"Alternative Currency Clinic / Valuutalle vaihtoehtoja -klinikka" Andrew Gryf Paterson, Hirvitalo/Pispala Contemporary Art Centre, Tampere, 19-20.10.10

These notes aims to explore alternative fundraising, various credit schemes, online crowdsourcing, alternative value/currency schemes, peer-to-peer finances and the different arts/activist projects or companies which have/are developed/ing in this emerging field.


++++ Stone Soup Story http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_soup "According to the story, some travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. The travelers fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire in the village square. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making "stone soup", which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which they are missing. The villager doesn't mind parting with just a little bit to help them out, so it gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which hasn't reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all." Interpretations.. 1. We can all work together, co-operate and end up better off. 2. If you want to get people to do something, don't tell them how desperately they are needed. Don't try to appeal to their sympathy and kindness. Instead, create the impression that you are giving them the opportunity to be part of your success. 3. (Nail/Axe Soup version in N/E Europe.. In these versions, the main character is typically a tramp looking for food and lodgings, who convinces an old woman that he'll make nail soup for the both of them if she'd just add a few ingredients for the garnish.) What is the message of the story?: Beware of strangers offering nothing in exchange for a little something. . Another story exists about "stone soup", that, in the United States of America, during the Great Depression, families were unable to put food on the table every day. It became a practice to place a large and porous rock in the bottom of the stock pot. On days when there was food, the stone would absorb some of the flavor. On days when there was no food, the stone was boiled up, and the flavor would come out of the stone into the water, producing a weak soup, which was better than not eating. . A somewhat new tradition, growing in popularity in cases where stone soup is made and served among people who gather semi-regularly, is the idea that the person whose portion contains the stone (in recipes in which a real stone is used) will be responsible for starting the pot at the next gathering. .


++++ Talkoot/Talka http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talkoot

Tapani Köppä (FI): ‘Remarks on rural co-operation in Finland’ Presentation slides & embedded notes: http://2009.pixelache.ac/alteconcult/slides/koppa_remarks-on-rural-cooperation-in-finland_alt-econ-cult_pixelache09.pdf

“A talkoot is per definition voluntary, and the work is unpaid. The voluntary nature might be imaginary, due to social pressure, especially in small communities; and one's honor and reputation may be severely damaged if one doesn't show up — or proves to be a poor worker.

The task of the talkoot may be something that is a common concern, i.e. for the good of the group, or it may be to help someone with a task that exceeds his or her own capacity. For instance, elderly neighbors or relatives can need help if their house or garden is damaged by storm, or siblings can agree to arrange a party for a parent's special birthday as a talkoot. One of the most common urban forms is to help friends move.”

Crowdsourcing = Talkoot? http://web.archive.org/web/20130326135507/http://www.tuija.tv:80/blog/?q=content/crowdsourcing-talkoot

READ “A Buzz between Rural Cooperation and the Online Swarm” by Andrew Gryf Paterson (2010)

“This article introduces and explores connections between rural traditions and contemporary projects of voluntary cooperation within emergent online network practices. The key examples are mainly from Finland, the Baltic Sea region, and USA. Reflections are made on the emergence of such connections during a trans-disciplinary seminar organised by the author. The main body of the essay mixes social and network culture history, including rural village community support, known as “talkoot” in the Finnish language, its establishment within cooperative development during the 20th century, and the information communications and technology society of contemporary Finland. Discussions of collaborative web platforms such as wikis, the BitTorrent protocol, and “crowd-sourcing” open up questions considering their relation to older cultural traditions. The paper concludes with contemporary examples of where traditions of rural cooperation have conceptually assisted several Finnish entrepreneurial and activist projects. Throughout the paper “the swarm” is identified as a concept worth exploring further to illustrate where the expansive potential of network culture meets concentrated local action.”




++++ Characteristics of Participation in Online Creation Communities

Mayo Fuster Morrell:

Online Creation Communities (OCCs) are defined as a collective action performed by individuals that cooperate, communicate and interact, mainly via a platform of participation in the Internet, with the goal of knowledge-making and which the resulting informational pool remains freely accessible and of collective property.

"Participation is understood as an eco-system in six senses.

1) What is important is that the system is open to participation, but it is not expected that everybody participate and contribute equally;

2) Participation has multiple forms and degrees which are integrated: a critical mass of active developers is essential to initiate the project and maintain the content; weak cooperation enriches the system and facilitates reaching larger fields of information resources; and lurker or non-participants provide value as audience or though unintended participation that improve the system;

3) Participation is decentralized and asynchronous;

4) Participation is in public;

5) Participation is autonomous in the sense that each person decides which level of commitment they want to adopt and on what aspects they want to contribute.

6) Participation is volunteering. Participation is not only deliberation but implementation."



++++ Participatory Platforms also known as web 2.0

A renewal of the usage of the 'platform' term is noted by Gourynova, originating from Tim O'Reilly's article where he describes "the (new) web as platform".

"Web 2.0, is an umbrella term, that has even been claimed as a trademark, designed to address the diversity of platforms enabling Internet users to participat, exchange, link, map, upload, post, and comment, - all in all, to create online within a certain social dimension.

Web 2.0 was coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004 to market the rising phenomena of online collaboration, sharing and communication with the interfaces of wikis, blogs, collaborative mapping or tagging platforms."

Gourinova, Olga (2007). p153.

Shift in technical production of online content.. platforms support anyone creating, uploading and editing data within the browser, without the need of own desktop software, HTML, ftp or server capacities.

However the term has been criticised for being merely a technical upgrade.. "what the Web was supposed to be all along" as WWW pioneer Tim Berners-Lee said. "The term 'Web 2.0' was created as a business slogan, a logo, so it came as little surprise to hear that O'Reilly had applied for a patent on Web 2.0 as a trademark in 2003. The patent was pending the whole time O'Reilly was promoting it as a generic term. Despite the term's poverty, its success subsumes all the attempts to talk about social software, a participatory web, collective creation and other, different and pre-existing models."

