How to put on a "Design your own Currency" Workshop[edit | edit source]

This page and its companion Community_Currencies were compiled (originally) by Bruno Vernier as part of the Permaculture Diploma process to learn about 'permaculture of money'. Contact: bruno.vernier at gmail.com

Learning Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • participants will totally get that the heart of community currency is 'community building' and 'relationship building'
  • participants will be able to identify, differentiate and determine the appropriate uses of a gift currency, a time currency, an unredeemable token currency, a redeemable proxy currency and a tax-collection currency
  • participants will feel enthousiastic about the growing field of community currencies while realizing it is still very experimental
  • participants with a design background (PDC?) will be able to design a currency as a component of wholistically solving a real problem they are familiar with

Prepare before the workshop[edit | edit source]

  • samples of all the various types of community currencies (and some proxy yang currencies)
  • prepare Yin and Yang attribute cards (ed note: insert content of the cards here or in a separate wiki page)

Introduction[edit | edit source]

  • form a semi-circle so everyone can see the center of the circle
  • Ask participants to throw whatever currency they have on themselves into the middle of the circle (throw your own collection in)
    • only one example of each currency, otherwise it can take a long time to setup and cleanup
  • lay down the Yin and Yang attribute cards (might be better to do that while waiting for session to start as a stimulant)
  • quickly explain the spectrum and ask participants to help you justify where the various currencies fit on the spectrum (place them)

Table of Contents[edit | edit source]

  • The Permaculture of Money: observe the flow of currency, find ways to capture and retain it, aim for inputs=outputs, share surplus
    • explain that currency always goes in the opposite direction of goods and services
    • national currencies tend to pool around the 1%, creating treasure chests and stimulating long distance trading
    • successful CC tend to build community, stimulating local, ethical and ecologically-friendly trading
    • bilateral barter is only useful for the two parties involved; currencies involve the entire community
  • Ying Yang spectrum
    • Yang: tax collection, competition, debt-based, quick profit, fear-based, interest (musical chairs), scarcity-requiring, efficient, treasure-hoarding, idealistic, exponential-curve pattern, long-distance trading for 10,000 years
    • Yin: gift circles, cooperation, mutual-credit, long-term planning, trust-based, demuragge (negative interest rate), abundance, community-building, appropriate, realistic, sine-curve pattern, star trek (all imagined technologies are now real except moneyless economy)
  • archetypes: Da Vinci Tai Chi move altogether (make sure to reverse the moves when in front of the group):
    • warrior, engineer, nurturer, lover, and integrator : upshot: we need them all; we need yang and yin currencies
  • 4 stories: High Middle Ages, Ancient Egypt, Municipal Scrip 1933, Argentina, (and mention the 1000s experiments going on now)
  • Make Money exercise: Offers/Requests on postits; write out IOU cheque vouchers, circulate for a bit, debrief
  • Detailed explanations: Gift Circles, Timebank, Seedstock, National Currency, Left/Right Chiralkine Quantum Money
    • Gift Economies: jungle tribes, potlach, Burning Man, Seedy Saturdays, freecycle, opensource, scientific knowledge, mathematics, language, wikipedia, blood donations, homeless, monasteries/convents, nature, hundreds of sharing websites
    • TimeBank/LETS exercise: ask everyone to write down 3 offers; then ask them to write 3 requests (usually much harder to do); have them present to the group (point out how effortless the community-building feels like) ; ask them for homework to enter these into their nearest timebank website or equivalent
    • Seedstock (or other proxy currency): simulate how it works using participants as actors (businesses, Non-profits, government, supporters/volunteers, and matchmaker/catalog keeper)
  • 4 components of CC success (to avoid the 80% failure rate since 1983):
    • Constant Catalog Updates
    • Active Matchmaker,
    • Transparent Accounting (and appropriate medium: digital, paper vouchers, relationship to national currency)
    • Respect Gifts (do not monetize remaining gift economies, and allow natural transition of CC to gift economy)
  • Real live example of CC design using a participant's project

Stories[edit | edit source]

  • anecdotes about Bernard Lietaer the co-designer of the Euro, Michael Linton the local and global pioneer
  • the story of the High Middle Ages
  • the story of Ancient Egypt
  • the story of King Midas (everything he touches turns to Gold = monetization of the commons = gift economy)
  • the story of stamp scrip in USA and Austria
  • the story of Argentina 2002
  • the story of Brazil's municipal-based CC (govt study shows CC does not harm national currency; solves problems nat'l currency can't)
  • the story of LETS and Timebanking
  • the story of Seedstock and Transition Towns currencies
  • optionally: the story of chiralkine (quantum) money

Possible Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • If time and interest allow, discuss Yang Money Reform from the last 2 decades:
    • crowdfunding, microlending, deSoto's people capitalism, ethical mutual funds, fair trade, triple bottom line, etc
    • compare and contrast with community currencies and pure gift economies
  • invite participants to take an online course in Community Currencies

Feedback[edit | edit source]

  • always ask for feedback at the end: what worked , what can be improved in the presentation ? (take a good 5 minutes)
  • verify that everyone really got that the heart of yin money is 'community building' and 'relationship building'

references[edit | edit source]

Page data
Authors Bruno Vernier
Published 2012
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Impact Number of views to this page and its redirects. Updated once a month. Views by admins and bots are not counted. Multiple views during the same session are counted as one. 299
Issues Automatically detected page issues. Click on them to find out more. They may take some minutes to disappear after you fix them. No lead section, No main image
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.