So great! Is this narrative project a conversational space where it would be worthwhile to discuss the broader vision and purpose of economic design with community currencies as a design tool? Community currencies can meet needs, yes. As a narrative, do we risk that the CC conversation will languish with CCs remaining in the fringe as tools for poverty alleviation (while imperialism reigns and continues to extract), do we risk fracturing the CC community by focusing too much on design differences, rather than knowing we are all aligned in our goals and we need the diversity and divergent strategies? Do we acknowledge a salutogenic and prosocial approach to designing systems for universal wellbeing? While allowing the definitions of wellbeing to differentiate, can we capture a broader lay audience, and a broader network of supportive partnerships (and funding) if we focus on vision and purpose? For instance, what does it mean to be a designer in the CCA community? Does it mean one is a fan of community currencies? For some, this might mean selling Bitcoin, or an exchange platform.
Is there a broader vision and purpose that the CC Alliance can design toward? Is there a framework for this vision that the Alliance can stand behind, even if it is adapted to local bioregions and cultures? Designs, infrastructure, tax codes, and all else are secondary to a clear statement of why we are doing this.
The public is used to understanding The Economy in terms of limited and elitist metrics: asset values, interest rates, and unemployment rates. Each of these props up a ruling caste. Even textbook Econ 101 says the purpose of economics is to allocate limited resources to fulfill unlimited wants. This premise disempowers, puts us in competition with one another, positions people as inherently destructive of the Earth, and doesn't do justice to what the economy truly does: describe our relationships to planet and people. We can then consider how we want this relationship to be, and design toward that. This means that as we prototype designs, we are watching what happens and watching for whether or not the design is on track, and who or what is left out.
In my classes, for example, I explain that I am biased. I am looking for design solutions that cultivate peace, prosperity, regeneration, and wellbeing for all. Each one of these can be defined differently in different cultures and bioregions.
I wonder whether the CCA would be ready or willing to adopt a cohesive vision of the world we are trying to achieve? Not only as part of a strategic narrative but as a North Star that the Alliance can coalesce around, to guide the direction of evidence-based designs and practices.
Is this forum appropriate to launch some of that discussion, as we strategize about narrative and storytelling?