The intention for Regional Economic Communities
This website presents a concept for a way of performing economic activities which puts the emphasis on cooperation and individual responsibility. It offers a variety of possibilities for businesspeople, freelancers and permanent employees, companies, citizens and investors to harness their individual resources, skills and knowledge within a larger context, yet without losing their autonomy in the process. The major design considerations were to:
- Safeguard the provision of basic needs in the future
- Further the causes of sustainability and long-term viability
- Make ordinary citzens participants and co-owners of local firms
- Make trade as local as possible, depending on the type of goods
- Establish an interest-free value-based local complementary currency
- Invigorate the local community – help people to know and value each other more
- Help people to take responsibilty – for themselves, the region and the whole biosphere
The regional economic community is a tool for financing and linking together companies within a region which want to change the way their company functions to make it more viable for the future, and therefore more economical as well as socially and ecologically sustainable. It also takes part in non-profit projects which improve the quality of life within the region in a sustainable way.
The citizens, local authorities, institutions and corporations which take part in the regional economic community can monitor the effect of their financial investment in detail based on comprehensive reporting, the criteria of which are laid down during the general meeting.
The economic community also boosts regional economic cycles by establishing a marketplace for exchanging goods and services using an interest-free complementary currency which is independent of national money. Beyond the professional services and commercial offers, the market community also embraces private citizens offering neighbourly help, thus integrating all aspects of economic activity and furthering a "feeling of we" within the region.
The Authors have built on the experiences and insights which they have gathered in their social and economic environments, as well as the unease they feel in light of the global crises. Their heartfelt desire is to offer a practical basis on which a shared learning process for a redesign of our life and work environments can take place – a design which is both empathic and viable for the long-term future.
This concept for Regional Economic Communities by Anna-Lisa Schmalz and Tim Reeves underlies a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.
Translated from the German original by Anna Reeves and Tim Reeves.