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 August 2, 2012 at 12:05pm

Sorry, Steven, I was answering your question but for some reason addressed it to David - probably because we've chatted in the past.

Comment by Kevin Parcell on August 2, 2012 at 12:00pm

David, some communities choose to be isolated in able to insulate themselves from the problems of the global marketplace.  The Reconomy model empowers communities to develop and protect their resources using local money without isolation because the structure creates strong local marketplaces.  Strong local marketplaces that also participate in the global marketplace can enjoy sustainable prosperity, and there are very few communities that can't achieve this following the Reconomy strategy.

The best description of how this works in different communities is at the Reconomy website and at SunMoney, linked from there.  However, our online network - - is under construction and its structure is not described there.  This network supports the creation of independently-operated power stations by developed communities to empower the creation of local marketplaces, and it connects all participating communities to each other to trade globally in a variety of ways.  As marketplaces organize in emerging communities, access to the online global community will support their further growth.

Funding the global operation of is half the goal of the crowdfunding campaign.  The other half is funding 18 months of rigorous research at the India pilots.  The purpose of that research is to create a template that will permit entrepreneurs to operate power stations as independent businesses in any of over 200,000 existing off-grid communities.  With the help of the system and the people who share it, start-up costs for stations in emerging communities will be a few hundred dollars, and only a few thousand in developed communities, and start-up can be aided through's parallel gift economy and/or microfinancing network.  The purpose of crowdfunding, rather than funding through venture capital, or foundations, or gov aid, is to put ownership of into the hands of the people who will use it.

Comment by Steven D. Imhof on August 2, 2012 at 10:48am

Kevin,  I have seen small scale projects in Intentional Communities  where the community works toward energy independence, share and protect the commons and provide services within which are privatized in the outside world. Earth Haven in South Carolina is even off the grid. However Intentional Communities are most often isolated and insulated small groups.

At your site Reconomy you speak of an entire county in Massachusetts that promotes voluntary participation in your program including the use of Sunmoney. At India's people power stations participants receive the new currency and discounts in exchange for pedaling. How does this work in Massachusetts?  

Comment by Kevin Parcell on August 2, 2012 at 6:31am

C.A., thanks for your interest in these important questions.  If you like you can visit the website linked and familiarize yourself with the answers given.  That site links to other sites that discuss, among other things, the value of money, old and new.  That's how we answer these questions, en masse, rather than repeating the answers at each enquiry.  Comments and criticism of that material are welcomed at the email address provided or through forums such as these, and in this way we collectively improve the strategy and its expression.

Comment by Kevin Parcell on August 1, 2012 at 11:36pm

No, C.A., I'm not suggesting that.  David, I think you understand correctly that the project is structured to transition to that better condition in participating communities.  The local currency enters circulation as payment for work performed developing local renewable energy resources, and as earnings on investments in that development made through the crowdfunding of small donations from people who choose to support that work.  In both cases the choice to participate and receive compensation in this new kind of money is voluntary.

Comment by David Eggleton on August 1, 2012 at 10:31pm

C. A., both energy and people get things done.  The former is going to have to become more and more renewable and local, and less and less polluting, so that transition is built into the plan Kevin et al have put forth, as I understand it.

Comment by Kevin Parcell on August 1, 2012 at 7:58pm

Imagine if all of the money that a community spends on energy continuously recirculates locally rather than disappearing into the coffers of megacorps.  The result would be development of everything that can be done locally - food, water, sanitation, education, day care, elder care, shelter using natural materials, art, music, etc.  Each of these activities employs people and presents increased opportunity for people to pursue their interests.  Our project pays people to develop local renewable energy resources and then discounts this energy when purchased with local currency.  The discount creates a demand for the local currency and the workers have the option of accepting the local currency for pay.  The national/global currencies continue to deliver the best of global civilization, while the local money builds unique, self-reliant local marketplaces empowered and motivated to develop and protect local resources.  A world filled with such communities is a sustainable world, with lots more meaningful work and far less hunger and poverty.

Comment by Kevin Parcell on July 30, 2012 at 9:12am

A new edition of People Money was published this month and is available in paperback and e-format.  This book addresses the core of alternative economics, which is alternative currency.  Its authors are three of the most important voices in the alternative economics movement, including Magrit Kennedy, who is the author of Occupy Money, John Rogers, who is perhaps the most significant practitioner in western Europe working with alternative currency, and Bernard Lietaer, who earns his living advising nations on economic structure and is the leading global advocate and authority on alternative currency.  This new book is the most complete and practical resource for economic reformers today. 

My work on Reconomy ( is described in this book that lists it among the most important sectoral currencies.  I'm preparing a crowdfunding campaign for Reconomy that will give ownership to this new economic structure to the people who want it.  It isn't necessary to read People Money to understand Reconomy, but I thought I'd let those here who have that kind of interest know that this excellent new resource is available.

Comment by Anna Harris on July 30, 2012 at 3:28am

Hi All,

You might like to see this series  of videos of a discussion between Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, and James Quilligan, who has recently led a highly acclaimed seminar series in London on The Emergence of Commons-based Economy, are two leading lights of "new economy" thought. They have engaged in a passionate and candid conversation on June 26, 2012, which was captured on video in 6 segments.

You can watch the rest of the series here:

Anna with love

Comment by Ben Roberts on June 20, 2012 at 1:41pm

The Cafe is not yet structured as a decision-making entity, nor is it clear to me that that is what we want to be about, so these suggestions seem premature in my opinion.  To the extent that we want to be engaged in collective action and thus need to decide things (versus being in dialogue), we are planning to introduce "Sociocracy" (aka Dynamic Governance") as our core process.  We have a small team using this now around the management of the core infrastructure for the Cafe and our upcoming presence in Philly.  More on this fairly soon, as we get ready to expand the circle of "ownership" of the Cafe.


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

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