Re: revised development model


Richard Moore

Bcc: contributors


I’ve gotten a lot of responses on the development model, but so far no one has actually given substantive feedback. I guess it’s a lot to ask, given that it is long and detailed. But if anyone does find the time, it would be appreciated. 
Ironically, the details of the coupons aren’t really the central part of the model. What I really need feedback on are the nine development stages. Each of the stages has a particular goal, and as each is achieved, the next stage becomes possible. That’s the theory. But I need a reality check from others. It’s so easy to fool oneself with ones own design.
I did get some very negative responses from people who are committed to some other system. They didn’t necessarily understand the proposal, but they were quick to condemn it for not being their solution.
In any case, I’ll share some of the responses that have come in. The first response, however, refers to my last posting, which was responses to my ‘invitation’.
best wishes to all,
From: jim fadiman
Date: 2 August 2009 07:25:04 IST
Subject: Re: 2: an invitation…

you truly have wonderful people on your list. that in itself is a cause for hope.

From: “Revin Floyd” 
Date: 28 July 2009 22:17:52 IST
Subject: RE: revised development model

I suggest saving the .PDFs to disk then opening them from there. Worked great for me. I don’t like .PDFs running in my browser, almost always makes my machine act funny or lock up…

From: Marc Tyrrell 
Date: 28 July 2009 13:18:12 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: revised development model

Hi Richard,

It looks like an interesting model.  I’ve only glanced over it at present, but i suspect that while the coupons may not have sales tax charged on their “value”, certain states (like Canada) may argue that they are a benefit derived from employment / membership and, hence, taxable on income tax (this derives from the works for / volunteers at remuneration model).  I can also see a potential problem with counterfeiting if the model were applied in, say, Nigeria or India.

On the first issue, this can be sidestepped if a good tax accountant can be brought in to advise on local tax regulations.  For example, there is a tax loophole in Canada surrounding merchant currencies (e.g. Canadian Tire money), and another one surrounding members only co-ops.  Normally, “membership” is purchased, but I suspect that there could be a time requirement as part of the membership “dues”.

The second point would be harder to deal with and, off the top of my head, I can’t think of a quick fix / safeguard for it (computerization won’t work since the technology for hacking is too widespread).



Hi Marc,
Thanks for the info on the Canadian tax loopholes. One of the reasons I centered things around a Co-op, is that I was thinking there must be advantages to membership organizations. 
I can’t go along with you about counterfeiting, however. I hacking were that successful, then we wouldn’t have all the millions of online credit card transactions every day.
From: Richard Douthwaite 
Date: 28 July 2009 08:40:17 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: greetings from wexford…

Thanks Richard. I started reading the pdf last night. Here’s info about a currency project we’ve got in Kilkenny. 

Best wishes, 



The Feasta Liquidity Network 

The Feasta Liquidity Network group is hoping to launch the world’s first debt-free electronic currency in County Kilkenny early in 2010. Firms and private individuals will be given “quid” to enable them to trade. 

The newly-elected Mayor of Kilkenny, Malcolm Noonan, is enthusiastic about the plan which should enable the county council to avoid some of the drastic spending cuts the fall-off in its income would otherwise require it to make. Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce is also keen as it hopes that the system will boost trading in the town and allow its members to pay their bills more easily. 

However, both the council and the chamber have yet to take a final decision on whether to support the scheme. The Feasta group hopes that their decision will follow a demonstration of the system in the city in September. The system software is being written to meet the deadline. 

“The council and the chamber have both to support the system to enable it to go ahead” says Ciaran Mulloy, a member of the Feasta group who attended a meeting with the Mayor and the chamber in Kilkenny this month. “It won’t work without them. The council has to be able to pay some of its workers in quid and the workers aren’t going to accept being paid that way unless they can spend the quid in the local shops.” 

The shops should accept the quid because they will know that the council will accept them back in payment of business rates, water and refuse disposal charges. They should also be able to use them to pay their own workers and to buy local goods and services. 

