Vancouver’s Open Money Community

This article is reposted with permission from Jordan Bober who is spearheading getting Vancouver’s own community currency going! The Dunbar Dollar is the first step in this project. Another fun idea for a way to show your support for the #Occupy Vancouver movement is to posted here.

The Dunbar Dollar

Yes, it is time once again to pick up the effort to implement our first community currency in Dunbar! I have been preparing for these renewed efforts by experimenting with new, more effective ways to communicate what community currency is and how it works, and you can already see some of fruits of these labours on, with more to come soon. The recent additions to the website include:

  • The development of Prezis to illustrate in a much more engaging way how businesses and community groups will benefit from the Dunbar Dollar. You can view the business Prezi here and the community group Prezi here. For those of you who haven’t heard of Prezi, it is a revolutionary new way to create presentations that makes Powerpoint look like a mere flipchart. These are my first Prezis and will probably continue to be tweaked, so please send me any feedback.
  • Community currency as a story: In an effort to make community currency less “academic” and easier for more people to imagine and feel in their gut, I have made an attempt to portray how the Dunbar Dollar (or any community currency) might work by way of a story. You can view this story on the website by clicking here. Again, feedback is very appreciated!

Here’s how you can get involved!

There is plenty to be done to get the Dunbar Dollar up and running, and to tasks to suit any skill set or time availability. Most important over the coming weeks will be people who are able and willing to spend time approaching Dunbar businesses in an effort to secure their participation in the Dunbar Dollar. We normally work in teams of two, and there are a lot of businesses to be contacted and followed up upon, so please let me know if this is something you would assist with and what type of availability you might have for this kind of work over the coming weeks, and we will create a business canvassing schedule based on that.

Or course, business canvassing isn’t the only way you can help. We can people to work on website improvement (helps if you know anything about Joomla!), to develop graphics, to maintain social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, to assist with the currency design process, fundraising, community outreach and more. If you want to get involved in this exciting project, let me know and I’ll plug you in!

Community Money for Community Food

On Thursday, October 20th from 7pm-9pm at the Strathcona Community Centre, I will be hosting a workshop entitled “Community Money for Community Food?”. The purpose of this workshop is to explore the challenges and the potential of establishing a local food economy in Vancouver, and whether a food-centred community currency could be helpful in connecting and collectively strengthening the various local food initiatives already underway in Vancouver, with particular focus on the Downtown Eastside. I call this an “exploratory” workshop because, although I have been developing some ideas around how such a currency could work, I am still in the research phase and am hoping to draw in the ideas of others, especially those currently involved in local food in some way.

I think that a local food-centred currency is a very exciting possibility with lots of potential collaborators, and you will definitely be hearing more from me on this in the time to come!

Beyond Dunbar

The prospect of a local food currency is just one example of how we can move this movement beyond the Dunbar Dollar, and it is never too early to start! If you like to be involved in the Vancouver Collaborative for Open Money but don’t feel enough of a connection to Dunbar to be active on the Dunbar Dollar project, there is still lots you can do to help build this movement across the Lower Mainland.

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