Gourinova, Olga (2007). p155.

What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html


According to Gourinova, Participatory Platforms (and hence Web 2.0) have the following features..

They are **multiple-interface**

  • navigate through personal pages, comments, links; decentralised
  • common type of activity (uploading and viewing videos)
  • administration: maintaining the overall healthy functioning
  • administrator: police, following the “rules”
  • visitor: researching individual pages, opinions, results of creative activities
  • user: optimising personal life, participating, creating, expressing
  • product: created in the browser window (not always)
  • usually large

Gourynova, Olga (2007). p156-157.


Michel Bauwens writes (2009):

“Sharing communities create the value, Web 2.0 proprietary platforms, attempt to monetize participation.

In a sharing environment, where individuals share their creative endeavour, it is the corporate third party platform which monetizes the attention space, and may control the platform to a significant degree.”

https://fourteen.fibreculturejournal.org/ http://web.archive.org/web/20101006063155/http://www.journal.fibreculture.org:80/issue14/issue14_bauwens.html


++++ Call For Participation in Art and Cultural Projects

"The 'call for participation' - in recent times a common meme within socially engaged art and media projects - invites participants to act as both creators and consumers of the process, creating valuable cultural/institutional/social capital.

“Have I been co-ordinating peer-production; or have I been crowdsourcing?"

    • Online crowdsourcing examples as art projects**

Phantom Captain: Art and Crowdsourcing http://www.apexart.org/exhibitions/grover.htm

Learning To Love You More http://www.learningtoloveyoumore.com/

++++ Audience Suggestion..


++++ Online video projects which exemplify participatory format

In Bb 2.0 http://www.inbflat.net/

Eternal Moonwalk http://web.archive.org/web/20150801100307/http://eternalmoonwalk.com/

Johnny Cash Project http://www.thejohnnycashproject.com/

Starwars Uncut http://www.starwarsuncut.com/ http://www.starwarsuncut.com/watch


READ: ‘Web 2.0′ as a new context for artistic practices by Juan Martin Prada https://fourteen.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-098-web-2-0-as-a-new-context-for-artistic-practices/


++++ [Online] Art Platforms

Media theorist Olga Goryunova has identified the following, reflecting on her own work and others..

"[A]n art platform is a web platform

that solicits, induces and contributes to the creation and development of a cultural or artistic practice.

It may indeed provide its major technical, cultural and communicative infrastructures and manifestations.

An art platform is aimed at

supporting and stimulating creative initiatives and work, and it provides a possibility for the continuous exhibition of artefacts, often accompanied by reactions to them, variously framed and working as productive feedback and as a distinction mechanism. [e.g. ranking] [A]n art platform builds upon a history of a practice,

creating a context as well as enabling its current developments, adding a social development to creative work. Sometimes there is also a set of instruments for particular kinds of creative work available.

An art platform also often puts efforts into translating digital creative processes to offline or more official cultural scenes.

Different ways of establishing connections between cultural movements of different times and orders may also be developed.

Most art platforms organise (ir)regular 'real-life' gatherings such as festivals, concerts, workshops or those of a less formal nature.

For example, Run Me software art platform: http://runme.org/ Alt Party for the creative Demo scene in Finland: http://www.altparty.org/2010/ Pixelache Festival: http://web.archive.org/web/20180209205222/https://www.pixelache.ac/helsinki/

Art platforms can be clearly differentiated from archives and databases aimed at collecting and historicising media art..

Such archives are attempts to document and preserve digital forms of art, aimed at constructing durable systems of contexts and links, at building histories by selected theorists or artists. While classifying and preserving digital media art is an immense topic in itself, that produces radicially different experiments, archives and databases of art that tend to work primarily with the catergories of the past, future, art, theory, education, museum, collection, exhibition, and others.

In contrast to that, art platforms focus on the living practices in their blurry and 'dirty' forms and aim at mapping widest possible assemblages of radical ideas, unknown territories, and invisible practices in their becoming."

++++ What are art platforms for?

"Art platforms appear as experimental production and management systems focused on a certain format of cultural practice.. Most often, the cultural or artistic practice the resources chooses to contribute to and represent exists prior to and beyond the art platform in some more or less developed form, sometimes at the borders of art and culture, in 'grey' zones, or in the form of amateur practices. An art platform aims at fostering creativity, supporting, promoting, discovering, defining, shaping the field, contributing to its development, and, in sum, contributing to a more vivid materialisation or crystallisation of a particular artistic or maybe broader - cultural current."

Goryunova, Olga (2007). p15.


Other reading..

Andrew Paterson, Tähtikuvitelma: The Parable of Participating in the Night Sky 2.0 Essay published in 'PixelACHE Festival of Electronic Arts and Subcultures 2007' catalogue 03.2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20081203100852/http://www.pixelache.ac/2007/architectures-for-participation/ Goryunova, Olga (2007). Art Platforms: the constitution of cultural and artistic currents on the internet, DA thesis, TaiK, Helsinki. p12-14.

Goryunova, Olga(2007. Swarm Forms: On Platforms and Creativity. MUTE Magazine Vol 2 #4, January 2007: http://web.archive.org/web/20120110050912/http://www.metamute.org/en/Swarm-Forms-On-Platforms-and-Creativity

New Climates for Curatorial Practice: Exhibiting Art Across Distributed Networks .


++++ Instant Grant Program/Generosity Foundation (US, 2008) http://generosityfoundation.org/

Steve Lambert wrote in February 2008: “I gave my Hunter class and assignment to make $100 in the next 2 weeks. There's 9 students and the idea is that in 2 weeks we'll have $900 dollars to do a project. My students are pretty smart and when I gave the assignment, immediately asked if I was going to make $100 too. Could I say no, especially when that would make it an even grand..” This project was a developed in collaboration with students at the Hunter College IMA Program in the Spring of 2008. We’ll be repeating it for this year’s Conflux Festival.

