Well the day has come – Stephanie and Marc are finally traveling to Lyon to present our paper at the Complementary Currencies conference, then to Tiocan to meet with other complementary currency folks to see what we can do together.
First, Our intention in going to Lyon is to learn all we can about what’s currently happening with complementary currencies, what’s happened in the past, and how we can use that knowledge to create a better future.
Second, and why we’re making the trip – we see an urgent need to ensure that timebanking and its values-based inclusive properties be included in our economic future. We’re big fans of lots of models of complementary currencies, but also recognize that most continue to focus on the kinds of exchanges that normally happen in the marketplace. That may continue to exclude or inadequately meet the needs of the core economic functions of caregiving, creativity and civic engagement. By joining forces with other complementary currency systems and actors, we can create something that is more effectively complementary – that makes room for all people in our economy and uses appropriate tools for appropriate exchanges.
For example, since caregiving is both abundant and widely needed, we want an abundant medium of exchange to facilitate needs being met. Timebanking is perfect for this. But storefront space in our downtown is scarce – so it stands to reason we would use a more competitive, price-based currency for conducting business activities in our cities to best allocate such a resource.
Third, we’re going to meet lots of people who have similar interests, with huge bases of knowledge that we haven’t yet learned of and lots of connections with others who share our goals.
After the main conference, there is a day for Complementary Currency actors and on this day we really expect to find some people to work with into the future, creating and maintaining an international learning community and identifying ways we can work together to create the systems and tools we need to succeed in creating a human-centered economy that values people and the planet.
Once the conference is over our work in Europe still continues…
Feb. 19 and 20 we’ll meet with more complementary currency actors near Geneva, in an action-oriented conference hosted by Matthew Slater of Community Forge. Once again we’ll have an even more in-depth opportunity to see what we have, what we need, and what we can do together to push our collective work out into the world.
Stephanie Rearick, TFTW Project Coordinator, talked about timebanking, human-scaled economies and the Time For The World project on Pacifica radio on Feb. 8. Steph comes on at about 40:30 in, but the whole show is interesting if you have time.
In two new monologues, Mike Daisey examines what money does to human relations and reveals the human cost of our love affair with electronic gadgetry. And Stephanie Rearick describes a system of alternative currency called TimeBanking.
We need your help in collecting information that can inform our collective efforts to improve the accessibility of timebanking to all who can benefit from it. As you know from earlier correspondence, we (Marc Brakken, UW; Preston Austin, Dane Co. TimeBank; and Stephanie Rearick, DCTB and TimeBanks USA) have been accepted to present a paper at an upcoming conference in Lyon, France. The topic is “30 years of Complementary Currencies: What next?” and our paper is titled “Deploying Timebanking for Human-Scaled Economic Development”
As part of our research for the paper and, more importantly, for future development of cooperative and collaborative tools and infrastructure for this movement, we need to learn what’s already happening and what’s in the works at a movement level around the world.
Could you please take a few minutes in the next week to reply to the following questions? We appreciate your help and plan to use the information we gather to work with timebanking organizations and individual movement-level thinkers to help all of us be better equipped for success.
The form is online here: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dHJfdWhzUFY5SDNPSXNiNDZXSlhqc1E6MQ
If you have other questions you think we’ve missed please let us know! There is a separate set of questions we intend to ask (or work with others doing similar research) of individual timebanks. The list above is geared toward developing a better understanding of the state of the movement.
Woo Hoo! Our abstract was accepted to present at the International Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies in LYON
February 16, 2011 – February 17, 2011
Looks like we’ll have to actually write the paper (and raise enough money to go!)
Here’s our abstract:
Deploying Timebanking for Human-scaled Economic Development: Abstract
Stephanie Rearick, Preston Austin, Marc Brakken
Timebanking, a values-based system of equal exchange of time, has taken root in 34 countries to date and has demonstrated a resiliency and demographic inclusiveness not commonly seen in complementary currencies. Moreover, timebanking values as core economic functions many activities, such as caregiving, civic engagement and creativity, that are undervalued when commodified in the market economy, including in market-based complementary currencies. By providing an appropriately abundant and fungible means of exchanging these core economic functions, timebanking increases the economy’s ability to appropriately allocate resources. Economic tools that fail to value these functions, or treat them as market-based commodities, will frequently replicate many of the social problems our current monetary system generates.
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