MAN Up Summit reflections

Hello all!IMG_6606

It was a very rich and rewarding couple weeks at the MAN Up Summit. I’m going to be writing a lot about it, starting at this blog then extending into the paper I’ll present at the 3rd International Complementary Currencies conference in Brazil. We’ll post useful notes and video at But meanwhile I’m writing up my own perspectives and recollections, just a brief bit on most parts of the summit. I know I’ll leave some out though. Be sure to sign up for the facebook group if you do that kind of thing, and check in at the MAN website for more perspectives and documentation.

There were too many highlights to even remember. Here are some of them:IMG_6401

Dinner and music at Jennie Capellaro’s on evening 1- delicious food IMG_6414by Green Owl Cafe owner Jennie Capellaro, served in her lovely backyard, and wonderful music by Duluth musician Mary Bue, playing on Jennie’s upright piano and scrappy guitar. Beautiful, intimate, joyful. All of it.

Funders’ circle – morning of day 2, brought a delightfully surprising mix of funders current and future plus young activists with mad IMG_6415skills, great ideas of how to put them to work, and very little opportunity (with big debt) in the current economy. We found some good ways to connect in both securing resources for our work in the current paradigm and partnering with funders/philanthropists to co-create a new paradigm that works better for all of us. Invitation to voluntary, joyful redistribution of wealth part I.

IMG_6440After a beautiful Friday evening of a community justice-themed picnic in the park, food provided by the fantastic Cafe Costa Rica, many of us retired to the pier to watch the sunset. One of many moments appreciating the opportunity to host people in my lovely home city. While talking about how we’ll change what’s very unlovely about it, its systemic racism and oppressive criminal justice system.

And on the topic at hand – we were joined by a crew of 9 amazing activists from St. Louis, including old friendIMG_6437s and new. The great Julia Ho (of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, among others) really pulled things together to make this trip happen for several people, and all of our St. Louis guests had a lot to share with us about their work for justice in their own community. We have lots of ways to build on each other’s work and support each other in the creative destruction of the US Prison Industrial Complex. Along with other partners around the country.

IMG_6427Sociocracy! I can’t say enough good about our Sociocracy 3.0 workshops with James Priest. I won’t say much about them here because they’re going to be the best-documented of all of the MAN Up summit, in the works now. But Sociocracy looks to me to be a super practical way to build really good work and communication flow and governance into any group process. I look forward to using what we’ve learned to shape our work. It’s already clarified things enormously and the bits we’ve used so far have been delightful.

Sociocracy! … like I said…

Fractal organization – this was part of the Sociocracy training and we used the principles JamesIMG_6593 introduced to figure out how to shape the work of MANs, the relationship of pilot sites to the Main MAN, the operations and governance processes for it all… (my first inarticulate stab at a summary, more to come of course…)

The food organizers and cooking team! As is often the case, I left food out of my worldview in terms of planning for this summit. But because I’ve lived in timebankland for the last 10 years, I had faith that people would step up and make something beautiful happen. And they did! First, Lora Garrett appeared in MAN web meetings beginning a couple months ago, which is when I learned that she lives here in Madison and wants to help build the MANs. She stepped up in a million ways, organizing food carts to come out, catering our Burrows Park event with her and her husband’s awesome food cart, Cafe Costa Rica, managing a bunch of logistics. IMG_6458And she lined up the FEED kitchen for a location for cooking our food.

Then we asked for a cooking team and the most wonderful people stepped up. And Sue Hessel jumped in the coordinate the work. They fed us delicious feasts for three full meals plus snacks for our launch party, and cakes for the Allied Coop’s first birthday celebration. It was incredible! All in all we spent about $550 on ingredients for all these feasts. Pretty amazing, and demonstrating our power to become less dependent on money through cooperation. Oh, and the team baked 3 delicious cakes for the Allied Coop Birthday party!


