The biggest challenge of community currency adoption is probably education. People don’t understand why they would need a different currency, or they don’t trust the community currency as much as the government-issued currency.
With Barn Raising, we all get together
in January and break up into groups of 4-6 households. We then
schedule our work days – about one every other month – throughout the
year. When your day comes up, everyone converges on your house and you
put them to work for the day. It’s a great way to get big projects
hammered out in a short amount of time, and it’s way fun! The problem
is that anyone who doesn’t get in during that first meeting has a hard
time joining a group. I see ATEN as a way to facilitate even more of
the BarnRaising spirit without having to do all the organization up-
front. You have a bunch of folks over to your house and then pay them
in hours. Go to someone else’s house and get some of that time back
working for them, etc.
So, the idea is essentially for the community currency, here time-based, to be used as a tool to make the barn-raising more flexible.
What I really like about this idea is that it makes the community in community currency very real in a social sense: you get to meet and accomplish something with other community members.