Making things affordable, and funding activism through a hybrid currency system

Money is not always what it seems to appear to be. It may not be the problem. In fact, it may contain the solution.

Take going to yoga and cool workshops. It may seem that it is money that makes it not possible for many attend. And it may seem that it the moneyed world we are in that makes it so that yoga studios and workshop organizers need to charge the prices they do, in order that they can pay the rent, and make a living.

Take doing activism or good for the world. It may seem often there is no money to be rewarded for doing what you see can help the world.

However lets step back and look at what money is. Its an agreement to use something as an medium of exchange. While we have been conditioned to believe that only one form of money is available, there are in fact many kinds of money we can create. Different forms of currency can coexist in the same society. We have the option to create different kinds of parameters on how each currency is used and when.

A currency is a system of exchange. If people have things of value to give, and things of value they want, then one can design a currency specifically to enable those things to happen. So lets say you want to take yoga classes and workshops, and you have a service to give, whether it be massage, editing, dog walking, gardening, and that there are also people who want those services, then we can set up a currency system that can enable that exchange to happen more easily.

First we need to do is setup some boundary conditions that makes it more likely that when people perform those services that they will be more likely to use the currency they earn for yoga or other workshops, and not spend it on things that benefit unhealthy multinational corporations and the such.

What we can do is create a complementary currency, lets call it the Yog. And then put on some minifair in say a yoga studio, where people can set up tables to offer their services. Others can come and buy Yogs with mainstream money, with which they then pay people for these services. These Yogs can then be used to pay for yoga classes and workshops, as well as other services at the fair. We can also create an online page where people offer their services which can be paid for, and only paid for in Yogs.

The yoga studios and workshop organizers when they receive these Yogs can then either spend it on services, or they can cash it in.

This system is very similar to most local currencies like Ithaca Hours or the Berkshares, with the key difference being the way the local currency can be converted back into money. By limiting it to one place where they can be converted back, which here would be by the class/workshop organizer, we are creating a flow into these classes/workshops. This kind of limited local currency can be powerful because it is enabling one entity to make money, which means they will focus efforts into organizational and marketing efforts to get this local currency flowing. If they don’t get the local currency going it can adversely affect the attendance in their classes. So they will make efforts like organizing fairs in the yoga studios where people can exchange their services. Which results not only in them having more financial stability, but also enables a local currency flow to happen.

So basically the formula is

Business + limited complementary currency + fair + online platform

And you do this for all sorts of different businesses.

You can also substitute charity or activism work for business in the equation. People can donate the earned complementary currency to the charity or activism work which can then be converted into mainstream cash if needed.


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