“We raised $100 each. Together we had $1000 in cash. Then we gave it all away in the park.”

The Federation of Students and Nominally or Unemployed Artists is James Bachhuber, Angela Ferraiolo, Sam Freeman, Tamara Gubernat, Steve Lambert, Michael McCanne, Prescila Néri, Kahil Shkymba, Bob Smith, and Hal Weiss. The project was inspired by Jon Rubin’s $100 assignment. WATCH: http://www.vimeo.com/1714496

30$ & 100$ Drawings by Steve Lambart http://web.archive.org/web/20101202015343/http://visitsteve.com/work/30-drawing/ | http://web.archive.org/web/20101202015204/http://visitsteve.com/work/100-drawing/

(Inspired by Jon Rubin's Not-a-Lotto: This project developed by graduate students from California College of the Arts in my Art/Life Seminar involved giving away $100 stacks of cash during impromptu free lotteries in ten sites through the city including a park, a dollar store, a city bus, a bar, a street corner, and a supermarket. http://www.jonrubin.net/work.php?x=73)


++++ Sunday Soup events (Chicago, US) http://www.incubate-chicago.org/sundaysoupfaq.html

“Sunday Soup Brunch is a monthly meal, hosted at InCUBATE's storefront space. We invite guest chefs to cook simple soups and brunch foods using local ingredients. Soup is the center of the meal because it is nourishing, economical, and easy to prepare in large batches. Other dishes and beverages complement the soup. This delicious, well-rounded brunch meal is served family-style and sold for a modest profit at $10/person. At the end of each month this income is given as a grant to support an artist initiative or community projects. Anyone can apply to receive a grant. Visitors who purchase the meal earn a spot on the grant selection committee. Grant proposals are emailed to Sunday Soup/Brunch patrons and a popular vote determines the grant recipient.” When is Sunday Soup? The first Sunday of every month: 12 - 13: Sunday Brunch is served 13 - 14: Guest chefs, local collaborators, and supporters will present their creative projects their creative projects.”

By The Orientation Center (formerly known as InCUBATE) Arts Funding for Sustainable Creative Practice panel discussion podcast: (presented at New York University on April 30, 2009) http://www.sweettoothofthetiger.com/AlternativeArtsFunding1.mp3 http://www.sweettoothofthetiger.com/AlternativeArtsFunding2.mp3


++++ Fire This Time Fund (Chicago, US) http://web.archive.org/web/20100922105022/http://www.crossroadsfund.org:80/fire_this_time_fund.htm

“The Fire This Time Fund is made up of independent artists, educators and activists working in Chicago’s social justice community. We are an all-volunteer group organized as a giving circle.. We raise money that we then give away in grants, and pool resources to support grassroots groups working in the Chicago area for racial, economic, social, environmental, and gender justice.”

GUIDING PRINCIPLES We believe that artists, activists, and educators challenge perspectives and possess innovative ideas that ask critical questions about the world around us, both locally and globally.

We encourage leadership, voice and vision, among artists, activists and educators who may be new to the grant seeking process.

We prioritize the channeling of project-based funds to informal groups working in atypical ways, inside and outside of the non-profit model, without access or ties to extensive institutional support.

We encourage innovative, experimental and radical ideas and models of action.


UPDATE: 2009 http://web.archive.org/web/20101119061049/http://www.crossroadsfund.org:80/2009grantmaking.html

GRANTMAKING PROCESS http://web.archive.org/web/20100721183839/http://www.crossroadsfund.org:80/GrantmakingProcess.html

SEED FUND The application review process generally takes about 14 weeks.

   * Each application is screened by staff based on whether a group’s work falls within Crossroads’ Funding Criteria.
   * Those applications meeting our criteria are reviewed and selected for a site visit/interview by the Grantmaking Committee (GMC). The GMC is made up of board, volunteers and staff.
   * Site visits/interviews are conducted by GMC.
   * GMC makes funding recommendations to the Board of Directors for final approval.
   * All applicants are notified of the final funding decision by mail within a week of the Board’s decision.

TA and EMERGENCY FUNDS The application review process generally takes 6 weeks for the Technical Assistance Fund (TA) and 7 working days for the Emergency Fund (EM).

   * Each application is screened by staff based on whether a group’s work falls within Crossroads’ Funding Criteria.
   * Those applications meeting our criteria are reviewed by the GMC.
   * GMC makes funding recommendations to the Board of Directors for final approval.

All applicants are notified of final funding decision by mail for TA and by phone for EM.


++++ Josh Greene: Service Works (San Francisco, US) http://www.josh-greene.com/serviceworks/

“My name is Josh Greene. I am a 36 - year old artist and waiter. Service-Works is my own foundation that is designed to bridge the gap between my art career and my service industry career. Each month I dedicate one night’s worth of my tips to fund a project. For the past twelve years I have been doing art projects while making a living waiting tables. I currently work as a waiter in a fine-dining restaurant in San Francisco.”

Who selects the grantees and what are they looking for?

“I am the only juror so the grants are given out based solely on my interests. I am most interested in funding small projects that may involve exchange, interaction, story telling and problem solving. I have a particular fondness for projects that grow out of and deal with real-life situations, be they political, personal or environmental. I also enjoy work that incorporates risk, humor, pathos and absurdity. As Service-Works evolves you will see the grant recipients’ projects on this website to help you get a greater sense of what I’m looking for.”

Projects with budgets over $300 will not be considered. In order to cement the relationship between my work at the restaurant and your project work, the costs need to be close to what I earn in a single night.”


Suggestions from Mikko Lipiäinen, Markus Petz:

++++ Yhden Senttin Apuraha (FI)

Mikko Lihavainen

++++ Workers beer (UK)


All Workers Beer Company servers are volunteers and their wages are donated to the organizations they support.

