Yesterday, around 40 people from all over Edinburgh gathered to discuss what role community groups could play in helping to build a more resilient and stronger local economy. You can view the whole agenda here.
A series of workshops and talks took place, that aimed to get participants to think about their relationship to money, and also how money circulates in the local economy and what will happen if there is a serious shock to our economy.
It was interesting to hear about various strategies that have been tried elsewhere, from Findhorn to Hawick and much farthar afield. Whilst lot’s of people present were interested in the idea of an alternative currency like the Hawick Pound, it became clear that alternative currencies can be difficult to deliver, and that there were many other ways for communities to build local economic resilience.
Jonathon Dawson, of the Findhorn Foundation, works on this stuff for a living. He gave a 45 minute overview giving his perspective on the subject. If you’ve got time, it’s well worth listening to the whole thing:[soundcloud width=”100%” height=”81″ params=”show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=1fff00″ url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/13322290″]
Locally, it was really interesting to hear from people involved in the Edinburgh LETS scheme as well as the West Edinburgh Timebank. Greener Leith also shared our experience of running our Bonus Bag scheme too.
Members of both the Edinburgh LETS scheme and the West Edinburgh Timebank scheme spoke pasionately about how they help local people to swap skills and resources without the need for any money to change hands. In the case of the Edinburgh LETS scheme, it was clear that the scheme helped people to build relationships in the local community and make friends too. So, if either idea appeals we’d reccomend that you check them out.
At the end of the day, we caught up with, Holyrood hopeful, Cllr Alison Johnstone, Justin Kenrick from PEDAL Portobello, and Leither, Adam Heriot from Transition Edinburgh who organised the day to get a feel for their thoughts on the day. You can hear what they had to say below: