The UK’s first Conference of Independent Currencies

On the 3rd and 4th of November 2014, I attended the UK’s first Conference of Independent Currencies, hosted by Bristol Pound.

Over 70 delegates from independent currency schemes from around the country met in Bristol to share learning, gain inspiration and offer mutual support.

Transition Network founder Rob Hopkins gave an inspiring talk about the ‘power of just doing’, and the conference also saw the launch the Guild of Independent Currencies.

We heard from Graham Woodruff about ideas for a Town Pound, whereby independent currency schemes from around the country could potentially share the same technology platform.

We also heard from other practitioners and researchers such as Prof. Jem Bendell of the University of Cumbria, Leander Bindewald from New Economics Foundation and Mathew Slater, who co-founded Community Forge and develops software platforms for complementary currency schemes around the world.

I especially enjoyed talking to Stephanie Rearick from Madison, Wisconsin talking about the Madison Hours project and local time bank schemes. Stephanie has done some interesting work establishing Mutual Aid Networks, which try to bring together various elements of alternative currencies and finance, such as time banks, mutual credit schemes, maker spaces, community ownership of local assets etc into a coherent whole.

I left the conference having met some wonderful new friends, full of fresh inspiration and feeling that Goodmoney CIC was a part of a rapidly growing, dynamic movement of innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs all working towards a common goal of building thriving and resilient communities and economies that enable everyone to flourish.