++++ Collective Kitchens

“Small groups of people get together to cook in bulk for their families. They pool resources, plan and prepare delicious low cost nutritious meals. Members stretch family food funds while having fun and making new friends. Leadership training workshops enable community participants to become leaders of collective kitchen groups and to become champions for healthy lifestyles”

http://web.archive.org/web/20130823054057/http://chep.org/ck/index.html “A collective kitchen consists of a group of people who meet regularly to plan, budget, shop, and cook nutritious meals for themselves and their families. They are great places to make new friends, learn new skills, share tips and have fun.

Collective kitchens can take many forms: there are kitchens for single mothers, men, seniors, students and specific groups. Some meet once a month, while others meet every two weeks.

It's up to the group to decide how large it will be (usually ranges from 3 to 8 participants) and how it will function.”



Culinary Coop & Market in Georgia USA

“The Collective Kitchen is a cooperative kitchen for entrepreneurial cooks. This is a growing trend in the food industry and is needed desperately by “foodies” in the Atlanta community. Chefs, culinary artisans, and curious cooks have the unique opportunity to lease time in our permitted kitchen and market their delicious products freely.”




++++ Microcredit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcredit | http://grameen-info.org/

What is Microcredit? http://www.grameen-info.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=108 (by Muhammad Yunus), January, 2009

“The word 'microcredit' did not exist before the seventies. Now it has become a buzz-word among the development practitioners... When someone claims microcredit has a thousand year history, or a hundred year history, nobody finds it as an exciting piece of historical information...

I think this is creating a lot of misunderstanding and confusion in the discussion about microcredit. Instead of just saying "microcredit" we should specify which category of microcredit.

Let me suggest a broad classification of microcredit :

A) Traditional informal microcredit (such as, moneylender's credit, pawn shops, loans from friends and relatives, consumer credit in informal market, etc.)

B) Microcredit based on traditional informal groups (such as, tontin, su su, ROSCA, etc.)

C) Activity-based microcredit through conventional or specialised banks (such as, agricultural credit, livestock credit, fisheries credit, handloom credit, etc.)

D) Rural credit through specialised banks.

E) Cooperative microcredit (cooperative credit, credit union, savings and loan associations, savings banks, etc.)

F) Consumer microcredit.

G) Bank-NGO partnership based microcredit.

H) Grameen type microcredit or Grameencredit.

I) Other types of NGO microcredit.

J) Other types of non-NGO non-collateralized microcredit.”


++++ Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotating_Savings_and_Credit_Association

“ROSCA is a group of individuals who agree to meet for a defined period of time in order to save and borrow together. ROSCAs are the poor man's bank, where money is not idle for long but changes hands rapidly, satisfying both consumption and production needs.

Meetings can be regular or tied to seasonal cash flow cycles in rural communities. Each member contributes the same amount at each meeting, and one member takes the whole sum once. As a result, each member is able to access a larger sum of money during the life of the ROSCA, and use it for whatever purpose she or he wishes. This method of saving is a popular alternative to the risks of saving at home, where family and relatives may demand access to savings.

Every transaction is seen by every member during the meetings. Since no money has to be retained inside the group, no records have to be kept. These characteristics make the system a model of transparency and simplicity that is well adapted to communities with low levels of literacy and weak systems for protecting collective property rights. The system further reduces the risk to members because it is time limited -- typically lasting no more than 6 months. This reduces the size of the loss, should someone take funds early and not pay back."

“The individuals in the ROSCA select each other, which ensures that participation is based on trust and social forces (see Social capital), and a genuine commitment to participate.”

See also 'Chit funds' from India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chit_fund


++++ Tanda Foundation (US/MX) http://web.archive.org/web/20200919214829/http://tandatanda.org/ [now offline]

“Tanda Foundation is an experimental and informal not for profit held and run by its users. We aim to found new ways and means to support creative production, create a community interested in build a public fund via micro-donations and decide our own cultural agenda. The Foundation aims to be an accountable platform of funding for its users, where the process of application, reviewing, voting, and collection of funds is accesible to all its Patrons and Candidates. The Foundation relies on 2.0 infrastucture to exist with minimal costs and labor. Think in an automatic not-for-profit.”

“Grants are Tandas, offered in two types: Cash or Fame. We also facilitate the "Auto-Tanda" mode.”


LISTEN in English: http://2009.pixelache.ac/alteconcult/audio/juarez_tandatanda_alt-econ-cult_pixelache09_cc-by-sa.mp3



++++ Community Exchange Systems/CES (Cape Town, South Africa)

“The Community Exchange System (CES) is a community-based exchange system that provides the means for its users to exchange their goods and services, both locally and remotely. It could also be described as a global complementary trading network that operates without money as it is commonly understood.”


“Requirement: Your car needs an oil change.

Step 1: You either look through the Offerings List or do a search to see if anyone is offering oil changes or car maintenance. Someone is offering oil changes for T80 but you must bring your own oil and oil filter.

Step2: In the Offerings List you click on the person's name to obtain contact details. You phone the person (the 'seller') and agree on a time and place for the oil change.

Step 3: The oil change takes place and then you (the 'buyer') fill in a Trading Slip (obtainablehttp://www.ces.org.za/ from the site), giving the date, your name, your account number, the amount (T80) and your signature. You fill in the same details on the counterfoil and get the seller to sign it. The counterfoil is then separated from the slip and you hand the main part to the seller, keeping the counterfoil for yourself. For the seller your Trading Slip represents your payment and your acknowledgement of the service or goods delivered; for you the counterfoil is your record of payment.

Step 4: You leave, satisfied that your car has fresh oil. The seller then goes to a computer and enters the details of the trade into the transaction form of his or her CES 'bank account'. This becomes a credit for the seller and a debit for you. You are now obliged to provide goods and services to the community worth T80.”


