Please introduce yourself below. Describe your locality -- neighborhood, city, state, local trading area, nation, etc. Briefly tell us about your intentions, good and bad experiences, etc. Be specific. Your experience is worth its weight in gold??? (oops, can't say that anymore!!) ...worth it's weight in local trade. Grin.
I live in The New North End of Burlington Vermont, 05408. in the USA.
5 Hours North of Boston, Mass . 2 hours South of Montreal , Que, Canada , 4-5 hours north of Albany N.Y.
( times/ hours are by car)..
I live in a VERY Conservative neighborhood that DOES NOT like any change at all! no joke ! not kidding.
do I have local trade here?
I am a Rebel Gardener. I run an alternative- holistic- organic Daycare. I am the Boss and the Solo Workerbee.
A one woman show.. so to speak ...I keep farmer hours even tho i have no farm.
I don't have a clue how to barter or have a different currency here that would really work..
I have been a social activist since childhood, I will be 50 yrs. old in 2 months.
I have lived on the cutting edge my whole adult life.
I have been alternative for 35 yrs.
I don't know how to re-establish "alternative "culture in the mainstream-ish world I am surrounded by.
It is very hard to find anything really alternative here.But Over all Vermont is the leader in Organic Farming/ Organic dairy.
I do not live on a farm ( I would love to , I have 19. 1 acres of land, sitting empty one hour North of me).
Bought it in 1988 and paid cash. I ran a Nature Center there from 1988-1993. It was arsoned on Nov. 14th 1993. and the 2nd building was arsoned a few years later. ugh !
I live in Suburbia/ Urban setting...for the past 4 years. ( I was in Oregon for 9 yrs. , returned to VT for Grandsons, which I never see) ugh !
I am the wildest thing in my neighborhood.. I try and organize but folks just stay home..
I don't live in what I would call a friendly and open- minded place.
I have lived a Hippie- life style for the most part. I don't mean doing bong hits all day and following the Dead on tour.... I mean something else..
I feel stuck and bogged down.. I feel a real big Lack of support in my area.
Jct: Just make up your own list of people you trust to barter with, then pass it around with blank checkbooks. The Directory and the checkbook are all that you need, preferably with an online account for larger transactions in public view. Think of it as your personal anti-poverty life-boat and the bigger you build it for you, the bigger it will be for everyone around you. But just think in terms of safetying yourself and others will be attracted to your lifeboat when their ship of orthodox finance starts foundering.
I launched a trade/social community 5-6 months ago called The Cosby Co-operative. We are up to 70 members now and some of us have done some pretty good trades, but over-all participation is low. We are still very much in that "Community Building" stage you mentioned. I am doing everything I can think of to grow membership and word of mouth is bringing in 1-2 new members a week, but folks still haven't gotten enthusiastic about trading locally. I am very interested in starting a local currency system here but it's obvious that it won't work until we have the fundamental community and economic base in place. Always looking for new ideas.
Jct: I've found that yourger people find the accommodations-trading most attractive. Knowing they can find somewhere to stay in the next town (in exchange for finding some student from the next town somewhere to stay in yours) rings a bell. That's why I keep mentioning "In 1999, I paid for 39/40 nights in Europe with an IOU for a night back in Canada worth 5 Hours" in so many posts to so many new community currency articles.
Watching an online directory grow might also help.
My name is Stephinity Salazar. I live in Boulder, but like to travel as much as possible. I am a professional circus artist for Kaivalya, which I co-own, as well as an accessory designer under my company Astral Thyme Mechaniks. I like to make high-end eco-chic hair pieces and hats and I especially like to trade them for other wearable art pieces. I am also a fashion consultant, as I am well dialed in my global tribe and know who is making what. I am very consious as to where I put my money and what I put into my mouth. I enjoy attending conscious music festivals, dancing, reading, and drawing mandalas. I graduated from CU, Boulder in 2005, with a liberal arts degree, majoring in Philosophy and Religous Studies. I am a great meta-processor, have a keen mind and strong intuition. I know a little about a whole lot of things and am currently very into Nassim Haramein's Unified Field Theory and www.Evolver.net, a global networking site to catalyze change and growth. I also like to meditate, run, and do yoga. I am always smiling, I love my tribe, and I love to deck myself out in amazing garmetry, and provide myself as a walking inspiration to others, so that they may see their reflection for divinity and evolve.
Jct: I still have a couple of Boulder Hours, I used to use them as an exhibit.
I guess they've gone inactive. But never dead. Those credits are ready to be rolled into the world UNILETS someday so that no one can end up losing their credits earned.
Jct: A world without money is like a world without accounting. Don't throw out the chips because the software is flawed. Upgrade the software so the chips work right. You have a database ready for trading and only need to account for the time traded to become compatible with all the timebanks around the world.
I'm new to the group (and to local currencies), after 30 years working on free zones/special economic zone projects around the world. I live in the Shenandoah Valley and am intrigued by the possibilities that alternative currencies may help stave off the harm that otherwise will be caused by erosion of fiat currencies.
