The Community: Connect! event was a smashing success. Thanks to Carl Gorringe and Keith Hupp for being a solid presence for BACE. They were able to sign up many people for BACE timebank because one of the options for payment was using the time bank.
About 40 people attended, many of whom were already members of BACE. There was so much positive energy generated with the various aspects of the event that really did engage, encourage, equip and energize people who attended. One of the highlights for me was seeing about 13 people gather in a circle to be part of Stephanie Rearick’s break out session where she shared about the Mutual Aid Network. We were inspired by the combination of practical things that we can do to become less dependent on the money system, and stories of successes that have been already achieved.
One thing that Stephanie emphasized was that Timebanks, when standing alone, usually fail eventually. The two ingredients that make a timebank successful is having lots of great gatherings and a project or shared goal that people can rally around. She founded the Mutual Aid Network when she saw that even though she used these two principles as the coordinator of the Dane County Timebank, more was needed in order to free people from slavery to the present economic system.
What I love about Stephanie is that her idealism is so high, and her pragmatism is equally as high. She started Mutual Aid Network to create an umbrella so that people and organizations who were doing things that helped people get away from using dollars, and worked towards helping people do what they love could share knowledge and resources.
So many people from BACE, both new members and old members, were inspired by Stephanie, and now have a better handle on how we can move forward. I will share more in my blog post about the workshop that took place the next day.