CES in Finland http://www.ces.org.za/exchparams.asp?country=FI


++++ Local Exchange Trading Systems/LETS (originated Canada) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LETS

“Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) also known as LETSystems are local, non-profit exchange networks in which goods and services can be traded without the need for printed currency. Michael Linton originated the term "Local Exchange Trading System" in 1983 and, for a time ran the Comox Valley LETSystems in Courtenay, British Columbia, CA.”

“A LETSystem is a trading network supported by its own internal currency. It is self-regulating and allows its users to manage and issue their own 'money supply' within the boundaries of the network.

The key points include:

   * co-operation: no-one owns the network.
   * self-regulation: the network is controlled by its users.
   * empowerment: all network users may 'issue' the 'internal currency'.
   * money: money, as a means of exchange, is an integral feature. 

LETSystem recording services keep track of transactions and issue statements of LETSystem trading.

LETSystems use their own type of 'money' - they are money systems.

Barter is a type of exchange where we swap goods and services without using money - I give you a loaf of bread and you give me two cabbages. You fix my car and I'll cook you dinner. But you may not like my cooking.............

Money overcomes the limitations of barter. I give you money for your goods and services and you can spend it elsewhere. In a LETSystem you can use your account to buy what you want from one person and then sell what you can to another.”

“The word "LETS" was chosen to highlight an invitation (let's) and a culture of consent. LETS embodies the 'Law of Two Feet' - "If you like it, you walk in. If you don't, then you walk away”.

http://web.archive.org/web/20141003192819/http://www.gmlets.u-net.com:80/faq.html http://web.archive.org/web/20150217040159/http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/

The LETSystem Design Manual http://web.archive.org/web/20150217040159/http://www.gmlets.u-net.com:80/design/dm1%5E3.html

http://web.archive.org/web/20140818041100/http://wiki.ashevillelets.org/wiki/What_is_LETS%3F http://www.gdrc.org/icm/lets-faq.html


++++ Ithaca Hours (Ithaca, NY, US) http://web.archive.org/web/20200227045818/http://www.ithacahours.org/

Since 1991.. “Ithaca Hours is a local currency system that promotes local economic strength and community self-reliance in ways which will support economic and social justice, ecology, community participation and human aspirations in and around Ithaca, New York. Ithaca Hours help to keep money local, building the Ithaca economy. It also builds community pride and connections. Over 900 participants publicly accept Ithaca HOURS for goods and services. Additionally some local employers and employees have agreed to pay or receive partial wages in Ithaca Hours, further continuing our goal of keeping money local.”

“The name HOUR is meant to remind you that, in addition to being a medium of exchange for commodities, currency represents someone's labor, the time taken to provide a skill or perform a service. Your time is worth something to someone else. When you give someone an HOUR, you are telling them: "I did this much somewhere else. Please give me the equivalent here."

http://web.archive.org/web/20200227045818/http://www.ithacahours.org/ http://web.archive.org/web/20200227045818/http://www.ithacahours.org/faq.php http://www.ithacahours.com/ . ++++ AikaPankki (Kouvola, Lahti, Mäntsälä, Parainen, Jyväskylä, Tammisaari, Tampere, Turku, FI)

http://stadinaikapankki.wordpress.com/ Initiated by Ruby van der Wekken

Based on UK TimeBanking model:

“Person-to-Person model This is the most common approach in the UK. It usually involves a ‘broker’ (often a paid worker) who facilitates and records exchanges between individuals and develops the membership of the Timebank. There are different ways that person-to-person Timebanking services are set up: An independent, stand-alone local organisation run as a self help group, a co-operative, not-for-profit organisation or charity A two way service run by statutory agencies utilising existing staff time and resources in collaboration with local residents in a defined community A two way service run by a third sector organisation or social enterprise as one of many services they provide for the local community. A service commissioned by local statutory and voluntary agencies in response to identified needs – communities of interest Small local neighbourhood time banks run and shaped by neighbours” http://web.archive.org/web/20111220043815/http://www.timebanking.org:80/what-is.html


FiFi.Voima: 'Aika vaihtaa pankkia' by Sonja Hyppänen http://web.archive.org/web/20130322103415/http://fifi.voima.fi/voima-artikkeli/2010/numero-7/aika-vaihtaa-pankkia

“Don’t do it yourself! Kumpulan Vaihtopiiri as an example of communal empowerment of Helsinki suburbs”. by Giacomo Botta http://blogs.helsinki.fi/leppoisalahio/2010/04/22/don%25E2%2580%2599t-do-it-yourself-kumpulan-vaithopiiri-as-an-example-of-communal-empowerment-of-helsinki-suburbs/

NEF: The New Wealth of Time http://web.archive.org/web/20130309023046/http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/new-wealth-time


++++ ArtMoney (Copenhagen, DK)


Artmoney is original art that works as a global alternative "currency" or barter object.

IMPORTANT: The Seven Rules http://web.archive.org/web/20110725020428/http://artmoney.org/node/80


    • collector**

It is possible to buy art money online through our website or in our showroom on Frederiksberg, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The price of art money is the same for all regardless of the name of the artist. Artmoney is an attractive collector’s item as they are original works of art at a small cost, and there is no two art money alike. The same fixed size makes it easy decorate the wall of a home with various expressions. Weather you choose a pattern of order or chaos, the fixed size can collect all works in a uniform impression. Collecting artmoney is also a fun investment. The purchasing value of artmoney is already set, so you can spend them again, if you like to get rid of them. Also there is a chance that some artists will be worth more as "art" and acquire a much higher price on the free market.

    • create artmoney**

A producer of art money must be an artist. Any art form will do. The amount of artmoney issued must not exceed the value of art for sale. Each artist is responsible for his or her own production of artmoney. It is free of charge to register as an artist in Artmoney. As an artmoney artist you can create your own artmoney. You can sell them via the artmoney web site or by your own hand. You can "spend" your artmoney at companies that accept artmoney as payment. You can also try to spend them elsewhere. Many artists have "spent" artmoney at the dentist, accountant, lawyer, hardware store, clothing store, restaurant, hotel, etc. Ask, and you will get an answer!

