Monday, April 30th, 2012
ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC SYSTEMS Seminar: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
The Made IN Toronto (MINT) Film Festival presents an Interactive Seminar on Alternative Economic Systems Featuring Toronto Dollar President Glen Alan and Transition Toronto Steering Committee Member, Andrew Knox. The presentation will also include a special Skype Interview with: Michael Contardi, President of the Salt Spring Island Dollar direct from Salt Spring Island British Columbia. Co-Hosted by Transition Toronto and The Toronto Dollar.
Glen Alan and Andrew Knox
- The Present Fractional Banking System and Why Complimentary Currencies are useful
- The Impacts of Unsustainable Growth
Glen Alan President of the Toronto Dollar discusses:
- Benefits of creating Local Sustainable Economies
- Community Currency examples including the Toronto Dollar
- Mutual Credit Clearing - an introduction
- Next steps for Local Currency and Mutual Credit Clearing in Toronto
Andrew Knox discusses the link between Transition Towns, Local Currencies, Local Economy, and Local Resilience (5 minutes). Focus session on the evolution of community currency in Toronto. Going forward from this, Transition Toronto and the Toronto Dollar would like to form a working group focused on further development of the Toronto Dollar and community exchange systems in Toronto.
Speaker: Glen Alan Toronto Dollar President
Glen Alan, President of The Toronto Dollar will lead an Interactive Seminar on Alternative Economic Systems. He will be joined by Transition Toronto Steering Committee Member, Andrew Knox and Michael Contardi, President of the Salt Spring Island Monetary Foundation via Skype.
Glen Alan's Biography
Glen Alan was first exposed to the Toronto Dollar in the St. Lawrence Market in the spring of 2008. Since the time he became increasingly involved with the Toronto Dollar's activities: first as a volunteer, volunteer coordinator, then Vice President and finally the Executive Director of the Toronto Dollar in 2010. In 6 short months as Executive Director Glen Alan saw Toronto Dollar sales skyrocket - an increase of over 300% and nearly 50 new businesses joined the Toronto Dollar. Glen attributes the Toronto Dollar's success in 2010 to an aggressive promotional and business outreach campaign. Glen Alan has continued as President of the Toronto Dollar from Jan 2011 to the present day and is an ardent supporter of the community and local businesses. Glen's experience with the Toronto Dollar and familiarity with the works of economist Thomas H. Greco has taught him that alternative currencies not only have great potential to improve community resilience and self-determination, but can also ameliorate the negative impacts that government and bank policies are having on people, communities and the environment.
Glen Alan is the president of Find A Way which is music school, store, recording studio and event service provider - a company that he founded in 1996. When acting as Executive Director of the Toronto Dollar Glen Alan conceived a plan for a community movie night initially named the Toronto Dollar Movie Night to promote usage of Toronto Dollars throughout the city of Toronto. Later in 2011 "The Toronto Dollar Movie Night" became the "Made IN Toronto (MINT) Film Festival" with its inaugural screening kicking off with Toronto Director Liz Marshall's Film "Water On The Table" in March 10th 2011. MINT has since become a strong supporter of local filmmakers, musicians and artists, connecting them with the community at large with inspiring events. Glen Alan has lived in Toronto since 1993 and in his spare time assists his wife with an organic dessert catering business called Eternal Spring Organics (www.esorganics.com) that they created together in 2009.
TORONTO DOLLARS: Toronto Dollars are a community currency issued by the Toronto Dollar Community Projects Inc and the first Toronto Dollars were printed in 1998. Toronto Dollars like other community currencies encourage people to shop locally and reinvest in their community. Toronto Dollars are equal in value to Canadian dollars and are accepted nearly 150 independent Toronto businesses. 10% of every Toronto Dollar purchased goes directly to local non-profit agencies. The Toronto Dollar is one of the more established community currencies in North America. To date the Toronto Dollar has donated over $150,000 dollars to the community and over 1.5 million Toronto Dollars have been purchased and put into circulation. Join Glen Alan, President of the Toronto Dollar, in looking at ways to build on the Toronto Dollar success and also exploring other models of community exchange.
Guest: Michael Contardi Salt Spring Island Monetary Foundation President
Michael will join us live via Skype from Salt Spring Island BC to discuss Salt Spring Dollars and recent developments in alternative exchange systems both in Canada and around the world.
Michael is driven to help re-create a more compassionate, just world. It became apparent to him in the mid 90's that the world's social and environmental ills are rooted in the "money problem". Though not giving up the hope for change in the wider national and international systems, he has reserved himself to try and make grassroots change, by helping to develop a world-class alternative local money system. Michael is the principal of Virtuous Circle, a consulting company specializing in small business development, with a focus on the natural food industry. He has previously helped start a renewable energy company (www.cleancurrent.com) which Business Week voted as top one of the top 25 Clean Energy start-ups to watch. He has lived on Salt Spring Island for the past eight years, and is the father of three children.
SS DOLLARS: Salt Spring Dollars are a community currency issued by the Salt Spring Island Monetary Foundation on an island of 10,000 full-time resident (20,000 part -time). It has nearly universal acceptance at par with Canadian dollars, so tourists and locals can all enjoy using this novel and beautiful money. An electronic teller machine is being deployed at the local credit union to dispense 4 denominations and provide 5% donation to participating community causes/groups.
Guest: Andrew Knox Transition Toronto Steering Committee Member
Andrew is a Ph.D. student in chemical engineering at University of Toronto, where he is studying the environmental externalities of energy systems. Prior to beginning his Ph.D. he worked in Devon County, UK, as a renewable energy consultant. During this time in the UK, he first was exposed to Transition Towns, a community-based approach to dealing with climate change, peak oil, and economic instability. He also observed several community-based exchange systems in Devon towns, including the briskly-traded Totnes Pound. Upon his return to Toronto in 2009, Andrew and some friends started Transition Toronto, a group that is working to build local resilience in the city.
Transition Toronto is part of the global Transition Town movement that sees community action as the major force for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, peak oil, and global economic stability. As the recent "Transition Companion" says, if we wait for governments, it will be too little, too late. If we act as individuals, it will be too little. If we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time. Transition Toronto works to build communities and strengthen local economies in Toronto by raising awareness, connecting people to their neighbourhoods, teaching, and facilitating change. Our vision is for a future where quality of life has improved not only despite a shift in our energy and resource consumption, but as a result of this shift. We are working toward a conscious, intelligent, community-based transition into a post-carbon world. The video entitled People In My Neighbourhood - Toronto in 2030 is made by one of the Transition Toronto members, is an illustration of that positive vision.
Photo Credit: Intiaz Rahim