A community's ability to share resources and skills is one of their primary life support systems that make them sustainable and adaptable.
An example local flow between Sally's fish to Kevin's matches, to Marcy's hair salon, to Jim's repairs and back to Sally's fish – is part of a life supporting - resource distribution system.
This system of interconnected nodes (producers and consumers (prosumers)) forms a security web over the community. When one node has trouble (like the fish season is over) and Sally is no longer trading – there is a hole in the community web. How fast the community, and Sally can recover is a key to adaptability.
Establishing and strengthening a network of local flows – is like creating a network of highways – over which resources are reliably distributed. The highway can have lots of different goods and services virtually traveling over it (represented by community currency) – and goods and services can take many different paths.
Businesses in large cities can often think of their customers as a one time client, but the flow of their money for the businesses goods or services is the beginning of a chain of subsequent interconnected purchases. With a community currency that money will continue to flow through the area indefinitely. Hence these paths and trades are different from what one might see as by-chance clients in a city, but much more like a continuous highway and stable resource distribution system.
This map of highways – are like the veins and arteries of the community bringing important nutrients to all parts of the community so it can thrive.
So as we make a map of currency flows between community members, we are visualizing the beginning of this stable resource highway. The adaptability, efficiency and sustainably of this highway can have the following example measures:
- Interconnectedness - the more ways there are for goods and services to reach each other – the more resilient the community is are to various market problems.
- Velocity of money - The faster goods and services can flow the faster they can react to community needs.
- Diversity – the more types of goods and services on offer in the community by many types of businesses, enables a more rich fabric to life and again the ability to weather losses.
This resource distribution system – is loosely a part of what we call and economy: “An economy or economic system consists of the production, distribution or trade, and consumption of limited goods and services by different agents in a given geographical location”
In today's markets these distribution channels are overly determined by an artificial abundance or scarcity of money, rather than a community's production and needs. Hence local economies suffer from a lack of interconnectedness and a dependence on foreign markets, and are prone to failure and extreeme volatility. Hence the local path from Sally to Kevin to Marcy to Jim and back to Sally is a path we want to see made visible so that it can be stable, encouraged and reinforced.