The Community Exchange System (CES) started as an experimental online LETS in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2002. In 2003 it was launched as the first mutual credit platform on the internet. CES pioneered inter-trading between communities when exchange groups in other countries joined, creating the first global, alternative exchange network. These different systems link through ‘Clearing Central’, a bridging facility created by CES. In 2008 CES registered as a not-for-profit organisation.
‘Community Forge’ was a platform formed in 2009 to provide software tools for communities and soon partnered a cluster of Belgian LETS who helped with testing and specifying software. In 2010 they published their software distribution. In 2011 they built a custom sitefor Route des SEL, a hou se sharing network for SEListes. In 2012, there was enough need and interest to start a support team which manages all technical matters day-to-day. Community Forge now hosts well over 200 active groups, runs software training workshops, helps organise the LETS summer camp in France. The community is funded only by donations.
CES Australia hosts 20 active LETS in Australia. It is run by an unincorporated, volunteer-run organisation, using a clone of the original CES. CES Australia is focussed on building awareness of community exchange, promoting best practice, supporting group administrators, and redeveloping the online trading platform. CES Australia is supported by a 1% levy on transactions and donations from trading groups.
Tim Jenkin, founder CES, South Africa (founding member platform)
Annette Loudon, coordinator, CES, Australia (founding member platform)
Matthew Slater, co-founder, Community Forge, Switzerland (founding member platform)
Professor Jem Bendell, Programme Development Officer, Credit Commons Collective
Stephen Demeulenaere, Technical Advisory Committee, Credit Commons Collective
Liz Crosbie, Technical Advisory Committee, Credit Commons Collective
Mayel de Borniol, Technical Advisory Committee, Credit Commons Collective
Annette Loudon is the proposed Managing Director of the LocalPay Project, with Professor Bendell as Communications Director, Matthew Slater as Technology Director, and Tim Jenkin as Policy Director.
Tim Jenkin graduated in sociology and economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. As an anti-apartheid activist in the 1980s, he developed a unique crypto communication system that was critical in the realisation of the new democratic dispensation in 1994. In 2018 a major Hollywood movie will be released that focuses on his activism, with Daniel Radcliffe playing him in the lead role. From 1994 until 2014 he ran his own IT company, assisting the fledgling government into the internet era. In 2003 he launched the Community Exchange System, the first mutual credit platform on the internet. CES also pioneered inter-trading between exchange groups, creating the first global, alternative exchange network, which now links several similar systems.
Annette Loudon was a co-founder of Construct, one of the first web design companies in San Francisco. Annette has over 20 years of working on web projects for clients including Microsoft, Sony, and Macromedia. Annette has developed and maintained WordPress and Drupal websites at the Powerhouse Museum, Historic Houses Trust, ChildFund Australia, and the University of Technology Sydney. Annette also provides tech support and leadership for Community Exchange System Australia.
Matthew Slater graduated in theology in 1993 and understanding the growing importance of technology taught himself multimedia programming. After a period when he was making arcade games for clients like Ben & Jerry’s, and extensive travel he then focused on nonprofit work. Working for four years with Shelter Centre and then the Red Cross in Geneva. As part of his journey into local value exchange, he moved away from the money economy altogether in 2008 to focus on writing software for local exchange trading systems (LETS) and living more in line with his values. Matthew has been instrumental in creating a technical infrastructure for the local currency movement.
Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership and Founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (www.iflas.info) at the University of Cumbria in the UK, which co-delivers a sustainability-themed MBA programme with over 2000 students online from around 100 countries. Jem provides strategy, leadership and communications support for chief executives in business, politics and civil society. Previously with the United Nations, he has since served on the boards of international investment funds and small charities. With over 20 years of experience in promoting innovative action for sustainable development, Professor Bendell has written over 100 publications on related topics, including five books. In 2012, the World Economic Forum appointed him a Young Global Leader for his work on sustainability.
Stephen DeMeulenaere is a pioneer in the field of complementary and digital currencies over the past 25 years as a system designer, administrator, researcher and educator. He works in Europe, Africa, Latin America and in Asia, where he has lived the past 20 years. Involved with early digital currency projects, he collaborated with programmers working on cryptographic currency ideas many years before Bitcoin was invented. He also advised on the concept of the Ripple before it was coded. Stephen has published interviews, articles and research in this field over the past 25 years and has spoken at conferences around the world.
Liz Crosbie has been a professional sustainability consultant since early 1990s working for blue-chip organisations and civil society in the UK and globally. With a particular focus on global supply chain management and issues around material provenance and the development of appropriate standards and third-party certification. During this time, she has owned and managed a consultancy practice running outsourced project management for brand owners and retailers. Liz has specified and commissioned software development in her team, as well working with a pool of freelancers and service providers worldwide.
Mayel de Borniol has over 10 years experience as a startup founder and over 15 years as a full-stack web app developer. Current projects Mayel leads are Ora Network (digital skill swapping), FairChange (translating foreign currency into meaningful value), CloudVault (a private server in the cloud) and GetAcross (helping refugees freely communicate across language barriers with the help of volunteer interpreters).