IMG_6488Allied Coop workshop and party! And field trip report!!!  As you may know from reading this blog, the Allied Community Coop is really one of the parents of Mutual Aid Networks, as the first vision of using timebanking to help ‘grow’ a pool of shared money that would support collectively-owned resources (a van) was born when we created the vision for PowerTime II. Now Allied Coop is a going IMG_6475concern, we’ve put PowerTime II on hold while we work toward making a neighborhood-owned and -operated grocery and resource center, while taking steps to ameliorate the food emergency in the meantime. This event was an Art of Hosting workshop with Lina Cramer and Renee Haynie-Jackson, followed by a celebration of Allied Coop’s first birthday. We also had a lovely short session of stress-reduction breathing and light chair yoga with Mary Bue. Plus a report on the field trip we took in June to St. Louis and New Orleans! It was great to be joined by a few of the people we visited in St. Louis, who were here for the summit. And the sparkle when LaVern, Sina, Gloria and Cassandra reported on all the learning and fun we had! We gave out Mardi Gras beads, ate cake, and learned about the original Mutual Aid Societies, the African-American tradition that the private insurance industry has worked to coopt and destroy, and which we’ll help to revive within MANs. Plus reports on our restorative justice conversations with the St. Louis people, learning from the Patch timebank store there, new timebank ideas from New Orleans, and new MAN ideas in both places.

Monday August 24, at the great High Noon Saloon — our big MAN Launch Party with The IMG_6500Yes Men!!! IMG_6506They were hilarious as always, and showed clips from their new film The Yes Men Are Revolting. And Bayo Akomolafe, our great advisory board member from Nigeria by way of India, really moved people with his talk. As did the short stories about what various pilots (Hull, Lansing, Providence, Allied Coop!) are doing, and all the musicians –  Wendy Schneider, Shawn Neary, Cat Capellaro and Andrew Rohn, Hanah Jon Taylor, and me. It was quite an extravaganza. And a very special treat to IMG_6511have The Yes Men, long-time heroes of mine, up on stage talking about the MAN like a thing that actually exists. Because it does!

On August 25 we had our 3-hour Savings Pool workshop. Guests Stephen Hinton of the JAK Bank in Sweden and Phil Stevens of New Zealand’s Savings Pools, plus Janelle Orsi of Sustainable Economies Law Center dug deep with us to help us learn IMG_6534IMG_6518the possibilities IMG_6522community savings pools can create. Janelle helped us understand what laws we need to pay attention to, navigate around, work to change. We’re up for it! Plus cooperative legal structures go a long way… more on that later…

IMG_6550The savings pool session was followed by our Robust Budgeting IMG_6549and Work/Life Description workshop. I decided to use myself and my own real life as the case study. Because I’m really going to be doing this! This was somewhat shockingly cool, so reassuring, so exciting, so freaky…  First off it was great to get help making a budget, because I hate to do it or think about it. And I’m not always that realistic and my good friend, bandmate, and DCTB Co-Director Lorrie Hurckes was there to give friendly reality checks… But then we easily saw how I could, while doing exactly what I want to do with my time, cut my money expenses by 37% and end up with a surplus of timebank hours (that I can easily allocate to getting help with music booking and promotion, which would help my other kinds of income) with resources that can be readily available within the coming year. This is super cool. We’ll be doing more of this together, most likely as the continuation of our online learning series. (Sign up on our mail chimp list or keep checking back to see how to join)

IMG_6573Wednesday we did a softwareIMG_6572 development, cooperation, team-building, capacity-building workshop in the afternoon. Julien showed us around Wezer and we talked about how it works now, how we aim to make it work, how we will connect it with other tools and exchanges systems to create a well-functioning and resilient network. Exciting!

IMG_6581 IMG_6582 Thursday August 27 was The Main MAN’s first ever General membership meeting and John Rogers showed up! And joined the Board!! Along with these other fabulous folks.

Then we spent more time working with James in open space, getting into the nitty gritty about how we’ll operate. What a wonderful opportunity to have him with as as we stumble through our learning curves. I’m really looking forward to honing our skills and seeing how well we can use this to be a super well-functioning team. Of super well-functioning teams. etc.

