Transition Whatcom

Economic Evolution


Economic Evolution

We are the economic working group that formed at The Great Unleashing. Our purpose is to create a sustainable, healthy and universal alternative economy that serves the people of Whatcom County.

Members: 30
Latest Activity: Jan 5, 2016

Discussion Forum

What Are Your Thoughts About Timetable of Total Economic Collapse in US?

Started by John Hammell Apr 1, 2011. 0 Replies

Don't you think its interesting that Whatcom County has contingency plans for earthquakes, tsunami's, even for the remote possability that Mt.Baker might blow up, but shockingly, the County has NO…Continue

Tags: Weston, Price, Point, Roberts, Exchange

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Comment by Merry Teesdale on May 10, 2010 at 10:56am
Our internet has made possible these public forums where everyone can read anything a person posts. These posts last forever and thus are a lasting indicator of one's character and ethics (accurate or not). With this in mind, it is good to remind all contributors that certain types of conversations are best conducted privately and also of the usefulness of using Non-violent Communication techniques for having satisfactory discussions with others.

It just so happens that NVC classes are going to be offered monthly. Event Date: 6/5/2010
1st Saturday Introduction to Nonviolent Communication (NVC), taught by Alan Seid. Introduction to the highly acclaimed process for preventing and resolving conflicts, creating rich and powerful relationships, and much more! Learn more about NVC. 1st Saturday of every month 10:00am - 1:00pm at Explorations Academy Library, 1701 Ellis St., between Ohio & State, Bellingham, WA, USA Sliding Scale $35-$50 To Register, contact or Phone: 733-3541. Download flyer here.
Comment by Francis Ayley on May 10, 2010 at 4:47am
Hi Keith,

Do you have a specific complaint/observation regarding flaws, or are you just going to bad mouth Fourth Corner Exchange generally without being specific? The fact is our members have exchanged over $857,924 worth of goods/services (85,792 Life Dollars) since January 2004 and conducted 13,122 exchanges as of yesterday. There are almost no alternative money systems of any type anywhere in the world today that can claim this level of success. What are you talking about when you say “a true alternate currency for us”? What do you think I have been doing for the last six years? I was talking to people about the need for an alternative money system 10 years ago in Bellingham, at a time when no one was interested hearing that kind of stuff, because I knew then that the economy would collapse, which is exactly what has happened.

Twice during the last twenty years people have attempted and failed to establish local currencies in Bellingham. Fourth Corner Exchange has succeeded where others have failed, and you are criticising us? I find your comments arrogant and ill informed. I respectfully request you to engage your brain before opening your mouth, especially if you are going to attempt criticising one of the most successful alternative money systems in the world today.

I don't want you dumping unsolicited negative feedback in this group. Either be constructive or go somewhere else.
Comment by Keith Foecke on May 9, 2010 at 9:43am
Hi all,

I haven't been to any of the meetings, and I didn't get to go to "The Great Unleashing". I'd like to introduce myself. I have been with Transition Whatcom for about a year and have many interests. Alternative currency being one of them. I have read "Money" by Thomas Greco and feel that Bellingham (and surrounding communities) is ripe for a complementary currency. I have looked into Fourth corner exchange, but am a little disappointed with it's flaws. However, I am eager to get together with this group and discuss my Ideas for a true alternate currency for us. When is the next meeting?
Comment by Rev. Meredith Ann Murray on May 4, 2010 at 1:38am
Susan Boskey here in Bellingham has written a book about personal finance and is an excellent speaker about alternatives. Perhaps we can invite her to speak at an upcoming gathering? Here's her website:
Comment by Rev. Meredith Ann Murray on May 3, 2010 at 2:01pm
Financial Collapse 2.0: Where Did All The Money Go?
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 ; 4:00pm - 6:30pm
Location: Congregational Church at 2401 Cornwall Ave. , Bellingham, WA

The event is FREE but donations are gratefully accepted. Building is accessible.

DR. SIMON JOHNSON: MIT Professor or Economics and former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund and author of 13 Bankers — The Wall Street Takeover and The Next Financial Meltdown

KRISTI LAGUZZA BOOSMAN: author of Plan B—Recalibrating an Economy in Decline:Building an Economy in Balance

MOVE YOUR MONEY CAMPAIGN by Americans for Financial Reform, A New Way Forward, and Huffington Post

Sponsored by : A New Way Forward, WWU AS, & WESTERN DEMOCRATS

For more information, call Diane Foster at 671-3590 or
Comment by Cindi Landreth on May 3, 2010 at 12:11pm
This might be of interest to a TW Working Group that is exploring the full spectrum of economic changes - not sure this is that group since I haven't attended any of the meetings and I am not sure what the difference is between 'alternative economy' and 'alternative currency'.

