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.