IMG_6601 IMG_6600The last day, Friday August 28, we had the great treat and very well-timed workshop on Coop Law – how we can apply it to meet our goals. We’re really lucky to have good cooperative law here in Wisconsin, and great people to help us with it. David Sparer, the wonderful lawyer who has helped us with bylaws and vision for the Allied Community Coop and the Main MAN, has decades of experience in the field of coop law and helped to found the Willy St. Coop (incorporated at the same address as the Main MAN, DCTB, and IMG_6609Madison Hours by the way. And you might recognize the Willy St. Coop as our super-supportive partner for the Allied Coop, helping us establish our buying club and work toward a grocery store). David joined us, along with Anne Reynolds of the UW Center for Cooperatives, another great supporter, adviser and helper to us and the Allied Coop. We talked through our goals and how we can apply coop law to meet them. Organizing as cooperatives helps us accomplish some of the wealth-sharing and wealth-transfer goals that we have while keeping us out of things like banking and insurance regulation. More detail at the website as we write things up and edit video. But the long and short of it is, we’re all systems go. And one other cool thing: Wisconsin has great coop law but many states and countries don’t. We learned that as MANs spin up in places without coop law, they can either incorporate as a basic LLC in their state, commit to cooperative principles, and call themselves coops. Or they can incorporate in Wisconsin and operate under Wisconsin law. I got kind of excited about the possibility of becoming the Delaware of Coops!! (in case you don’t know, Delaware has low corporate taxes and tons of businesses incorporate there. One street address is home to 285,000 corporations! I generally like the idea of coopting these kinds of things, why do you think we call it The MAN?)

We closed with a harvest of the summit, and next steps. And a nice little cheer – Let’s rock! Then we went (those who didn’t have a plane to catch) and danced in the rain to a reunion of one of my favorite old-time (well, early 90s) Madison bands (Bootyfroot) at one of my favorite neighborhood festivals (Orton Park), made more pleasantly lightly-attended (it’s generally a zoo) by the nice warm rain. Ahhh… IMG_6612

It was definitely a highlight to be able to host people here and show them what’s great about my city. And of course the biggest highlight was every single person who came to each of the events. They were all better attended than I expected and the enthusiasm and depth of participation was beautiful.

And most of all, it feels like we’re going out into the world as a team of people well-connected with each other, well-grounded in shared philosophy and practice, with a clear commitment to working through our learning curves together, supporting each other to do the best work we can. All in the spirit of Mutual Aid Networks, creating means for everyone to discover and succeed in work they want to do, with the support of their community. Starting with us!

Schedule tweaks to (awesome so far) MAN Up summit include adding online availability

MAN Up Summit is going great so far, and you can still be part of it!


We have a few added online sessions, plus here’s a friendly reminder about this first one which was always intended to be online – all times CDT:

12pm – 3pm Community Savings/Investment workshop – featuring (via web) Stephen Hinton of Sweden’s JAK Bank, Phil Stevens of New Zealand Living Economies, Janelle Orsi from Sustainable Economies Law Center. Art In, 1444 E. Washingtonavailable online  SB TB

3:30-6pm Skill shares – Robust Budgeting, Work/Life Design, others by offer or request Art In, 1444 E. Washington  available online  SB TB

1pm – 5pm Software – building tools that work for us with Bob Haugen, Lynn Foster, Matthew Slater, Julien Dussart Art In, 1444 E. Washington and nearby locations  available online  TB

And by the way, the summit is amazing so far. Including but not limited to last night’s fabulous party at the High Noon with The Yes Men, Bayo Akomolafe, a bunch of great pilot site leaders sharing a tiny bit of their vision with us, music by Wendy Schneider, Shawn Neary, Hanah Jon Taylor, Cat Capellaro and Andrew Rohn (of VO5 etc), and me. Indescribably awesome. So many of my favorite people were there, from all over the world. And others in spirit and missed, of course.

There’s still more to come and you can register here.

  • Please read this paper-in-progress as background to our Community Justice discussions.
  • Check out the still-evolving summit schedule here.
  • Contribute here — and then pass it on to your friends with a personal note asking them to help.

Want to help out? You can be part of the cooking team, or provide rides, help with facilitation, help make the MAN Up simulation game, or offer skill shares in your areas of strength.

One of the major aims of the summit is to play with how these resource flows can work in real life. We’ll do that by exchanging different types of credits for the work we each put into making the summit happen. And we’ll log those credits in the Main MAN and/or various local exchanges as that makes sense. Feel free to suggest ways to experiment with this.

And last but not least, our first General Membership Meeting of the Main MAN will be Thursday August 27, 9:30-12:30 CDT. Please join us! This is available to join online so geography is no barrier…
And here is your packet to be prepared for that meeting.

