Nightingale & Cathy Woodgold
group is designing a community currency for Ottawa. The goal is to encourage
local trade, build economic resilience and strengthen the community.
OttawaCommunity Currency Network (OCCN) partners with diverse, social enterprises,
local businesses, charities, and not-for-profit organizations, as well as
environmental groups, throughout the Ottawa region.
long-term vision is to create a high capacity system capable of handling a
population the size of Ottawa. History shows that community currency is a great
asset in strengthening communities, supporting local businesses and increasing
income, especially for those with time and energy to spare.
meeting in February (2013), OCCN members, Tim Inkpen and Cathy Woodgold spoke
for a better economic system.
out the challenges of our current economic system, and the way the workplace
puts stress on people rather than being a place where people can support their
mental health while getting things done. He called on us to take control of our
own economic system and to do things in a way that makes sense.
described Multiswap, a system wherein people arrange trades involving multiple
currency will be called Bytown Bucks – BB’s for short. Down the line there may
be notes issued, but for now it will be a digital exchange based on open source
software and social networking. In time, payments could be made using cell
phone apps, as currently available in the UK, making it quick and convenient.
Bytown Bucks will work alongside Canadian currency.
currencies have been successfully used many times, especially during economic
recession and collapse, when they provide a way to continue to exchange goods
currency can be used by people who want to swap, trade or exchange anything,
from old CDs to unused electronics to skills such as carpentry or sewing.
Businesses can use community currency to deepen their participation with the
local economy and community. Businesses with unsold capacity – empty seats or
surplus stock – can find new markets with community currency. Overall benefits
to the community include an increase in local trade and local employment and
increased overall sustainability.
currencies provide a backup currency in the event of economic trouble. This has
successfully allowed people in many countries to continue trading, while
providing increased local stability.
article is originally published on page 8 of the “Peace and Environment News,”
Volume 28, Issue 2, April-June 2012, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.