**accept artmoney** 

Companies, shops and businesses world wide may accept artmoney as "payment". When you register a shop or business you can decide how many % of a purchase you will accept in artmoney. Artmoney as a "payment" works as a supplement to local currency and many shops view it as a form of discount system. It is also an excellent form of marketing. Any company may register at Artmoney free of charge. Registered companies agree to honor the rules for dealing with artmoney.

    • host & travel**

Private people world wide may register as artmoney hosts in the host & travel program. This means that a traveling person can buy private accommodation for one art money pr. night at registered host's world wide. This way a private person can meet traveling people and collect art money at the same time. Accommodation for artmoney is inexpensive travel, interesting meetings, and a fun way of collecting artmoney.

++++ Uuva Project (Tampere/Helsinki, FI) http://uuva.storijapan.net/

“Uuva - “Currency of New Work” is a year old project aimed for small communities, artist groups, bands and independent culture workers. The Uuva project hopes to compensate volunteer/unpaid-work with a coupon that can be re-used by the receiver. The currency is used when people trade services with each other. It is especially aimed for organizations and individuals working without of governmental/other means of funding. Uuvas have been distributed in live-art festivals and via snail-mail.

The value of a Uuva-coupong or note depends on the service it has been traded for and it is not tied to any other currency yet. Its value is constantly floating. Each note has an unique trade history which can be viewed on the project website. The situations where Uuvas are used give focus to economic systems that are NOT dependent on regular-money. The project hopes to emphasize the importance of unpaid work done by small communities and independent culture workers.

As setting a price tag on volunteer work can have a negative affect on a community depending on volunteer contributions, Uuva is in a beta testing stage. In its ongoing beta stage Uuvas have been used by independent new media artist, small theatre productions and in exchange for beer.”

“Transactions” http://web.archive.org/web/20110523210150/http://uuva.storijapan.net/Tilanne.html

Research: http://www.keosto.org/Uuva (in Finnish)

LISTEN in English: http://2009.pixelache.ac/alteconcult/audio/yli-vakkuri_uuva_alt-econ-cult_pixelache09_cc-by-nc-sa.mp3


++++ weBank: can people replace institutions? http://webank.org.uk/

Report by Christian Alhert, http://www.openbusiness.cc/

Focus on “emerging finance businesses that all utilize the internet to dis-intermediate traditional financial organizations and mechanisms by increasing the level of direct financial interaction of remote individuals. In other words, individuals are offered ways to act together collectively and engage in financial activities such as borrowing, lending, investing and currency exchange, without the traditionl intermediary of a bank.”

As we learned a few sessions ago..

P2P has usually been used as a term to describe the technical means of interacting, where members of a network are treated as equals, enabling fast file transfers using and sharing computer resources collectively.

Hence: “person-to-person” or “Peer-to-peer (P2P) finance” or “social or web 2.0 finance”

P2P finance has received an increased level of attention lately in english-language mainstream media..

For example: Wall Street Journal article in Dec 2008 entitled “Peer Loans Ease the Credit Crunch” & Harvard Business Review lists P2P finance as a 'breakthrough' idea in 2009.

'Peer' Loans Ease the Credit Crunch http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122862542958985749.html

Forget Citibank Borrow from Bob http://hbr.harvardbusiness.org/web/2009/hbr-list/forget-citibank-borrow-from-bob

Green Note: Private Student Loans Network: http://web.archive.org/web/20100330052421/http://www.greennote.com:80/about_us/


++++ History of the term 'P2P Finance'

Oldest 'player' in P2P financial market has been UK company Zopa & US business Prosper, since 2005 & 2006 respectively. Until then online person-to-person lending was untested. Now there are over 30 companies in different countries, including Germany, Netherlands, Italy, France, Sweden, Finland & Japan.

Zopa (UK/IT/US/JP) http://zopa.com/ http://web.archive.org/web/20120311021550/http://uk.zopa.com:80/ZopaWeb/public/about-zopa/about-zopa-home.html

Prosper (US) http://www.prosper.com/ http://www.prosper.com/welcome/how_it_works.aspx

Almost all examples are “focused on one national 'market', mirroring the fragmentation of financial regulation (in this context) into nationally confined markets.” “In contrast, Kiva, a P2P lender with the mission to lend money from people in the developed world to entrepreneurs in the developing world, transfers money across national borders.” . ++++ Kiva (US) http://www.kiva.org

“Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.

The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.”


Suggestion by Markus Petz:

++++ Fixura (FI)

Finnish peer loan system https://www.fixura.fi/


“P2P Finance offers higher returns”

weBank quote: “P2P Businesses promise returns on investments of often more than 5% (ranging to more than 10%)”...

However these are potentially risky investments as some services offer no insurance against defaults.. some, such as German P2P lender Smava has introduced an insurance scheme making lending less risky.

2008 saw new businesses opening in the this new market at a faster rate than in any previous year.


++++ Experiments with P2P models

exploring new ways of approaching financing online.. catering to people's needs by allowing them to engage more directly with each other.

weBank quote: “Some put borrowers and lenders into direct contact,

others hold auctions and aggregate investments into bands, makings the process anonymous.”

“other very different business models are being tested, such as bringing thousands of years old 'rotating savings and credit associations' (ROSCAs) online;”

“enabling currency transfers by matching supply and demand between individuals;”

“and focusing on confined communities such as MBA alumni lending to MBA students.”

“And apart from companies offering new ways to borrow and lend money, we can also see innovation in areas such as collective investment into music and film production, as well as scheme to collectively buy a football club”

++++ Political awareness

weBank quote:

“In January 2009 the European Parliament called for a legislative framework to encourage micro-lending schemes”

“Microcredit – the provision of small loans to very small businesses and other borrowers who might not approach the mainstream financial system – originally emerged in the developing world, but it also has a useful role to play in stimulating grass-roots economic activity in Europe.”