Take care,

UK Trip Report – MAN presentations, pilot sites, learning, music, fun

The start of my trip to the UK seems so long ago…

July 5 Lorrie Hurckes – friend, Ladyscissors bandmate, and Co-Director and Youth Court Coordinator of the Dane County TimeBank –  and I set out for a nice little work/music/fun tour of the UK. The impetus for the trip was the Leading Wellbeing research festival hosted by the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability at University of Cumbria in the Lake District. I was invited by event host Prof. Jem Bendell to present about Mutual Aid Networks and play some music. Of course! The event was great, as I’ll get to in due time, and was also a fine excuse to book a little UK tour.

IMG_5735It was great to have Lorrie with me. She presented a lot on our restorative justice Youth Courts and really inspired people, including many who have the capacity to make things happen in their locales (youth justice workers, local council members, organization representatives). And it was cool to have her recognized as the great leader and speaker that she is.

First stop was London. We just kicked around the first day IMG_5738and a half, then went to Lewisham to get together with Philippe Granger and timebankers from Rushey Green. Plus people from the council and the juvenile justice systems. Everyone was interested in restorative justice at each stop we made. Pretty cool.

IMG_5756Then we went to Milton Keynes to Anna Peters’ (we met when she was in Kent, Ohio on a learning tour of timebanks) teen center (well, it’s not Anna’s personally, IMG_5753but she does a lot to run the place, along with her amazing co-workers at Making a Difference), the Buszy. I’ve posted about this place before. Last time I visited, Matthew Slater and I helped Anna set up a timebank. Now it’s up and running solidly, the kids are using it, and the whole center just gets cooler with time. And we got to shop in the thrift store, which had exactly what I was looking for for stage clothes. Plus the guy who was working at the shop might get connected with a New York tour guide, through a timebank partnership.IMG_5768

After that, much fun with Anna and her friends/co-workers. We’ll be taking a trip to New Orleans together soon…

From there we drove to the southwest, to Totnes, where we’d been invited to stay with the wonderful Inez, and attend Three Acres and a Cow, a really cool performance described as “a history of land rights and protest inIMG_5780 folk IMG_5774IMG_5778songs and story.” Going in I have to admit I thought it really might not be my kind of thing. But it was super cool. I learned a lot about the history of various forms of oppression, and effective resistance movements and how they worked. And part of the story was told through the songs people were using to communicate at the time. It ended up feeling extremely relevant to me in many ways, and the history lesson was a perfect early step in this trip.

IMG_5791 IMG_5795 IMG_5771     And then of course Totnes is beautiful and old, and it’s very near a gorgeous seashore. We went to Blackpool Hills and it was absolutely lovely. The beach was made up of smooth little pebbles, each one beautiful on its own, and you can dig your body into it so it feels like a nice little massage as you lie in the sun. It was a perfect way to spend a warm sunny day. Afterward Inez hosted a potluck so we were able to meet many of the other cool people in Totnes too.

IMG_5815From there, Bath where we stayed with Carmen Smith, a PhD IMG_5814student who came to study DCTB for a month and has now finished her PhD which includes us, and which she presented at the Leading Wellbeing Festival (DCTB was well-represented there!)

We mainly relaxed and touristed around Bath. And then Carmen and I met with the director of Bath’s Time Bank Plus, which is doing great stuff. Like most IMG_5857other thriving timebanks I’ve visited, Time Bank Plus focuses a lot on group activities. We learned about their history and what they’re focused on now, and talked about ways the Mutual Aid Network structure could help timebanks with self-sustainability.

After a quick stop in Bristol just to marvel at the awesome street art, we headed to the Lake District for the research festival.


So, the Lake District… So much happened there and it feels like long ago. I’ll just write up the highlights (and not all of them, there were too many)

IMG_5946The place itself is stunningly beautiful. And serene. And the Leading Wellbeing Research Festival was really cool and inspiring. I’ve thought of it a lot as I plan the MAN Up summit.


Leander at his new home

We arrived on July 14 to have a little time to chill out and see friends. Leander Bindewald, who some of you know from when he was here working with Time for the World, or from New Economics Foundation, or from his help with Knit a Network, or various and sundry, has just moved up there to pursue a PhD at festival host Institute for Sustainable Leadership at University of Cumbria. He was one of the festival organizers alongside a team led by Prof. Jem Bendell.


Charles Eisenstein giving the keynote

Charles Eisenstein was a keynote speaker on Day One. There were excellent talks and panels throughout. As usual, I’m going to count on other people’s reports for detail (check out this blog) and I’m going to detail just the things I helped lead.


Cate Ferris!

