The last of our Film into Action screenings, Money as Debt was well attended by approximately 40 people. The post film discussion highlighted the importance of a thriving local economy and spurred us into setting up a subgroup to think about sustainable ways to boost the local economy. We talked about the challenge of typical loan systems that charge compound interest and discussed the potential benefits of belonging to a Credit Union (Association of British Credit Unions). The Credit Union model does not depend on debt like other models but rather on commitment and a level of trust; this led us into a discussion about the importance of community building as we work together to develop a sustainable local economy that is not based on a more traditional model.
There was discussion around the benefits of a zero interest currency and we heard about the JAK bank in Sweden which has been operating an interest-free savings and loan system since 1970. A member of the no longer running Teignmouth & Dawlish LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) group described the challenges and benefits of the scheme and we wondered whether now could be a good time to restart LETS in the Teign Estuary. We then learned a bit about the Totnes Pound, a local currency set up in Totnes to encourage residents to spend more money in the town. There was a lot of enthusiasm for learning more about all of these ideas and we were keen to include more local traders in further discussions.
It was fantastic to have invited guests Fraser Durham, Robin Currie, Rychard & Will with us to share their knowledge and experience during the discussion.
We plan to arrange a meeting in the next few weeks to think about taking some of these ideas forward. Please check this website for further details, or join our free membership by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so that you can receive updates on all our Transition activities