FutureProof Kilkenny, a local group which promotes Transition Initiative ideas, is working with Feasta to set up the system. It is keen that a paper currency should be issued to operate alongside the electronic one to give the latter a face and make it seem real to the public. 

Users will transfer the electronic quid to each other either over the internet or by using Laser-type chip cards. Every shop will be equipped with a special terminal. At a later stage, it will be possible to make transfers by mobile phone. Only low-value notes will be issued to be used for small transactions. 

“Quid will be given to the users to spend into circulation because it is the users who create the currency’s value. If they didn’t accept it, it would be worthless,” Ciaran Mulloy explains. “If you earn it and spend it quickly, you’ll be given more. If you try to save it, a bit will be taken away each month. There hasn’t been anything like this before because the technology hasn’t been available. ” 

The importance of the system from a Feasta perspective is that it enables people to continue to do business as the euro system breaks down. “The euro gets into circulation when people go into debt” says Richard Douthwaite, a member of the group. “Now that we’ve passed oil peak, the world economy can only shrink. 

“Nobody should risk borrowing when incomes are shrinking as there won’t be the money to pay the debt back. So the world’s debt-based money systems will break down. We want Kilkenny people to show that the Liquidity Network is a viable alternative.” 

The group has four volunteer programmers who discuss progress every Wednesday evening via Skype. It is looking for more, especially if they can write Python. There is a lot of information about the project on the Feasta website and the group has its own site at

Thanks Richard.
Hope you get around to reviewing the model.
From: “Thomas Greco” 
Date: 28 July 2009 16:09:29 IST
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: revised development model

Have you read my new book? See the ToC and reviews at
Please be sure to read Chapter 16, A Regional Economic Development Plan, excerpted here:
Also, you should be aware of the Sonoma GoLocal project in California which is about ready to launch. It will start with a card-based rebate program, then add mutual credit clearing.

Hi Tom,
Thanks for the pointers. Looking forward to reading your book.
From: Jim Fadiman
Date: 28 July 2009 17:02:28 IST
Subject: Re: revised development model

Glad to see that your work is continuing to deepen and be clarified.
The ideal is that local currency exists for as much as possible for local economy, and an outsider currency exists to brings in goods not available locally. 

    So impressed with how you’ve come to this and then taken it on.


Thanks, Jim.
From: Darren Beddard 
Date: 28 July 2009 19:57:28 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: revised development model

Hello Richard, et al, 
Easy download, seems to take a bit more time than other downloads, but definitely available. 
Good work Richard, it will form a significant part of our considerations for the Mandala Village project, now taking shape in Ecuador. 
Darren Beddard
Hi Darren,

Please keep us posted on progress down there.
From: “Mary Nelson” 
Date: 28 July 2009 20:29:09 IST
To: “‘Richard Moore'” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: RE: revised development model

It’s unclear to me why you tie the “value” of “coupons” to “dollars” but don’t call “coupons” “money”. Especially since dollars seem to be rapidly loosing their “currency” . Have you considered tying that value to something real and measureable and as sure as the Universe – energy? (At least as long as the laws of thermodynamics hold.)  Or, turning it around and just using energy as the measurement? Much has been written about his in the last 80 years or so. Google or Wiki “energy accounting” or “technocracy” for starters. Using local “coupons” might be the only thing we can do considering how far we’ve come to the complete collapse of industrial civilization, or they could be a step toward a real and complete energy-based solution.
Everything helps. Please keep up the good work. And your analysis is still much appreciated and, certainly, the articles you choose to forward. I print and study almost all of them.
Erin Go Bragh, Mary in Western Nevada County, Calif.
PS I re-read the first chapters of Matrix every few weeks. And, by-the-way, Michael Ruppert in his new “A Presidential Energy Policy” refers to M. King Hubbert (Dr Peak Oil) who was an early associated and writer for Technocracy, Inc.
Hi Mary,
The value of the coupons is tied to commodities, not dollars. 
Glad to see you’re finding the book of value.
Personally, I don’t think we’re anywhere near peak oil and I think global warming is a scam. What we need to be focusing on is sustainability, which is a much broader agenda than either of those, whether they are real or not. And before we can focus on any agenda, we need to have a say, which is an even broader goal. But as reader of ETM, you know that already.
best wishes,
From: Harvey Jones
Date: 28 July 2009 23:00:09 IST
Subject: Re: revised development model

Hi Richard

I had a quick read of your papers and thought you may be interested in the following, which follows a similar line. 

