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’ has provided a free online platform for communities since 2009. In 2011 they built a custom site for Route des SEL, a house sharing network for members of SELs (French Local exchange Trading systems). In 2012, there was enough need and interest to start a support team which now 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. All the work is done by volunteers and 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.
Proposed 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.
Proposed Managing Director
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.
Proposed Technology Director
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.
Proposed Communications Director
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.
Software implementation partners
CoopDevs is an association of people whose objective is to promote technological solutions to support the social economy. All the projects in which they participate are open source and free license. They built and maintain a Time Overflow a timebanking platform used by over 100 active time banks in Spain, and also maintain the software for the Open Food Network. Coop devs currently a participates in a Horizon 2020 program called “Platform Labour in Urban Spaces: Fairness, Welfare, Development”