Why MoE started

Context

” We pay too little attention to the reserve power of the people to take care of themselves. We are too solicitous for government intervention, on the theory, first, that the people themselves are helpless, and second, that the government has superior capacity for action. Often times both of these conclusions are wrong

- Calvin Coolidge

It’s only when things go wrong that we question the systems which regulate, control and dominate our lives. We live in a time of great economic uncertainty. Millions of people around the world have lost jobs, homes, businesses, independence and purpose. Millions more face growing uncertainty and insecurity. Many hard working people have been hard hit. In the greater scheme of things they’re simply collateral damage in the rebalancing of a larger, broken world economic system.

The system is broken. Long live the system.

While it’s impossible for most of us to reduce our exposure entirely from the global economy, there are things many of us can do to lessen our dependence on it. Funnily enough it’s something our ancestors managed to do pretty well. It’s called self-sufficiency.

But before you dismiss this as hippy-style “grow-your-own vegetables on village allotments”, more meaningful economic self-sufficiency is possible if people are creative in how they earn, trade and share with one another. As money has taken over as our primary means of exchange, other more traditional methods have been lost.

What we’ve been left with is not only an economic system few people understand but one we have little control over, a loss of community and a drift away from the consumption of locally produced goods and services.

But all is not lost. The slide can be halted, and by using the very technologies which enable us to take part in a globalised society, it can be reversed.

If you’re one of a growing number of people interested in how we might achieve economic self-sufficiency, or you wonder what impact the current economic system is having on communities around the world, or you’re curious about the kinds of tools and resources that can help you rebuild yours wherever you are, then Means of Exchange is for you.

We’ll be looking at how a combination of everyday technologies and human ingenuity can be used to democratise opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, rebuild local community and promote a return to local resource use. We’ll encourage new thinking, build new tools and take a fresh look at the public messaging behind local economic empowerment schemes to help make them more inclusive, simple, relevant, fun and engaging in today’s social media-driven world.

Many of these ideas are not new, it’s just that no-one has successfully solved many of them yet. Not surprisingly, we’ll not come up with the answers overnight. These are complex, deep-rooted, difficult problems and it’ll take time. But if you’re up for a challenge and believe in a fairer, better locally-connected world, then please join us. We won’t be able to do this without you.

And in the wider spirit of sharing, you can also follow us on Twitter, or ‘Like’ our Facebook page.

Thank you. Welcome to Means of Exchange!

” Control your own destiny, or someone else will “

- Jack Welch

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Ethan Zuckerman
Ethan Zuckerman said: My friend Ken Banks (@kiwanja) is publishing a memoir on his work on FrontlineSMS a critical piece of infrastructu… https://t.co/KTUsqAOBGO Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 06 Jul
kiwanja
kiwanja said: I've done many podcasts but this rates among the best produced and most fun. If you're interested in #careers with… https://t.co/Cuyw8H4qoX Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 31 Mar
kiwanja
kiwanja said: Remembering a little piece of software I started writing exactly 15 years ago this week - and all the amazing thing… https://t.co/0VWkNyPqOO Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 25 Aug
Josh Halliday
Josh Halliday said: Mary from Kent in today’s Times 👏 https://t.co/QRvzwx5qiE Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 15 Aug
MoE
MoE said: https://t.co/jdqcYIS3wO Tweeted on 20 Jun
kiwanja
kiwanja said: If you see a job advert in #ICT4D #globaldev or whatever you want to call it hiring for a role covering Africa As… https://t.co/aIYj93vpFT Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 17 Jun