An open space for global conversation
As we all watched the Occupy Movement erode, and as I witnessed an emotional force there more interested in opposition than support, which is of course the nature of emotional force, I returned my focus to alternative pathways. In 2012, I began researching the possibility of creating a "time bank" as a tool for crowdsourcing support for all positive avenues to a future of sustainable prosperity - and by facilitating all approaches, even ones in apparent opposition to each other, finding a common ground that intrinsically disarms demagoguery.
My first approach to creating this structure was crowdfunding with a focus on identifying persons whom support the concept. This was putting the cart ahead of the horse, in the sense that funds are a generic structure that first needs an organization to fund, and consequently I found little interest in funding the concept before broad and deep interest was demonstrable. Thus, in late 2012, I established a discussion group and page on Facebook to facilitate networking support, and began organizing pledges of time, rather than money, to the time bank as a tool for empowering ourselves and each other to build a sustainable future, selecting a membership of 1000 as a goal, which goal was recently achieved.
With the help of an open and transparent discussion at our Facebook board, I've now selected the software and hosting service for the Reconomy Global Timebank. We were fortunate to have the help of some of the leaders and experts in alternative economics along the way and through this final process. The members of our Timebank are pledged to support sustainable development and especially at the community level, and the software will enable us to create and manage independent community time bank and currency systems.
The organizational structure of this time bank is democratic, and my own role as creator and caretaker will be phased out such that the tool works as a pathway for many visions. My own focus regarding the time bank will be to support local currency systems that discount renewable energy when purchased with their local money, which is a project that has support from some of the leading progressive voices today as well as from many of the persons pledged to support this Timebank.
The Reconomy Global Timebank will be up and running in the very near future. All are welcome to participate.
For more information, you can visit our pledge page at https://www.causes.com/peoplepower, our group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/peoplemoney, our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ReconomyGlobalCooperative, and our website at http://reconomy.net. You may also email me at peoplepower@me,com, and I also subscribe to comments here.
Congratulations, Kevin! I've seen some mentions of Reconomy here and there already,a nd it looks like you're just taking off. So cool to see and I will definitely stay tuned. Meanwhile, here's something I've got going right now that I would love you to play in, if you're game. It would be especially valuable to have you participate at least a bit at the start, to help seed the conversation. Certainly synergizes with your work and would be a way to spread the word. and no worries if it's not a good fit right now.
Poverty and Wealth in America: a national conversation "experiment"
Sounds good to me, count me in. And thank you for your great support and encouragement. I could benefit I'm sure by listening to what others think about this topic of affluence and poverty, and I might have something good to add.
I think of a synergy as "the whole is different form the sum of its parts", distinguished from a gestalt, in which "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts", which is of course what we often mean by synergy, but the distinction can be useful. We might say that a beach is a synergy, the result of water working on rock, not greater than the sum of its parts but different. While a machine, in the physical sense, is a gestalt, the parts combined in a manner that is more than their sum. Art also is a gestalt, imho, that exists in the mind of the beholder - the thing and the mind combining to create more than the sum of the parts. People-power is about that - we each have our individual power, person-power if you will, and when we combine it we create people-power, something that only exists between us. It's a combination that can be a synergy, like two persons pulling the same rope from opposite ends, different than the sum of its parts because they negate each others energy, which is what we have in our zero-sum economy, or we can pull on the same end and still be the sum of our parts, different because the sum but not greater than the sum. Or we can stand on each other's shoulders and be more than the sum of our parts, reach farther, which is what your conversations are to me, and also what I'm aiming for in my work, that greater empowerment that is possible through connection.
We have a very active Time Bank in Boston, MA and time banks will be part of this conference:http://neweconomy.net/