Develop the Gift Economy for Community Programmes
Sounds strange? Not really. Volunteering is built on this. Read on!! Cash will be almost non-existent for the next five years or so. FreeCycle + TimeBank could be the basis: But trade time, skills, expertise, project outputs, office space and equipment. eBay style 'reputation' tells who 'gives' most so the more your give, you more people want to give to you. It's not taxable, keeps skills within communities and makes the money go furthest.
Peter Roberts commented
That's certainly a possibility. I run a time bank. That's not the same as the 'TimeBank' the BBC set up - which seems to me to be about conventional volunteering. Our national umbrella organisation is Timebanking UK.
There are 44 time banks in London (although who knows how many will be left after 31st March...) using time as a currency to facilitate skills and knowledge exchanges and build Human and Social Capital. Most of us have not gone down a physical alternative currency routes like the Brixton Pound but keep people's accounts in electronic form.
It's the equality of time that makes it untaxable. As an hour of ironing is of equal value to an hour running the country, the currency can't have a market value.
I go to a Greek island twice a year and my own view is that they don't need timebanking because they still have a strong gift culture and reciprocity is built into almost everything. They even have a word for hospitality to strangers. I'm not sure a gift economy would work too well in London. We aren't already all interrelated in some way, go to the same few schools, share the same religion, culture and language, etc.
If you Google Camden Shares you'll find a clever approach to organisation-to-organisation timebanking to share resources that we hope to spread across north London.
I find the role of money fascinating in all this - there are also various towns setting up their own currency, to keep money within the local system (which isn't a 'gift' economy but does, IMHO, re-inforce local community links and a sense of local value). Not sure on the best way to develop/encourage this though?
Think this is a great idea. How could you balance out people that are giving for the sake of getting a higher reputation rating?