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Adventures in mutual credit

In the complementary currency movement most of us have been so preoccupied with our software platforms that we haven't had the capacity to build apps; when apps are built, they are tightly coupled to one platform, making them difficult to share. Building a mobile phone app means defining an API in which all the objects to be manipulated are described field by field. The app and the server send these objects back and forth, and, knowing the fields, the app can apply the data objects to built in templates to display them. In fact the whole user experience is determined by the javascript css...
I've been blogging occasionally about business barter, a sector I would very much like to see disrupted. As a monetary reformer and someone who wants to see an economy that enables trade rather than inhibits it, business barter is the critical tool which is already available and needs no legislative changes. Yet the sector isn't serving those aims at the moment, being highly segmented and very expensive to use. Disruptive business models are needed to make barter more appealing, more affordable and more scalable. That's why I've been encouraged by meeting Laurence...
I just spent rather longer than I care to admit completely revamping the wikipedia article on mutual credit. This seemed valuable to me because that idea has been the focal point of my work, and source of much inspiration, since starting this blog in 2008, and I feel it is a simple yet profound idea which is appreciated only by a few money geeks. In addition I've never seen a definition which satisfied me, rather, people assume what it means, so maybe this article will help some future scholar to better move towards a satisfactory definition!
I've just discovered that the mailing list on my website hasn't been working, so if you receive this by mail, do have a look back at my blog! In particular I'd like to draw your attention though to two things. Firstly in considering how to build on my career so far, how to reduce technical dependence on me, and how the whole complementary currency movement can move forward, I wrote this analysis: Community forge must move on from Drupal! Secondly, thanks so much to Gary Dykstra, the host of 'Bitcoins in Bali', who just recorded and produced this new podcast conversation with me.
My last post was read with alarm by some fans of Community Forge, but they shouldn't worry I wouldn't close one door without opening another! While many projects enter and exit the community currency field, the major players move very slowly - since I started meddling in 2004, only a few mild achievements seem worth mentioning. the actors know each other better, in part because we are using the internet better and in part because of a biannual academic conference, and I think those actors have collectively learned a fair bit, though almost nothing of that learning crossed...
Readers less interested in the story of Community Forge may wish to skip the text in grey. In 2008 grassroots social organisations were (and still are) behind the curve both in uptake and in appreciating the importance of open source. Most local community currency groups were unaware of the software options available and still using paper although migration to online packages was underway. Community Exchange Systems was the largest yet spread only by word-of-mouth, unknown in much of Europe. Most of Scotland was using a sophisticated MS Access package Fourth Corner Exchange was a...
This week I was honoured to be part of the Money...
Five of us met at Ynternet headquarters near Lausanne, Switzerland on 4th and 5th to discuss development of the credit commons idea. I reported many positive experiences this year as he talked about the white paper with different people. I also reaffirmed that I didn’t know what leadership meant, but did understand the role of ‘holding the vision’. We agreed that in practice and for this kind of project, leadership is distributed. We caught on the gossip about some exchange projects, most notably the forthcoming 'Leman' currency in Geneva. Then for the rest of the day we discussed the...
As part of a sustainable leadership course i've been given at IFLAS, I'm required to thing about my theory of change. A theory of change is a specific methodological approach to social activism, involving mapping out how you think the world works and how your actions are intended to improve it. Here are some of the ideas that recur to me, in conversations, reading and thinking about how change happens. The Swarm will prevail We just have to reach a Tipping point / Imaginal cells in the chrysalis / 5% is critical mass Capitalism will eat itself / collapse institutions must be changed from...
Dear Community Forge, When the support team 'sent' me to Montreal, they left me free to decide what to accomplish there! So I stated my intention to discover other networks of communities who are trading and exchanging with each other. Not necessarily because we have free software for them, but because we want the freedom to exchange with them. This year I co-authored with Tim Jenkin from Community Exchange Systems a paper describing the credit commons which is a protocol to enable exchange-relationships regardless of the software used, and with which we might make a global trading network...

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