By Paul Wildman, Advisory Body member and BrisLETS’ source of national and international news.

BrisLETS is an alternative monetary system where members trade their goods and services using units, rather than traditional dollars, and which seeks the flow of economic energy rather than the accumulation of wealth.

The system fosters sustainability, creativity and generosity, providing an opportunity to re-imagine economics. 

But, like other organisations, we can’t stop there with what-is. BrisLETS must also continue to identify and explore ideas to help us grow into the future. 

Where to from here?

A good way of deciding what direction to take would be for our Advisory Body to copy NASA’s emerging issue analysis (EIA) strategy, which it uses to look into the future of the aviation industry.

Check out this short video clip on foresight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaKNmbLDS_w

It show how jumbo jets are disappearing from our skies … why?

This example can also be applied to BrisLETS because it shows how useful and effective it would be if our own Advisory Body carried out an EIA/environmental scanning.

Emerging issues affecting BrisLETS

One such emerging issue is community currencies. These have been identified as a crucial emerging socio-technical phenomenon that has growth potential, if embedded in an easy-to-use, non-cooptable technology platform, as with some cryptos.

A way forward for BrisLETS is to recognise that the challenge lies in shifting our cultural values to a sort of ‘network of support’ for each other, to produce what we need more locally and sustainably.

This is particularly challenging when the dominant culture we live in is speculative ̶ and thus extractive ̶ thereby contributing to increases in inequality, rather than decreasing it.

A retrofit for a LETS crypto?

An example of an EIA closer to home would be to look at a retrofit for a LETS crypto. Many LETS folk argue, largely correctly, that cryptos are cowardly; however, that is at least partly because LETS deserted the field 15 years ago.

In other words, there should now be a LETS crypto that has been going for at least a decade, and has now become international.

That’s the point: we missed the boat re the intentionality/vision of LETS, and so the fearful players have prevailed.

A light at the end of the tunnel

One possibility is to seek out grants to fund research projects. Indeed, during 2018, BrisLETS applied for a small grant from the Queensland Gambling Benefit Fund. Results will be announced in February.

Looking at the big picture during the past year or so, Sydney LETS submitted a substantial proposal to try to make this happen to their system; however, they were not successful.

But maybe we at BrisLETS can keep the fires burning on this application.