completed her Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa in 2006, and joined Axiom News in 2007. She has taken on a variety of roles at Axiom including new social media intiatives and has a passion for creating strengths-based questions that can lead to positive change.

Contact Jennifer:, or 705-741-4421 ext. 26.

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