“it is too early to say whether or not current regulatory set-ups hinder the emergence of financial mechanisms which could operate at lower costs compared to banks and also offer credit to consumers otherwise marginalised.

It is also not clear whether P2P approaches represent an inherently lower risk than traditional financial institutions, or if they are just another form of the same risk, only with part of it transferred to the awareness of individuals.”


++++ Questions

Will traditional mainstream financial institutions put their money behind P2P scheme?

Will the P2P business models scale up?

(for example law suit problems with Prosper (US) indicate that even a system that is meant to cut out the middle man still needs strong regulation and new ethical frameworks)

How much lending and borrowing that can be facilitated via the internet?

(“whilst maintaining acceptable risk, and without an ever increasing army of humans checking credit worthiness”)

While the internet makes P2P lending possible, it doesnt necessarily make it cheaper or safer.

However, new firms have the advantage of embracing new technologies more effectively than established operators, and are more likely to explore radically different business processes.

weBank quote:

“Either P2P Banking doesnt not scale and is of no interest to banks, or it is the biggest threat to business that ever existed.”

“How much potential there is for more radical business models to be developed in the future, models which go even further, combining the characterisitics of businesses such as Zopa and Prosper (lending and borrowing), with models involving collective investment.

In other words, is there scope for a highly distributed ownership of a banking system?”


++++ MyFootballClub (UK) http://www.myfootballclub.co.uk/

which brought 50,000 people together

“Situated in Kent, England, Ebbsfleet United play in the Blue Square Premier, which is four divisions below the Premiership.

In February 2008, the members purchased the football club for £600,000. Just three months later, Ebbsfleet United won the FA Trophy at Wembley – the club’s greatest achievement in a history that dates back to 1890.”

“As a MyFootballClub member, you will be part of a unique website community, the first in the world to purchase a football club. You will join thousands of members living in over 80 countries, all of whom get to vote on key decisions, from team selection to financial budgets.

Before every match, MyFootballClub members have a say in team selection. They can back the coaching staff's judgement, or choose to pick the team and formation themselves.

Members also get to vote on other fundamental decisions, from setting a weekly playing budget (£10,000 this season) to deciding on season ticket prices to approving Nike as the club’s supplier and its designs.

MyFootballClub members communicate on its thriving forums, which have around 25,000 forum posts from members each month. Members can also set up special interest groups as well as talk in its chatroom.”

WATCH: Ebbsfleet/MyFootballClub - 'Inside Out' BBC TV [08.55 mins] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBz1YMWftBQ


++++ 'The Age of Stupid': eco-activist film crowd-funded (UK, 2008) http://www.ageofstupid.net/money

WATCH: The Age of Stupid: final trailer, Feb 2009 HD http://vimeo.com/2992103 http://www.ageofstupid.net/

“CROWD FUND YOUR FILM IN SIX EASY STEPS” 1. Write a Crowd-Funding Budget 2. Download our documents and adapt them for your project 3. Get lawyers to check your documents 4. Pitch to anyone you even slightly know who is even remotely rich 5. Spend the money on making your film 6. Share out the loot” http://www.ageofstupid.net/how_to_crowd_fund_your_film http://www.ageofstupid.net/sites/files/ageofstupid/images/aos-money.preview.png http://www.ageofstupid.net/review/for_sale_a_warm_fuzzy_feeling

WATCH: The making of 'The Age of Stupid' [52 mins] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2009/mar/02/age-of-stupid-making-of


++++ Sellaband (NL/DE/UK) http://sellaband.com/

“SellaBand has been regarded as a driving force behind the Music Revolution. It challenges the traditional music industry and encourages aspiring artists and music lovers to go into business together. SellaBand aims to level the playing field of the global music industry.

Anyone can invest in a SellaBand artist or band and once they have achieved the required amount of investment, investors receive a limited edition copy of the album. On top of that, the artists and their fans share equally in the revenues of the album. SellaBand is an exciting way of discovering new music, changing the face of the music industry and being part of the fun.

To date 29 Artists from 12 different countries have raised the full $50,000 and over $2,200,000 has been invested in unsigned artists. SellaBand has proven that new talent is still out there, waiting to be heard and that music fans from all over the world are willing to put in their hard earned cash to make it happen. We've been around for over 2 years and already we have changed lives and made dreams come true. The Music Revolution is happening. Right here, right now... (october 2008)”

http://web.archive.org/web/20091001085644/http://www2.sellaband.com:80/aboutus.html http://www.sellaband.com/site/how-it-works.html

weBank quote: “Sellaband.. offers musicians a space to upload their music and distribute it for free and also engage directly with fans. Whilst, in this sense, Sellaband functions much like MySpace, it has combined this function with a distributed investment model. If an artist reaches $50,000 in investment s/he will be recorded professionally while the investors (the fans) get free CD's and a slice of advertisement income in return. However, although more than 30 artists have reached this goal, it seems unclear if the financial return works, or if the entrepreneurs behind Sellaband have instead created an ingenious record label by minimising their investment costs in an artist, whilst providing fans with an emotionally gratifying means of engaging with that artist.”

Update 2010: Sellaband went bankrupt, but was bought by German investors “Since August 2006, 43 bands got full funding for an album, which typically meant gathering $50,000 from investors, who received a copy of the album for a minimum investment or share in sales revenue for higher investments.

But even though the company kept one third of revenue from the sale of released albums, plus interest from the escrow accounts before albums were made, it lost money. “The problem is that the business model is not bringing profits,” said SellaBand founder Pim Betist. He left the Amsterdam-based company he conceived in 2001 as a Friendster-style approach to funding music, about a year and a half ago. “That’s why they’re suffering, and that’s why they went bankrupt, and now they need to let go of the concept.” http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/02/bankrupt-crowd-funded-sellaband-acquired-by-german-investors/ New Project by Pim Betist: Africa Unsigned (2010) http://www.africaunsigned.com/ | http://www.africaunsigned.com/page/faq


++++ Flattr (SE), 2010


“Social micropayments.. Give to the people who make the things you like. Get from people who like what you do.”

