Setting up a local currency: requesting advice
The question from a London based transitioner
Hi Transition Network,
I'm hosting a screening of 97% Owned (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3mfkD6Ky5o&feature=plcp) on the 27th May, and after the documentary I'd like to use it as a chance for people to think about alternative currencies. I'm going to print up some Local Pound notes from a local printer, as a way of starting a conversation about how to set up a local currency. Do you have any advice on how I can start a local currency?
Kind Regards, London Transitioner
The first answer - here's what I emailed back
Thanks for the email. In terms of starting up a local currency, I’d quickly recommend:
- read Transition guide to local money - www.transitionnetwork.org/books#money
- anything by Thomas Greco
- anything by Bernard Lietaer
- Brixton pound stuff on the transition Brixton website
- blog by Molly Scott Cato
Gathering a team
- an event as you’re putting on is as good a way as any to find people to explore this
Getting realistic goals
- crucial and perhaps the hardest part
- some of the above websites will help with that
- be aware that local money systems have largely only been economically transformative when there’s been a shortage of national currency
Understanding local economics as an “econo-system”
- my feeling is that a single physical currency needs to be treated very much like a first step. It’s like the dandelions – the first plants to gain a foothold in a devastated piece of ground. It’s not until all the other plants start coming in on the back of the work done by the dandelions that you start to see a resilient ecosystem emerging. Likewise, in an economy, it’s not until you see the other elements - the timebank, the local credit guarantee agency, the credit union, the electronic means of transacting, the gifting economy – forming that you’re getting something that’s heading towards economic resilience.
- an essential part will be trying to figure out how this local money infrastructure can actually provide income for the people coordinating it.
Hope that’s helpful. Ben.
Hi there, anyone wanting to set up a local currency might like to look at this thread on Transition Network's REconomy Project blog http://www.reconomyproject.org/?p=3691 especially the comments section. You may also like to come to the REconomy Project Day at this year's Transition Conference where we'll be having a "How to" session for those wanting to set up a new local currency. Co-hosts for this session will be someone from the Brixton Pound and there will be lots of other sessions that should help you on your way.