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Community Currencies Workshop 2.0

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Outline for Community Currencies Workshops version 2.0[edit]

Story 0: In the beginning: pure gift economy[edit]

  • Bernard Lietaer's Yin-Yang spectrum of currencies with visual aids; mystery of the billion who live on < $2/day
  • Exercise: organize bag of visual aids along the spectrum from pure gift currency all the way to pure yang currency
  • Exercise: find local examples of gift economies transformed into yang currency and its side-effects (e.g. childcare, education, healthcare)
  • Exercise: design the return of a non-gift currency back to pure gift; pre-requisites: trust, healthy community

Story 1: Irish Banks Strike 1970: undesigned community currency[edit]

  • are banks really too big to fail? In what way does life change if they disappear?
  • what are banks useful for: settling payments (clearing), providing information (risk assessment), setting incentives (interest rates), pooling resources, transferring resources (import/export from community), i.e. creating and maintaining currency,.
  • how can local people do all that without a bank and without any organisation?
  • exercise: create cheques ; what makes a cheque acceptable common and/or legal tender?
  • exercise: create minuto vouchers;

Story 2: Egyptian Ostraca 2000 BC: designed dual currency[edit]

  • unmatched 2000 years of wealth and health for ordinary people;
  • How do govt's accelerate destruction OR rekindle people's wealth and healthy communities?
    • impose taxes only in scarce legal tender (gold, roman coins, dollars) + facilitate compound interest (esp. in no-growth economy)
    • allow tax payments in abundant common tender (ostraca, bracteates, local currencies) + facilitate demurrage (negative interest)
    • charge rent on land (+roads, patents, copyrights, EM spectrum, natural resources) instead of income, business and sales tax; redistribute to people (Alaska, Norway)
  • exercise: create a todo list for designing your regional dual currency system
    • decision 1: relationship to national currency? unit of measurement? spectrum from hours to dollar-equivalent
    • decision 2: brainstorm catalog's keystone offers and requests (comox dentist story)
    • decision 3: brainstorm matchmaker(s) and how to compensate them (eat own dogfood?)
    • decision 4: relationship to the internet: online and/or paper currency, catalog and accounting
    • decision 5: succession planning (in the event of natural death or scaling up)

Story 3: Medieval Bracteates 1000 AD: the mystery of addiction[edit]

  • 300 years of accidental wealth and health for ordinary people in Western Europe due to Renovatio Monetae
  • exercise: find pros and cons of: regular jubilees in which all debts are cancelled vs. steady demurrage
  • exercise: suggest policies for dealing with members who are way off balance.
  • exercise: brainstorm ways to increase the speed of circulation

Story 4: Designed People Money:[edit]

  • review local history: co-ops, consumer unions, credit unions, food banks, micro-credit, opensource, crowfunding, sharing, etc
  • review local mutual credit history: TimeBanks, LETS, CES, Regioweld, Barter Rings, Openmoney, etc
  • design or improve a local currency: matchmaker + catalog + transparency + dunbar#
  • exercise: where does your designed regional currency fit in with the history of people money in your area? What lessons have been learned?

Story 5: [Optional] Future Money:[edit]

  • exercise: what kind of currency is Bitcoin in terms of yin-yang indicators?
  • exercise: how to improve a currency using the Block Chain Protocol. pros + cons [1]
  • exercise: how to improve a currency using chiralkines. pros + cons [2]

Conclusion: back to pure gift economy[edit]

  • in the end, what is money, really?
  • exercise: the paradox of "measuring into existence" gift economies
  • exercise: what are some metrics that indicate successful currencies (or not)
  • end with a conscious potluck
  • homework: read the e-books in banks-need-boundaries.net/reading_list.php especially Mystery of Money


If Space allows, setup 4 stations[edit]

Station 1: Yin Yang[edit]

  • lay out the Yin Yang cards
  • put all sorts of currency tokens in the middle
  • collectively decide where each currency token belongs in the spectrum and why
  • do the DaVinci TaiChi to integrate yin and yang currencies

Station 2: Cheques / Vouchers[edit]

  • tell Irish Cheques story
  • pile blank papers (roughly cheque sized) and have participants write out minimum to make it a legal contract
  • trade between participants
  • pile minuto vouchers and have participants fill them out and get so-signed by 2 guarantors and stamped
  • compare and contrast the psychological feel of cheques vs minuto vouchers
  • trade between participants in both cheques and minutos (for real)

Station 3: Ostracas and Bracteates[edit]

  • put sample pseudo ostraca and bracteate currency as decoration and visual/touch aid for Egypt and Middle Ages stories
  • do a full guided design of a new local regional currency as a group (see above). Assume local government will be involved.
  • review indicators of success based on the reports of thousands of experiments throughout the world

Station 4: Current Community Currencies[edit]

  • put out literature and samples from local currencies in your part of the world
  • choose one appropriate one to do a guided re-design as a group (see above).
  • choose specific indicators of success for this currency based on local stories