On July 16 I played a short set of music as part of the evening festivities, following the great Cate Ferris. Lorrie joined me on a few songs, which was really cool. I had the fortunate misfortune of having no drum available (apparently there are NO DRUMS in the Lake District!) so the sound guy suggested playing the podium. Brilliant. Worked like a charm. It was nice and loud with several different tones easily available, and a nice lip to contain the tambourine I was using as a cymbal. We used this set-up for To the Nines and Mama’s Little Baby. Very fun.

July 17 was my big work day. It started with a workshop that was structured as a half-hour conversation between me and Leander about the Dane County TimeBank and how its lessons can be applied globally. That was pretty easy! And fun.

Next Lorrie and I presented our paper, The Creative Destruction of the US Prison Industrial Complex: We Can Do It! That was really cool. It was a bit intense to bring the kind of dark realities we were bringing into this particular setting that had so farIMG_6055 focused on healthy trends in residential learning. But people were very receptive. And our paper ends on a pretty positive note, sketching an achievable way forward. The gist of the paper is that the US economy is built on exploited labor, and dependent on it intrinsically, with the prison-industrial complex and its many tentacles at the center. And that in order to dismantle it we need to take an approach, somewhat akin to a demilitarization/retooling/retraining campaign, that builds a new economy on precisely the work needed to dismantle it and to reintegrate its victims and perpetrators into a healthy society. If you can dream it you can do it.

my view from the panel

my view from the panel

Finally, I had the opportunity to serve on a panel about community well-being. This was a cool opportunity to address the whole group (other sessions were breakouts). And the group was quite diverse in perspective, from around the world – executives of large companies, owners of successful large-scale sustainable businesses, non-profit sector leaders, small community project leaders, academics, activists, radicals, consultants to corporations, managers looking to instill wellbeing in their corporations, film stars, music producers, hard core human rights lawyers, philanthropists, investors, etc etc etc.

For my 5-minute overview I talked about how timebanking applies to community well-being, especially by reducing social isolation but also by providing economic opportunities. IMG_6110In the ensuing discussion, with the other 3 panelists (Professor Margaret Ledwith (University of Cumbria), Chris Batten (Francis C Scott Trust), Kim Farr (Incredible Edible), we got to discuss topics ranging from small scale community garden projects to funding dysfunctions to poverty, capitalism, and the need for networks of mutual aid and support. I had some good opportunities to talk about Mutual Aid Networks and made some really valuable connections because of it.

Then work was done! And it was just fun for the next few days in the Lake District..

…and continued to be fun throughout our last stop, Hull.

IMG_6183Hull is a really cool city. And very old, first established as Hull in 1299 according to our tour guide, Steve. I’m not going to write much more about the city other than what we did there, just to finish this thing finally..

We were there at the invitation of Kate MacDonald, the wonderful coordinator of the Hull IMG_6135IMG_6150& East Riding TimeBank. Kate is exploring creating a MAN pilot site in Hull and organized some really great events for our stop.

IMG_6149First, we did a day-long workshop, first half on restorative justice and our Dane County TimeBank Youth Court program, and what elements could be useful in Hull. Second half was on Mutual Aid Networks. It was great. Notes are in these photos and I’ll type them up when I’m not organizing a big summit (sorry for the delay!)…. But in a nutshell, we had attendees from the local gov’t council, juvenile services, human service orgs, Hull Coin (a nascent city gov’t supported IMG_6152cryptocurrency for human service applications), the timebank of course, and much more. And they’ve decided to pursue a small group discussion about pursuing more restorative justice options and connecting them more closely with the timebank and other community partners, and to explore connecting the various exchange and sharing systems into an ecosystem, as we aim to do in Mutual Aid Networks. Hopefully they’ll become a pilot site!

After enjoying the rest of that day exploring the city, the next morning we went on the BBC Radio Humberside show with David Burns. It was a great opportunity to let more of the world know that many Americans resist the violence, racism, and institutional repression we’re witnessing here. And that many of us really dislike guns and their ubiquity! And we were able to talk about what’s working here locally, in the context of being the most disproportionate in an extremely disproportionate prison state. All in all it was a good show. You can listen here, we’re about an hour and 45 minutes in.

