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Who holds the power to decide what is best for your community?
This was my thought back in 2015 in a meeting with a Principal Investor of Centrica. I mused carefully when he said, “if you can turn your local currency into cash, then we’d be interested”. He explained that he needed to procure a return on their investment.
I had been invited to London by Ignite Social (now Centrica Innovations), in answer to one of their calls for social project ideas. After explaining how our currency works through the donation of money to local people and communities, which links from our own Appliance Safety Register to a Community Owned Marketplace, then that question ended our conversation. I was not prepared to sacrifice money to investors, at the cost of giving it to people living in their local communities, who had a far greater need.
You can call me a fool, but when you’re driven for so many years on the back end of a substantial term of dealing with poverty, in a waste prevention I helped set up….AND you discover that there is a better way of doing this, but it needs societal change and you’ve set your sail to the wind, I don’t think I had any other choice. This was a case of someone having to start making a difference, and if I took that £2M or anywhere near it, I felt I would be letting millions of people down.
I believe we have poverty because of greed, although there are plenty rich people doing good. “There are now 36 million millionaires in the world, and their numbers are expected to grow to 44 million by 2022.” I’m in no doubt many businesses deserve reward for what they’ve done, but isn’t it better to help people as you go along, (where you live) and give control to those who know what priorities matter where they live. As it stands, we are bound completely to follow those who have the money to influence and keep control based on their decisions about how money and possessions they want. They certainly employ people, but is that where you live? If we had a fairer distribution of wealth (and clarity on what wealth is and should be), we should thrive more sustainably and equitably for the benefit of all, and not just the few.
I believe what we need is a new partnership between citizen and business, where all are happy to be transparent about we are doing together where we live, when it comes to living sustainably and evidence is supplied. (We do this in our LocalitEEE Model) Together, we need to make the changes that will begin to rewrite the very fabric of how our society operates, and for the values that are ethically correct in a responsible consumption model. We just have to start making a change. We are living way beyond the resources of one planet, and in our model, we can all impact and evidence this by working as a Community of Communities using our platform. I for one, chose to hold on to my values for all the right reasons. I wonder if you would you have done the same? Will you join us?