I attended a community currencies conference in Wanganui, New Zealand a few months ago, where various people from around the country gathered to discuss the various systems already being used.   

I will have to check my notes and contacts for more info, but one system went something like this.

One of the systems used was a variant of a voucher system, using a swipe card and computer based accounting to track the local purchases.  It was set up by a business development officer for Lower Hutt or Upper Hutt, near Wellington.  This city is in a commuter belt and most of the population was shopping outside of their home town and businesses were struggling.  She managed to convince enough of the businesses to be part of the voucher system and have a sign in their window showing their involvement. I recollect that there were some ‘prizes’ offered by the business involved which could be exchanged for the vouchers collected as local shopped in the town.  The system has grown and business are thriving again.  More businesses are joining as more shoppers demand the voucher exchange.  I think the local vouchers could also be traded in a local economy as part payment of the cost of an item.  This ties the local voucher ‘currency’ back into the local economy.
I will find my notes and see what other information may be found on this particular model.  It did have the advantage of an easy accounting system using already existing software in use.

I will get back to you with more info tomorrow.

meanwhile you may be interested in other developments in NZ.  The OOOOBY site is interested and growing with its theme of local production and the acronym standing for Out Of Our Own Back Yards

Some local NZ links you may be interested in.
OOOOBY is at and now has international attraction.

I went to the loal currencies conference earlier this year in Whanganui and caught up with happenings around NZ.

There are a range of currencies in NZ including some printed notes in Carterton and hour based systems in some places.  Also voucher based types (Lower Hutt) which helps to keep the money revolving in local circles rather than back to international parent companies.

The LETS currencies is most often based on the CES software so check out the  21 NZ places using this at
Home site is
Very easy to set up and the software is well used.
There are mechanisms to do national and international trading if required, but the primary consideration is local trading.

For more on the various discussions on local currencies check out the Transitions Towns web site at
There are various other discussion forums there as well if you wish to cehck it out.  
The primary site for Transition Town NZ info is at

Social network and discussion forums are at


I found my notes and info about the Upper Hutt business promotion ideas as I sent you yesterday.

The web site partnership is with Cash Rewards
It has a link there to the Upper Hutt X Card there with the participating businesses.
2.5% of the purchase goes on to the card which can be used as part of the payment on other purchases when using the card.  There are prizes for frequency of use and other promotions.  The system is similar to the cafe type cards for regular customers who may get a free coffee after 10 purchases.  All this is online and uses a swipe card system.  Customers can check their accounts online and I think the card swipe system also uses the same EFTPOS bank terminals already in place in most shops in NZ.


Hi Harvey,
Thanks! Lots of good links. The cash rewards seem very similar in principle to the coupons.
I’m confused about what I should be doing next. Here are some of the options I see at the moment:
     1) Simplify the model somehow, or separate the currency part from the development stages part.
     2) Go into research mode, and look at the various systems you and others have told me about, identify the ones that show the most promise, and see if any of my ideas would add to what they’re doing.
     3) Step back, and remember that my real goal is community awakening, not development. Development is simply a means to getting people interested in participating in their community. Not sure where this option would lead.
From: “Hazel Henderson” 
Date: 3 August 2009 15:50:08 IST
To: “‘Richard Moore'” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: RE: revised development model

Hi Richard;
  Thanks.  It’s great .  Can we post it at on our Community Development Solutions page ?   Just let us know. 
    Did you get my Update on the Climate Prosperity Alliance .  Please sign up at   click on Climate Prosperity. 

