Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities
Community currencies are types of money used only within a particularly defined community, whether geographic (region, town, neighbourhood) or social (eg. parents networks, ethnic groups, Village Vancouver members) in nature. Community and local currencies have a very colourful and fascinating history of use over the past century, and have been experiencing a major resurgence over the past decade as communities seek to build resilience into their local economies in the face of a volatile global economy and rising energy scarcity that will make it more difficult to rely on imports to obtain the things we need.
The Vancouver Collaborative for Open Money is a Village Vancouver spin-off group that strives to educate individuals and communities about the problems inherent in the conventional monetary system as well as about the alternative that is Open Money – a currency created and administered by those who use it. Open Money is a concept developed by LETSystem founder and community currency pioneer Michael Linton, who serves as a mentor, adviser and active participant in the work of our collaborative. We are committed to the propagation of Open Money systems throughout the Greater Vancouver Area, because we believe that changing our money for the better is one of the most effective ways to change our world for the better.
We envision a world in which money is freed from the constraints of artificial scarcity and centralised control, where currencies are used as information systems designed to match community needs with community resources, and to acknowledge and reciprocate the contributions of all community members. A world in which money rewards patterns of cooperative behaviour that foster sustainable modes of production and consumption and community resilience.
Village Vancouver partners with Michael Linton and the Community Way team of the Comox Valley to introduce local currencies into the Vancouver marketplace of ideas and means of exchange. We are pleased to be able to seed this new concept of resilient and community-supporting monetary tools into the fertile soil of the Vancouver local economy.
Our current neighbourhood currency pilot project, launched in 2011, is the Dunbar Dollar Project. In this project, we are working to implement a Community Way-style community currency for the Dunbar-Southlands neighbourhood in order to achieve the dual goals of supporting community groups and building a more resilient local economy.
We have other exciting ideas on the go as well, including a food-centred local currency dubbed "Seed Money" designed to promote a strong local food economy. Seed Money is in the research and development phase, but you will doubtlessly hear much more about it soon!
If you are passionate about helping build a stronger, more resilient and greener local economy while getting at the roots of poverty, we would love to have you get involved in the Vancouver Collaborative for Open Money. There are many ways to contribute that match all skillsets. Please write to Jordan Bober at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.