Thomas Greco report
I was on the island of Crete from the 6th to 14th of October, during which time I participated in a two day workshop on Community Exchange Systems and Alternative Currency Systems for Sustainable Communities, led by Prof. Jem Bendell, as part of the International Sustainability Summit that was held at the European Sustainability Academy (Sharon Jackson, Director).
My presentation was titled, The Emerging Butterfly Society: Making the shift to a steady-state economy and a world that works for all.
The 2-day workshop included a sharing of experiences and ideas by leaders of local exchange groups from Crete and from Volos on the Greek mainland. The latter was represented by Giannis Grigoriou one of the co-founders of the Volos credit clearing exchange (called TEM) that has gotten considerable coverage in the international media, including the New York Times, PRI, and the BBC.
A concrete result of the workshop was an agreement to publish The Drapanos Declaration on exchange alternatives. Here is the text of the Declaration in English:
Individuals, communities and environments are the true source of our wealth and well-being.
Therefore we develop alternative means of exchange between individuals and organisations to foster more cooperative and equitable relations.
Although we may focus on our own communities, we share this principle with other communities.
Therefore we commit to work together in Greece and worldwide, to improve our practices, so that more communities connect to their own abundance.
Our efforts are part of a greater movement to make economic activity more accountable, socially beneficial and environmentally sustainable.
Our work must develop ever expanding circles of cooperation, exchange and learning.
We invite others who share these aims to join us in a growing movement and emerging profession on community exchange.
We are asking others to join in endorsing this Declaration. You can do so by adding your name in a comment to the post at
[link to jembendell.wordpress.com
] where it is also available in Greek.