An great meeting yesterday with fellow creatives Ivan and Georgia Mack yesterday to talk about possible gift economy projects over a fantastic lunch at The Treehouse Cafe in Bradford (http://www.treehousecafe.org/ where all food is locally sourced, organic and home-made – a great place to support)
We talked around the possibilities for various projects including Freeshops, skills exchanges and gift circles. From the oustet we agreed that we dont want is to do an online project which may replicate exisiting exchange projects such as Craigslist and Freeconomy and suck up all our time in administering. We want to do a real world project, local to Bradford which involves real time conversations and physical presence, and building of community. We talked about creative exchanges as a starting point, perhaps among people we know within Bradford’s arts community and potential diffculties of getting people to commit their time and come to events. Georgia suggested linking in to existing networks and communities and perhaps a flexible approach that wasn’t tied to a particular space or venue. We came to the conclusion that we just need to try out some stuff and see how it works without being too precious about it. Part of the experience is seeing what comes up, learning on the way: R and D as Ivan put it.
We talked a bit about gift circles which I had come across via Mark Boyle’s book ‘The Moneyless Manifesto’. Gift circles are a really simple idea, involving meeting the needs of a group of people at any given time via gifts (of time or resources or skills). This article by Charles Eisenstein explains it really well http://www.shareable.net/blog/charles-eisenstein-g…
The beauty is the simplicity of the idea and they can happen anywhere and with any group of people, and also and there isn’t the adminstrative burden of creating and maintaining a structure. We got excited about the possibilities of using this model in a variety of contexts and environments (art and non art) began to identify some upcoming events/projects in Bradford that we could link into. More soon.