One of the gestures being made by the Kufunda Community in Zimbabwe is to print its own money. This is an obvious move in response to an inflation rate in that country that is running at over 700% (at the last report). This is a practical step in creating a means to organise exchange between people in the wider community, by using a measure that holds its value because it is tied to something real and something everyone can relate to.
This weekend we are off to Taranaki to attend the New Zealand LETS conference, where I hope we will learn of the growing uptake of different examples of complimentary currencies across the country. I hope there will be lots to report on our return from this journey.
I have long felt that the existence of a stable means of measuring exchange are a foundation stone of any society. And I think complimentary currencies such as this will become invaluable when the impacts of our present political, social and environmental direction result in a significant breakdown of the present economic structures we have come to rely upon, and which we foolishly(?) assume will always exist, pretty much in their present form.
And if I am wrong about the likely demise, then there are other good reasons to seriously think about taking up such alternative systems. One of these is to reclaim control of the mechanism of exchange we consent to use. At present the exchange is controlled by a few greedy bankers, and the system advantages them very well but does not work so well for the good of the whole - the planet or its people. Our current economic model is a not insignificant factor in the manifestations we see around us - this is yesterday's future, what do we want tomorrow's future to look like?