Discovering Innovative Connections: Businesses Supporting the Common Good

Explore with us how businesses are leveraging their time, influence, money, and resources through workplace giving programs and community engagement policies. Participate in a discussion about how nonprofit and business sectors can work creatively together. Our events are open to the public and accessible to all. Bring your flyers and business cards.
Hosted by the Whatcom Council of Non-profits

Event Info
Thursday, May 13th
8:00 - 9:30am
St. Luke's Health Education Center
Comment by Rev. Meredith Ann Murray on April 30, 2010 at 11:19am
"What's The Economy For, Anyway?" a film by John de Graaf and Dave Batker

Monday, May 17th 7:00pm
RE Sources' Sustainable Living Center, 2309 Meridian Street, above The RE Store

You could call it Al Gore meets Stephen Colbert. Ecological economist Dave Batker presents a humorous, edgy, factual, timely and highly-visual monologue about the American economy today, challenging the ways we measure economic success-especially the Gross Domestic Product-and offering an answer to the question: What's the Economy For, Anyway?

RE Sources for Sustainable Communities hosts John de Graaf, filmmaker and National Coordinator of TAKE BACK YOUR TIME, an organization challenging time poverty and overwork in the U.S. and Canada.

For more information contact Megan Artz at MeganA(at)re-sources(dot)org.

I'll be there and I hope others from this group can join me!
Comment by Renata Beata Kowalczyk on April 29, 2010 at 7:14am
I am out of pocket all day on the 26th due to a prior committment but would love for the conversation to take place in Bellingham. I can assist in spreading the word, find out if there is a "playbook" for the facilitators. Want to host at the ReStore?
Comment by Jason "Jay" Darling on April 28, 2010 at 11:26pm
Thanks for bringing this opportunity to the group. Great work, Renata. Would you be leading the Portland group? Or are you soliciting to create a Bellingham group?
Comment by Renata Beata Kowalczyk on April 28, 2010 at 7:08pm
Hi Everyone,
I wonder if this group is interested in participating in the national dialog on budget and economy. America Speaks will be facilitating the conversation in 20 cities in the US on June 26th. For other communities, they ask if groups can get together and host their own dialogs. AmericaSpeaks will present the priorities that emerge from the National Town Meeting to Congress and President Obama, as well as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and the Bi-Partisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force. Bewlow is the link with information on how to register the community onversation and also copy of the email I received letting me know about the event.

Dear renata,
A National Discussion on our Budget and Our Economy
It is with a great deal of excitement and joy that I write to you today. I am delighted to tell you we have an extraordinary opportunity to bring the public's voices to bear on one of the most important challenges facing our nation: our fiscal future. AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy, is being funded by generous grants from the W.W. Kellogg Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. We are very grateful for the opportunity they have made possible.
Fifteen years ago when I founded AmericaSpeaks the goal was to bring the collective voice of the American public back to the table in national policy discussions. Our very first project, Americans Discuss Social Security (1998-1999) brought almost 50,000 citizens and residents from all 50 states into the debate about revenues, benefits and the structure of the program.

Given the impact of that work, I never would have believed that it would be 11 years before we would once again have the support necessary to bring the collective voice of citizens and residents all across the country together to discuss a critical national issue. As you know in those intervening years, we have been blessed to work at all levels of government in the U.S., in several other countries and in extraordinarily challenging situations such as Listening to the City, post 9/11 in New York City and Community Congresses in New Orleans, post Katrina and the flooding that destroyed so much of that city. Now we again have the chance to make a difference on the national level.
The President's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform chaired by Erskine Bowles and Senator Alan Simpson held its first meeting yesterday. I am delighted to tell you that Commission members have agreed to participate in the public discussions around the country on June 26th and we will formally present the collective priorities of the American public to the Commission at their June meeting. We will also be presenting the outcomes to the Senate and House Budget Committees, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. As you know, one of AmericaSpeaks core principles is to only bring the public together when the decision makers are committed to listening.
And now, renata, I would like to ask you for your help. We can make this the most extensive public participation project that has ever taken place in the United States if everyone in our network will agree to help. Of course, we would love to have you as a table facilitator in one of the 20 sites that will be linked across the country. But equally important, is hosting or finding an organization or person in your community that will agree to host a Community Conversation on June 26th. Please read the details of how this will work in the body of the newsletter. We are putting such a high priority on this that we have dedicated our newest staff member, Sam Moyer, to be available to you to help you with any of the steps of implementation that you need to be successful on June 26th. Please contact Sam at
Every year lawmakers make tough choices when they vote our national budget into law. It is time that those tough choices reflect the values and priorities of Americans all across the country in these challenging times. Over the decade and a half that AmericaSpeaks has been doing this work, in every case it has been clear that when you bring together the whole community - when every voice, with all of our differences, is in the room - we listen and speak respectfully with one another, we want to solve problems and we are quite capable of reaching a collective decision in the interest of the common good.
I know you are in the AmericaSpeaks network because you care deeply about the state of our democracy. This is a moment when tens of thousands of Americans can come together to make a difference in the direction of the country. I hope I can count on you to help us bring as many people to the table on June 26th as we possibly can. Thank you very much.

