A local action group founded by Innovative Indy Summit aims to create a local currency for Central Indiana. Their philosophy comes from Bernard Leitear, former president of Belgium’s Electronic Payment System and current fellow at the Center for Sustainable Resources at the University of California at Berkeley.
Leitear believes, “Money is like an iron ring we've put through our noses. We've forgotten that we designed it, and it's now leading us around. I think it's time to figure out where we want to go — in my opinion toward sustainability and community — and then design a money system that gets us there.”
Members of this currency group wonder why so many people remain homeless and starving, and why so many people struggle to find employment and stay out of debt. Money creates these problems and in order to find a solution, they believe people must first define their goals and then find a currency system that works within these goals.
The goal should be creating sustainability within the community, and this group believes a local currency will allow Central Indiana to achieve this goal.
Katherine Boyles Ogawa, the group’s leader, says, “I’ve been fascinated by the possibilities of local currencies for a long time. If there were one thing I could do to really make a fundamental improvement in my community, it would be to create a viable community currency.”
On March 5, Innovative Indy and members of this local currency group will host an event at the Chase Near East Side Legacy Center from 6:30-8 p.m. The group asks the public to attend this event in order to receive feedback from the community about their vision of a local currency.
Rhonda Baird, a Permaculture Design teacher and co-founder of Bloomington Community Exchange, will kick off the evening with an informative talk about currency, which will be followed by a moderated discussion where the public can sound off about their concerns for the future of Central Indiana’s economy and offer their opinions about a local currency.
This feedback will be integral to the action group’s efforts to design a currency that will best serve the needs of local residents.