And last but not least, the rock show. Kate set up a show at the Adelphi, a super cool classic kind of rock and roll club. Awesome! I played with 2 really cool bands (Nick Rooke and and the crowd was really fun. Lorrie joined me for a few songs again, this time on a proper drum kit courtesy of a new timebank member. We played to the Nines, Down Down Down and Last Lucky Song. Great sound, great times!

After a celebratory last night, the next morning Lorrie and I drove our rental car

straight to Heathrow and got on the plane…

Whew! and that’s that.  Done with this report just in time to get started on our MAN Up Summit…

Register for the MAN Up summit! It’s gonna be amazing


Another quick one (while I continue to chip away at my UK report – I’m inclined to publish that in just one massive post, so those who want to know about the trip can just read it at their leisure and those who don’t want to don’t need to get several doses – but you can make suggestions to me if you like)

The MAN Up Summit is shaping up beautifully! Register today. Really, if you can swing a last-minute trip to Madison I think it’s worth coming in person. And you can join several sessions offline if that’s just not feasible.

Our main location is a really cool space and we’ll also get a chance to see more of Madison. By bus, bike (you can use DCTB members’ bikes for time credits, rent from B-Cycle or one of many local cycle shops), carpool (again courtesy of summit attendees and DCTB members). We’ll be weaving music into many of the events. Plus we’ll have some yoga, some natural vision improvement sessions, some outdoor sessions, some other things to appeal to mind, body and spirit. We’re creating space for people to offer and request skill shares from one another.

And the MAN Up simulation game is shaping up to be really fun. And The Yes Men are going to be featured at our launch party!

The people who are registering have already guaranteed that this will be a productive and rich event. Too much to mention here without writing yet another book of a blog.

Check out the still-evolving schedule here.

Register here.

Contribute here.

And hope to connect with you during the summit! August 20-28, right around the corner…

Thanks for reading,


Quick tidbits – including the Yes Men say yes to the MAN! plus article, interview, indiegogo


While I work on the book that my UK trip blog post is turning into, I interrupt my flow (or lack thereof) to bring you some quick important news…

First, the Yes Men are coming! They’ll be at our launch party for Mutual Aid Networks, here in Madison Wisconsin on Monday August 24. At the High Noon Saloon. Featuring a clip from the Yes Men’s new film, plus other cool performances and the premier of our MAN Up simulation game.

Stay tuned at  – we’re currently scheduling and updating the page at a rapid clip.

And I have a new article out at Other Worlds are Possible.

And an interview with Michel Bauwens on the P2P Foundation blog

So check those out! And then go contribute to our crowdfunding campaign to help us bring our out-of-town guests who will be training us in Sociocracy, building software that works for our needs, bringing their expertise and collaborative spirit from around the world… The more we raise the more people we can bring.

And make your travel plans to be with us in Madison Wisconsin for our MAN Up Summit August 20-28. Or join select sessions online – including our first Main MAN general membership meeting August 27! Schedule here.

Thanks for reading

more MAN news – Allied Coop, new MAN video, indiegogo campaign for MAN Up Summit

Hello again

I’m writing a lot (thanks for bearing with me) because a lot is happening. ecommony

Good stuff!

First, the Allied Community Coop, near and dear to me for many reasons (a small one is I’m treasurer of the Board), voted to join the Main MAN at yesterday’s board meeting. And to pursue becoming an official pilot site. Hooray! This is the group that came up with PowerTime II, the very first inkling of what a MAN could become. Here’s the Builders Workshop (monthly work-and-learn series that helped lead to the MAN) that led us to see how we could use timebanking to start to leverage money (in energy savings) that could be managed cooperatively to build commonly-owned resources. You can check out the whole workshop series, plus additional related posts, to access this learning journey.

Or join our web summit for a condensed version!

One more thing about the Allied Coop before I move on – we had what felt like a fruitful meeting with Madison Mayor Paul Soglin yesterday. We’re trying to get the opportunity to open a Neighborhood Resource Center there, plus we were the only applicants for a $300K forgivable loan the city allocated to help initiate a grocery store in the neighborhood. So things are suddenly moving much faster. We also just hired a great team, all working very part time to do outreach in the neighborhood to build our ranks and strengths in preparation for all this great stuff coming up. Stay tuned…

In other Main MAN news, we have brought John Quinlan on to help us with MAN communications. You can look forward to seeing a lot of his work as we move through the web summit and set up crowdfunding and other communications.