Warmest Regards,

AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy
On June 26, 2010 AmericaSpeaks' is convening the largest ever national discussion on the country's fiscal future. In 20 cities across the country thousands of citizens will participate in an AmericaSpeaks' 21st Century Town Meeting. Participants will be connected live via satellite video, webcast and interactive technologies. Thousands more will be able to participate in locally organized Community Conversations and even more people will be able to tune-in from home to watch live video coverage online, participate in the discussion, and share their own priorities in an online forum.

AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy is an unprecedented opportunity for the American people to come together and deliberate as a nation about one of the greatest challenges facing our country. The national discussion on our budget and our economy will be a chance to demonstrate that the American public can find common ground across demographic, geographic, and political divides and that we as a nation can govern ourselves in a new way.

During this process we are working with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, with the President's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and with important stakeholders to ensure that the voices of the people are heard and have a substantial impact on policy. The Commission members have also agreed to participate in the public discussion on June 26.

Stay in the loop and see where meeting are taking place here.

AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy has been made possible by the generous grants of a diverse group of foundations: The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (request pending).


More About Our Budget, Our Economy...
Volunteer Facilitators Needed!
Skilled volunteer table facilitators will be crucial to the success of the meeting and, as many of you know, the work is varied, challenging, and fun. Facilitators are responsible for drawing out equal participation from their table of ten participants, focusing the group's conversation, and holding respectful space for differences of opinion and communication styles.

We are currently recruiting table facilitators for the following town meeting locations:
Albuquerque, NM * Augusta, ME * Casper, WY * Chicago, IL * Columbia, SC * Dallas, TX * Des Moines, IA * Detroit, MI * Grand Forks * ND Jackson, MS * Kansas City, KS * Louisville, KY * Missoula, MT * Philadelphia, PA * Portland, OR * Portsmouth, NH * Redlands, CA * Richmond, VA * San Jose, CA.

AmericaSpeaks' volunteer facilitators take every measure possible to ensure that the discussion is not biased and to provide a neutral space for the meeting participants to understand the information and make judgments about this difficult set of issues.

If you are willing and able to participate in this historic event as a volunteer table facilitator, please click here to register for the event in your area. The volunteer commitment includes all day on Saturday June 26, as well as a total of approximately 4 - 6 hours of training and orientation prior to the event.

Stipend for Volunteer Facilitators
Due to the generosity of the project funders, we are able to provide a $100 stipend for facilitators as a thank you and recognition for their contribution. The stipend will be delivered on June 26 during the de-brief following the National Town Meeting.


Sign Up to Host a Community Conversation
If you are unable to serve as a table facilitator at one of the large or small meeting sites but would still like to be involved in this historic event, please consider hosting a Community Conversation.

In conjunction with the 20 cities hosting town meetings, thousands more Americans will participate that same day in volunteer-organized Community Conversations. We want to hold conversations in as many congressional districts as possible so that this national dialogue truly represents the American people. If you live in a district that is not currently being represented consider becoming a Community Conversation host and bring the National Discussion to your city!
Community Conversations will run the same way as the Town Meeting. Participants will have the same conversation, have the same materials, see the same speakers, and watch the same videos. Participants input will be included in the final reports.
You can hold the conversation at a library, a community center, a place of worship or your home. At the end of the day hosts will submit the ideas your group agreed upon to AmericaSpeaks and we will include those in our final reports.


National Briefing on Our Budget and Economy
On April 23, groups gathered in communities across the country to watch this webcast in preparation for the National Town Meeting on our budget and economy, taking place on June 26. The moderated panel reflected policy expertise from across the political spectrum. Panelists discussed the nation's fiscal health and responded to questions posted by local viewers over the Internet.

The panel featured, Maya MacGuineas, as the moderator (President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget); Alice Rivlin (Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Congressional Budget Office); Robert Greenstein (Founder and Executive Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities); David Walker (President of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Former Comptroller General of the United States); Alison Fraser (Director of the Heritage Foundation's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies).

Watch the archived webcast.


Our Budget Our Economy Blog & Social Networks
The Our Budget, Our Economy Blog is a great way to stay update on the progress of the National Discussion and to hear different perspectives from experts and the people on the ground taking about this in cities across the country.
We will continue adding additional opportunities for online interaction and we will look to you to help lead the way in getting the online discussion going!

Our goal is to model the diverse community we are working to attract using the site's blog, and our presence across social networking platforms. The blog has posts by Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Joe Goldman, and site manager Shelley Durfee to get the conversation going - now is the time to add more richness of perspective and diversity.

Below are some actions you can take to help the project come alive online:
• Like our Facebook page and share it with your friends
• Retweet us to your followers on Twitter
• Comment on our Myspace page
• Comment on the Our Budget, Our Economy blog
• Get interviewed for a blog post (or draft one yourself) by contacting Adriana Dakin at

Members (29)


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