In our small rural community, I’m weighing a possible "soft launch" path. Specifically, I'm getting ready to create personal "gift certificate" vouchers, redeemable in donated time, as a way to help good causes in our rural community. Highlights of this start small/start now scenario are sketched out below.
I’d welcome comments from any and all in this forum on how the personal voucher scenario below might best be launched.
—- A way for “time donation vouchers” to launch personal currencies —-
Step 1) Print out personal vouchers
To begin, individuals can design, print out, and personally sign time donation vouchers committing to do a specified number of hours of work for the recipient of the voucher or his/her assigns. Each issuer would choose how many such vouchers to issue in (for example) 1 hour, 5 hour, and 10 hour denominations.
Each voucher that a person issued would be numbered and recorded on a public web site along with a profile of the issuer.
The issuer’s profile would set out the skills/types of work redeemable via the voucher. It would also contain specifics on the person’s experience, references, and (as time passed) on feedback-based reputation scores for any work delivered via the voucher system.
Step 2) Give the issued vouchers to local good causes
The second step would be for the issuer to give the vouchers to one or more local nonprofit organizations of his or her choosing.
The organizations receiving the vouchers would then make use of the vouchers directly, in cases where the person’s skills were a good fit for their needs.
Alternatively - if the recipient nonprofit organization so wished - it could sell or trade the vouchers to third parties who agreed to accept them as a way to reduce out of pocket operating expenses for the nonprofit organization. This could enable the nonprofit to raise revenues or to to lower amounts that otherwise would be payable to employees or vendors.
The monetary value of the vouchers used in such sales or trades by nonprofits would be set by mutual agreement with the new party, after the prospective third party recipient had checked into the skills and reputation profile of the issuer (links to the web profiles would be on the person's printed voucher).
If a financial crisis – inflationary or deflationary – proves to be in the cards, communities that move ahead on such a reputation-backed personal voucher system may fare better than those that put full faith and trust in fiat currencies.
The communities using such a "gift certificate" time donation system might also be better able to withstand worst-case scenarios that could include confiscation of gold, silver, or other precious metals backing other local currencies.
Does this sound worth doing? Look forward to observations/suggestions on how best to launch such an initiative and see it scale.
Jct: In 1981, I started up "Turmel's Social Credit Computer," a precursor to LETS that didn't last very long as i didn't have the time to devote to it, but it did use allow the transfer of electronic credit and members could use paper notes.
In 1993, my Abolitionist Party of Canada, used LETS and paper notes to take advantage of Canada's tax credit rules.
Canadians may contribute $1000 to registered political party and get a $500 tax credit. So a printer can donate a $1000 print job and get $500. A cinema could donate 200 movie tickets. Except that most parties don't have the wherewithal to cheaply allocate them to members. Having members with their own currency, a cinema could donate a Gift Certificate for 200 tickets to us and we just added its name to our Directory so members use their tokens there and when the cinema had taken in $1000 in Abolitionist Bucks, they'd get their Gift Certificate back. So we could accept all sorts of such contributions because we had no cost in "financing" the many transactions with our party chips.
We have a silver barter club starting here in Boulder Colorado. We build membership from various sources but our transition group is the main one. We use the information from Opencurrency.com to print and circulate our dollars. Each silver coin is worth $30 in barter value. This is just starting so I will keep you posted on how it is going. In the meantime, I posted a discussion on Iver's reply to some issues about farming. Here is my list of the top five things to do in your community. This is just my list. If anyone has more, let us know. I am sure there are thousands of things that we should be doing.
1. Get to know your neighbors. Become solid friends with them and share what you can about transition. Both conservatives and liberals like the idea. Liberals because it seems so "green" and counter culture, and conservatives because they are watching the business reports and see what is happening to the dollar, not to mention, they have a seven deadly sin rage for what is happening in the Obama White House.
2. Get your money out of banks. It is best in silver for a local currency barter fund or join the Open Currency group www.opencurrency.com and prepare for monetary collapse. This is the only way they will get us to the Amero and the North American Union by their 2012 deadline. Yrading is good too but to restrictive.
3. Learn how to do it all and fast. This will take more than tapping maple syrup. You need goats, chickens, veggies, fruit trees, water, composting toilets, wood stove,(especially when our energy bills go through the roof due to cap and trade) and a lot more. Join a CSA as a last resort.
4. Help your local politically minded rah rahs petition for tenth amendment rights. The state will be the only way to block the Fed once major legislation starts to control us. FEMA camps are coming, surveillance is here. Your local neighborhood and town are really your best bet for group protection but nullification does not hurt.
5. Educate yourself on the transition movement and stay in touch with others around the country that are starting up programs. We have to re-educate the populous quickly. They may not all get it, but Rudolf Steiner was no dummy when he put a transition-like curriculum in the Waldorf schools. He saw what was happening in Germany in the 1920's It is here. We need to teach others to farm, cook, raise livestock, card wool, knit, save seeds, etc.... But we cannot do this thing alone.
I hope I do not sound too alarmist.