Two things John just did, that you hereby are invited to check out:

  1. Made this hour-long video interview with me, about the MAN, for his TV show Forward Forum. We’ll chop it up and put pieces on our website so let me know if there are bits that are particularly useful.
  2. Got our crowdfunding campaign started for the August MAN Up Summit. Please contribute! Please help spread the word!

And please consider coming to Madison for the Summit August 20-28. It’s going to be a great time! (see last post for more info)

and now on to the UK. As always, thanks for reading.

MAN Up Summit, set to launch in August! plus web summit, upcoming UK trip


Things continue to move at lightning pace here in MANland. That’s a good thing!

We just embarked on a web summit, an online learning journey to help us all get grounded in what Mutual Aid Networks are and what they can do for us and our various and intersecting communities.

Please join us! Every Wednesday into August and likely beyond. Yesterday (July 1) was the premier session, an overview of Mutual Aid Networks, a summary of how we expect the series to go, and a preview of how we’ll lead into our MAN Up Summit August 20-28. Which will culminate in the ‘grand opening’ public launch of the Main MAN and some of our initial pilot sites.

Stay tuned for more info on the summit, but you can make plans to come to Madison Wisconsin that week. If you live in Madison you’re welcome to offer your home to our out-of-town guests. We’ll experiment with MAN-style sharing and reciprocity (i.e. you could ask for timebank hours, other resources to recognize your generosity) to support the people traveling here to share their skills and ideas. We’re expecting Julien Dussart, a Wezer programmer and complementary currency leader coming from France, James Priest, a Sociocracy leader and trainer coming from the UK, Stephen Hinton, Founder of Transition Sweden and board member of the JAK cooperative bank, plus MAN partners and community leaders from Detroit, St. Louis, Pennsylvania, Chicago and more. And if we’re lucky Nigeria by way of India – our newest Advisory Board member Bayo Akomolafe. Very exciting! We’ll learn a lot and get a lot of work done. Deep trainings, deep collaborative explorations, our first Main MAN general membership meeting, a MAN Up simulation game, and celebrations! You’re probably wondering how you can help out, besides coming and offering up housing. Well, you can help us pay for people’s travel and other related expenses. Like space, food, all the other supplies that go into making a great party and getting serious work done.

You can help by going here, giving money, and sharing this link with everyone you know.

ddd_stillIn other news, on Sunday Lorrie Hurckes (Dane County TimeBank Co-Director and Youth Court Coordinator, plus my Ladyscissors bandmate) and I embark on a trip to the UK. This will be a trip for work, fun and music. We’ll do some timebanking, restorative justice, and MAN events, plus a few shows. The impetus for the trip initially was (is) the Leading Wellbeing International Research Festival, where I’ll be doing a little session on DCTB and how we can apply and expand on our models globally via MANs – with Leander Bindewald (Time For the World collaborator circa 2011)! Plus playing some music, with Lorrie joining on a few songs. Plus Lorrie and I will be presenting a paper titled: The Creative Destruction of the US Prison Industrial Complex: We Can Do It!  I’m very excited about this paper, and then about going ahead and doing it once we have it written up properly. :)

This festival has a lot of focus on leadership development which is great timing, especially as Lorrie takes on more leadership in DCTB (where she’s already a major force, and picking up more of my slack all the time) as I shift my work focus from there to a full-time focus on MANs and music. Generally applying MAN practices to do exactly what I want to with my life. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to do that soon too, and we can learn how together – that’s the point of the whole thing.

I digress. Before the festival we’ll hit London, Milton Keynes, Bath, Totnes, and Bristol, connecting with timebankers/co-opers/MAN-curious/restorative justicers. After the festival in the Lake District (and hiking and kayaking and those kinds of things) we go to Hull, another MAN pilot site. I’m very excited to see all the things they have going on there, which include a timebank and a city-sponsored cryptocurrency, Hull Coin, designed to support residents in poverty. And I/we have a show at the Adelphi on July 22!

A nice way to end the trip. We fly out again July 23.rock for rj

And then come back to some Ladyscissors shows, including our set at my (and our host’s) birthday party, the Rock for Restorative Justice benefit for DCTB’s RJ projects. August 8.

Followed by the MAN Up summit later in August!!!

More on that as it develops. Meanwhile, don’t forget to give till it hurts :)

Thanks for reading,


p.s. a little bonus present for getting all the way to the end


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