“Before Flattr, the only reasonable way to donate has been to use Paypal or other systems to send money to people. The threshold for this is quite high. People would just ignore the option to send donations if it wasn't for a really important cause. Sending just a small sum has always been a pain in the ass. Who would ever even login to a payment system just to donate €0.01? And €10 was just too high for just one blog entry we liked...

Flattr solves this issue. When you're registered to flattr, you pay a small monthly fee. You set the amount yourself. At the end of the month, that fee is divided between all the things you flattered. You're always logged in to the account. That means that giving someone some flattr-love is just a button away.”

WATCH: Peter Sunde about Flattr Social Micro Donations - Speaking at re:publica (31mins) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyGCsCpofVk

What is Flattr? (1.30mins) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwvExIWf_Uc


++++ Karchingle (US?)


Micropayment monetization for online content and services

“Kachingle's initial target market is blogs and news and politics sites because these wonderful sources of information are suffering the most from the lack of a viable business model and there is much angst in the blogosphere and journalism sectors regarding this.

However, Kachingle is a generalized crowdfunding service and will work with many other forms of valued online content and services including music, software, online services, video, podcasts, etc.

There are two business models -- one for the Site Owners and one for Kachingle.

• Site Owners: Invite their avid readers/users to become Kachinglers, and "turn kachingling" for their Site. Based on each Kachingler's usage patterns, each Site receives a "fair" proportion of their Kachinglers' monthly contributions. 85% of the contribution is distributed to the Sites.

• Kachingle: Retains 15% to cover the cost of processing payments (we pay all related PayPal fees) and our commission.”

. ++++ Crowdculture (SE)


“Crowdculture.se establishes an accessible digital infrastructure for micro financing of cultural productions. This is a new financial model that supports cultural innovation and market development of Sweden’s cultural life. Crowdculture.se provides a market place for an alternative and personally engaging cultural economy, that today has no counterpart- a similar micro-financing project with a cultural focus suitable for Scandinavian conditions is missing!

At Crowdculture.se cultural producers, financiers and consumers can contribute to the realization of projects that fall outside the cultural establishment’s immediate taste, and thus stimulate the growth of a more vibrant cultural life as well in the city, as on the web.”

“The community Crowdculture.se serves as a meeting place for cultural producers, financiers, consumers and institutions. The platform allows producers, which may be an individual idea agent, as well as a more established ensemble, group or association, to share a project description of the production which they wish to realize. All suggested productions together form a sort of ”production library”.

Another group of members on the platform are the active members; Cultural consumers. Each active member is paying a small monthly fee and in exchange governs a vote that the member can place on the production in the library she would like to see realized. This vote is an investment right, as the vote carries a certain value per second. The value is determined by the platforms over all economy, divided by the amount of active users and seconds, in a real-time calculated economical flow. A production receives a sum of money equivalent to the added value of the votes she gets in each counted second.

When a production has received the number of votes over time that is need for realization, the money is paid to the producer, so that her production can be connected to appropriate institutions. In this way, the platform provides the financial tools that enable both cultural innovation, market development of Sweden’s cultural landscape and the opening of the institutional arena for others than those who currently work within them.”

SLIDES: http://www.slideshare.net/FabelCommunication/crowdculturese-a-brief-introduction

. ++++ Kickstarter (US)


“We believe that... • A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide. • A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.”


++++ Scred: Pools & Minicorps (FI) http://web.archive.org/web/20041205051515/http://www.scred.com:80/

“ Scred is a Finnish company building tools and services to help friends, groups and communities manage their money, wherever they are. Pools are for simple tracking and balancing amongst friends, while MiniCorps allow you to track income and expenses, as well as actually sell items and receive money.”

“Say you are spending a weekend together at a cottage. Mike pays for the petrol to wherever you are going, and Lisa pays for the food. Other small expenses pop up along the way, as they tend to do. After the trip is over and you're finally safe from the mosquitos Scred will work out all the complex shared expenses between participants back and forth and will tell you exactly what each person owes, and who is expecting money. All you need to do is to lie back and relax.

Use pools to:

   * Track debts between people
   * Balance your debts and shared expenses. 
      These will be automatically shuffled within a pool.
   * Manage transactions in multiple currencies and Scred will work out the rates.
   * Let Scred tell you who owes what after a long trip.
   * Use Scred on your mobile phone, even without a connection!
   * Pools can be used totally for free.”


++++ Scred: Fläbät (FI)

“Fläbät.fi is a service for selling and buying tickets for events in Finland, with instant signup, no fuss and decent pricing.

The service has been tested in private beta, and during that time over a thousand tickets have been sold using the service. Fläbät.fi is now open as a public beta in order to get feedback from a wider audience.”

++++ Further things to watch/read

READ: AREA Chicago #8: 'Everyone's got Money Issues' (US) http://areachicago.org/p/issues/8/

WATCH: Money as Debt (2006, US) Paul Grignon's 47-minute animated presentation of "Money as Debt" tells in very simple and effective graphic terms what money is and how it is being created. “a painless but hard-hitting educational tool and encourage the widest distribution and use by all groups concerned with the present unsustainable monetary system in Canada and the United States”


WATCH: Wealth of Neighbours/The Money Fix (2009)

WATCH: Future of Money Videoblog http://www.vimeo.com/15546706


++++ Blogs/Websites

Value for People http://web.archive.org/web/20170923050042/http://valueforpeople.net/

Micronomics http://micronomics.citymined.org/

P2P Foundation: Money http://web.archive.org/web/20160517043751/http://p2pfoundation.net:80/Category:Money

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