On 16th May the Findhorn Community cooperative Ekopia, in partnership with Phoenix Community Stores, the Findhorn Foundation and NFD (the trading arm of the Foundation), will launch a new community currency, the eko. David Hoyle, a director of Ekopia, commented, “We believe the eko to be a simple, innovative and empowering local monetary system that will generate community wealth, inspire the localisation movement and help us deepen our economic community identity and relationships.”
Each eko (£E1) has a value of £1 sterling and will replace the current ‘blue money’ which Foundation staff currently receive, and will be a substitute for £ sterling in community trade. It will complement the local LETS (Local Energy Trading System) systems. Ekos can be bought in attractive £E1, £E5 and £E20 notes.
The idea is that we can buy ekos from the Phoenix or the new Eko Exchange building, or receive ekos for goods and services, and spend them in all the businesses under the community association umbrella, supporting our local area. At the same time the £s sterling we pay for ekos are working for us, being used as loans supporting community business ventures and earning interest. Visitors can buy ekos, spend them and also take a few home as souvenirs. Businesses don’t need to worry about accumulating too many ekos as they are fully redeemable at the end of each issue, since they are backed by £s, unlike the LETS system.
The first eko issue will finance the renovation of the craft area in the Phoenix so that local arts and crafts can be displayed more effectively. If the eko trial period from May to December is successful, more and more local initiatives will be financed by future eko issues, more businesses will be invited to participate and the whole local area will benefit.
For more information contact