Alternative Economy

Members: 35
Latest Activity: Sep 11, 2013

Discussion Forum

Occupy Meets Transition (etc.) Cafe Call and Beyond

Started by Ben Roberts. Last reply by David Eggleton Sep 28, 2012. 56 Replies

I would like to use our Monday Vital Conversation Cafe Call as a setting to explore the intersection of these two movements.  We might even broaden the scope beyond Transition to include…Continue

Tags: circles, resilience, transition, permaculture,

Everyone Invests

Started by David Eggleton. Last reply by Ben Roberts May 15, 2012. 13 Replies

[copied and pasted from the Transition in Action site] Many, many people do not…Continue

Tags: resources, attention, time, energy, human needs

Local/Regional Economies: Letting People and Places Matter

Started by David Eggleton. Last reply by David Eggleton Dec 31, 2011. 7 Replies

One of my frequent wishes is that more people would let go of the notion of one economy, even if it is to be very different.  I believe moving toward many economies (the cake), with whatever links…Continue

Tags: sustainable, process, economic efficiency, integrated, more connection

A cart ahead of the horse?

Started by Gail. Last reply by Jeff Mowatt Dec 29, 2011. 3 Replies

I think that your idea has merit, but how can one go door to door calling on small businesses without a clearly defined economic alternative to hold as a vision?  Or did I miss something?Continue

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Comment by Kevin Parcell on September 11, 2013 at 12:57pm

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, our group at, our Facebook page at, and our website at  You may also email me at peoplepower@me,com, and I also subscribe to comments here.


Comment by Kevin Parcell on October 4, 2012 at 11:07am

My crowdfunding campaign is launched
It has a 4 minute vid.

Ben Roberts stepped forward right away to help.  This is the most powerful kind of contribution because it builds momentum for the campaign (and for me). Ben commented that he hopes this goes viral.  I do too, of course.  If it does, then the world will change because this will take root - a global community with the tools to support local community, focused on economic development with community currency that pays for renewable energy development and gains its value by discounting the energy produced, and a global timebank that credits people for their time helping grow community and sharing services.  Energy, money, and a global community of motivated, mutual support.

There's plenty of room for other ideas.  I support many myself.  But this is my contribution, a life's work.  I'm an ordinary person, with strengths and weaknesses like anyone else, and if I had more strengths and fewer weaknesses then perhaps the result would be better, but my belief is that what's important is that we act with good intent, and not let what we can't do stop us from doing what we can.  If we act with good intent, then we succeed.  

Comment by David Eggleton on September 27, 2012 at 8:15am

While a scholarly friend on facebook fussed about problems with this article, I was warmed by this bit::

"As Engels said in his Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith, an early draft of The Communist Manifesto, the goal is 'to organize society in such a way that every member of it can develop and use all his capabilities and powers in complete freedom and without thereby infringing the basic conditions of this society.' In Marx’s final version of the Manifesto, this new society is presented as 'an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.'”

Comment by David Eggleton on September 6, 2012 at 2:46pm

"Allow the future of peace and well being that's trying to emerge to come forward.  Allowing...just what does Allowing look like and feel like?  I can feel in my bones that Allowing is not passive.  'It' is something else." ~Heather

Anne Wilson Schaef adds (Living in Process, 1999):

"Another term that I use often is 'wait with' or 'waiting with.'  My copy editor kept saying waiting for what?  There is no for what.  That is the old paradigm, the old way of living.  Waiting with is active waiting.  It is just that, alert and not expectant of what will come.  Waiting with is a skill that is slowly learned and much valued."

Comment by Heather Tischbein on September 6, 2012 at 1:00pm

Thank you for this post, Ben.  It resonates with truth for me.  "The Plan": 1. Cease doing harm, anywhere, everywhere, in every moment of Being and Doing. 2. Take some very deep breaths.  3. Allow the future of peace and well being that's trying to emerge to come forward.  Allowing...just what does Allowing look like and feel like?  I can feel in my bones that Allowing is not passive.  "It" is something else.

Comment by Mark E. Smith on September 6, 2012 at 12:05pm

Thanks Ben (and David) for the Arundhati quote. Wonderful for responding to those who ask, "What's the plan?"

Comment by Ben Roberts on September 6, 2012 at 11:47am

Love this image and quote from Arundhati Roy (h/t David Eggleton):

Comment by Kevin Parcell on August 4, 2012 at 12:42pm

Thanks, C.A, I'm glad you understand the tough issues with currency and appreciate this plan.  This Cafe and Occupy are subnetworks of the internet that focus on communicating revolutionary ideas.  We're crowdsourcing people who agree with this one.  With enough people we'll change the world, and then the changed world will change the other people's minds.

Comment by Kevin Parcell on August 4, 2012 at 11:39am

C.A., hoarding of community money is not hard to address with People Power Stations, and this is one reason that the design has the potential it does: the main point for flow both into and out of circulation is the same. If hoarding lowers volume of SunMoney in circulation then demand rises, allowing the Station to meet payroll with a larger percentage of SunMoney, less of national money, and to put more people to work developing resources.  If a hoarder quickly spends all their money back into circulation, for whatever reason, then the Station reduces the amount it recirculates to correct the imbalance.  The value of SunMoney is a stable discount on the price of energy, so the local currency value can't collapse because of flooding the marketplace.  If the value of national currency collapses, then the discount can be suspended and the usual energy price maintained, insulating the marketplace so that it continues to produce and distribute all local goods and services.

Comment by Ben Roberts on August 4, 2012 at 8:43am

Kevin:  I think a blog post with this might be a good way to share these ideas, as many people may not be following this comment stream.  And the "comments" section of a group isn't really ideal for this kind of lengthy thread.  

Meanwhile, since we seem to be having this conversation here for the time being...

It's exciting and inspiring to see how many different efforts are underway along these lines.  And one wonders how that will shake out, as it strikes me as unlikely that a given community can sustain more than one type of alternative currency (even one has been a challenge thus far, but it seems that the newer designs are addressing some of these issues).  

I do take issue with the framing that suggests that "the 99% are ALL struggling" and the 1% are ALL criminals, or even that criminality is the underlying issue that is being addressed by new money.  It doesn't resonate for me, and I think it makes it harder to get mainstream acceptance for these innovations.


Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

Latest Activity

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Fifteen years ago, I ran across a book, "100 Most Influential People in History," during one of my dalliances to my local Marin County bookstore. "Influential People" was one man's assessment on exactly that. But how he determined his rankings was the interesting part. They weren't always the reasons you would think. But after thinking about it, they made complete sense. For example:George Washington was ranked in the top 40 of all time. Understandable. But the reason why ... not so much. You…See More
Sep 20, 2012
Clay Forsberg is now a member of Occupy Cafe
Sep 20, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a group

Leadership Ecology

When a Leadership Ecology occurs, a web of relationships emerges revealing each person’s authentic leadership qualities through the transfer of their power to others. When done in a conscious way – a shared collaborative awakening happens.See More
Feb 6, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a blog post
Feb 3, 2012


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