Hi Hazel,
Of course you are welcome to use and forward the material. Be sure and include my email address so I can get feedback from people. And let me know if anything comes of it.
From: James Samuel
Date: 3 August 2009 21:18:40 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: revised development model

Hi Richard,

I am just now diving into the 23 page document. What timing and what a pleasure. It is SO relevant to the work I am doing now, that I want to blog my thoughts and quote widely from it.

I would like your permission to upload the PDF to so I can point people there to download it?

Here is what I have written so far, for a post I will publish in the next 24 hours or so on   

Why do so many good ideas for building local resilient community not get off the ground, and how we can turn that around? When I first came across Richard Moore’s line of reasoning, it struck a chord with me. After introducing Transition Towns, the Local currencies initiatives, and the Wise Democracy movement, he points out the obvious Catch-22.
The fact is that most people are focused on their own activities, and their own day-today problems and concerns. They aren’t eager to put time and attention into something that offers them little immediate benefit. Besides, community empowerment is a radical concept. It’s based on the notion that we can’t count on governments, and that we can solve our own problems by working together. To many people such notions sound unrealistic, and it’s not surprising they aren’t motivated to participate.
We have a Catch-22 situation here. If significant progress could be seen in the community, lots of people would want to join in. But until lots of people join in, there won’t be significant progress. In the three threads of activism we have the ingredients necessary to create strong communities. We need a fourth ingredient: something that provides an immediate motivation for more local people to get involved.
Back in Feb 2006 I reviewed a book by Richard Moore and have followed his posts on and off over the years, and find them insightful and thought provoking. On re-reading the book review, the last lines spoke loudly to me as they painted a picture of a time – when large numbers of people might come to that most valued, harmonious and hopeful disposition of “we the people” – funny how imagination, vision, words and life all coincide. I couldn’t help thinking about my involvement with Transition Towns over the last two years.
I was eager to hear what the fourth ingredient might be.
I have been focusing my attention on the Waiheke food system for the last few years now, beginning with initiating a food exchange stall at our local market and a community garden situated next to the market. For the last few weeks i have been focused on how to get the initial steps of a Waiheke CSA project off the ground. having been offered land to work with we needed to begin to plan the plethora of details for how to grow the food, build a membership base, and distribute the produce when it was ready for harvest.
In the course of working on this plan, I found myself seeing links to many other parts of the local food system, which could benefit from seeing themsleves as part in a bigger and more connected picture of a well fed population, thriving on an abundance of locally grown food.
The how, of this was the obvious question I kept asking, and I found myself pondering business models, which despite their often destructive consequences when focused on bottom line profit for shareholder thnking, have some organisational and systems benefits we might do well to take advantage of.
Now back to Richard Moore’s offering in a document titled “Community development: The Co-op Coupon Model”. Having acknowledged the good work which is being done by Transition Towns, the Local currencies initiatives, and the Wise Democracy movement, Richard points out that the missing ingredient is investment funding.

Investment as the enabler and motivator
In the world of dollar economics, it is well understood that development requires investment. Consider how a new dollar-based enterprise is typically launched. First a business plan is developed, showing how the enterprise can operate profitably, and identifying what funding will be needed to get the business off the ground. Then a funding source is sought – either an investor or a bank – who then funds the startup in return either for equity in the new enterprise, or else a commitment by the enterprise to repay the funding with interest out of its operations.
It makes sense to view community development as a start-up venture. Instead of a business plan for a company, we need a development plan for the community. And instead of profit-maximizing investors, we need local sponsors who see themselves as partners with the community, and who are willing to forego profit and wait until the community is thriving before their funding is repaid.
With a sound development plan, a flexible local exchange system, and sufficient sponsorship, it becomes possible to pursue community development in a systematic way. And when there’s money on the table, we can expect people to wake up and get interested. If real projects are being proposed, that will effect everyone, and if people are invited to help decide how the money is going to be spent, they are likely to be motivated to do so.

If I have whet your appetite for more, please read Richard’s full 23 page document here. And if you are interested in exploring these ideas for local (Waiheke or New Zealand) initiatives please do get in touch with me.

Hi James,
Many thanks for taking the model and running with it. Please let me know how it goes.
best wishes,