Regenerative Community Action Network
The micro BLITZ
The micro BLITZ Time Exchange is a community based time banking initiative. Members exchange time and skills (work) with each other and earn ‘time credits’ in return. Due to the distributed nature of the network, these time credits — mBZ tokens — can in turn be exchanged for other member services. The self-regulating mBZ token cycle is seamless and continuous.
The micro BLITZ Time Exchange complements and significantly enhances the social upliftment outcomes of the FD+ Compact and vice versa. This is partially due to the multiplier effects of positive Working Capital Leverage. With no fixed assets, most indigents are impoverished to the point that they do not have access to any standard sources of working capital (loans).
Although most of the income earned by a member from the FD+ Compact will be used for food, goods and services, it does fundamentally help to improve the overall financial position of an indigent person. The micro BLITZ Time Exchange is also very effective in improving the general well-being of participants. This improved financial position allows for a higher allocation of income to working capital.
For example; members can increase their working capital by using some of their FD+ tokens to purchase discounted tools and building materials from any RegenCAN Shop. They can then use the micro BLITZ Time Exchange to repair their home, build a new home, or do building work for other community members. The multiplier effects of positive Working Capital Leverage kick in!
We thus believe that with minimal help, indigents can lift themselves out of the poverty trap. We also believe that the RegenCAN System can facilitate a virtuous cycle that has the potential to create full-time exchange based ’employment’ for a significant percentage of currently unemployed South Africans.
There is an urgent need for more housing in South Africa. Building houses for indigent persons is a major financial burden for most municipalities. A viable solution that is used throughout the world is foundered on a ‘sweat equity’ compact. Using the mBZ System, members can build houses for each other.
Full-time exchange based ’employment’ is, effectively, mutualistic self-employment. Most tribal societies across history practiced some version of mutualism. However, social capital (reciprocity) is only possible in small communities where everyone knows each other and can easily mentally track who contributes what. Reciprocity does not scale up well in towns or cities.
The micro BLITZ Time Exchange facilitates equitable reciprocity on a large scale — it does not matter where you are in the world, an hour of work is an hour of work. For example; measure the amount of work the same traveler does in an hour in every country on Earth and it will be the same. The ‘currency’ — a mBZ token — is a minute of labour no matter what the national currency is.
Even though the RegenCAN System does help people in need, the micro BLITZ Time Exchange excludes ‘freeloaders’ from any benefits. How? The system is self-regulating because reciprocity requires a fair exchange. Members will only pay for someone else’s time and skills that they value as equal to their own! They may, however, willingly donate mBZ tokens to those in need. Mutualism!
The word mutualism also refers to a principle in evolutionary biology where two or more organisms interact in a way that benefits them both. This seems entirely appropriate to the mutualism between people and nature which is evident in the principles of the Regenerative Community Action Network — the RegenCAN System. A virtuous circle of all life on Earth!
FAQ -- System Overview
The micro BLITZ Time Exchange is a key initiative of the RegenCAN System. In the questions and answers section below we explain how the micro BLITZ Time Exchange functions within the RegenCAN System and a local RegenCAN Exchange.
What is a micro BLITZ?
A micro BLITZ is a small Permablitz that is focussed on a particular task. One can say that a micro BLITZ is similar to a ‘component’ or ‘task’ of a traditional Permablitz. Also, although it is recommended, a micro BLITZ does not need to be based on a Permaculture design or have the participation of a certified Permaculture designer.
What is the micro BLITZ Time Exchange?
Grounded on the principles of the Permablitz model, the micro BLITZ Time Exchange is essentially a traditional time exchange on steroids. Basically, members ‘pay’ each other 1 mBZ token for every 1 minute they work for each other. However, because the micro BLITZ System actively facilitates member interaction, the micro BLITZ Time Exchange is way more effective than a traditional time exchange. Members exchange mBZ tokens on their local RegenCAN Exchange.
Who can join the micro BLITZ Time Exchange?
Only unemployed indigent persons over the age of 18 can join the RegenCAN System which includes access to the micro BLITZ Time Exchange and the FD+ Compact. Because the hourly rate is set at the minimum wage — currently R25 — very little checks are done! Why? The value of working for 200 hours equals R5,000 per month — only an unemployed indigent person would thus join.
What is a local RegenCAN Exchange?
A local RegenCAN Exchange is a dynamic online platform based on secure banking software. Both the micro BLITZ Time Exchange and the FD+ Compact trade on a local RegenCAN Exchange. The tokens used are mBZ and FD+.
How does one join the micro BLITZ Time Exchange?
You must fill in the form that can be found at the bottom of each page and click BECOME A MEMBER. You will receive an email or text message with further instructions. See Membership Fees. Each new member currently receives 120 mBZ when they join. This ‘start-up’ offer will end when the RegenCAN System has 1,000 members.
Note: All communities will soon have designated admin volunteers that can help indigent persons to join.
When can I start using my mBZ tokens?
Immediately! How? The micro BLITZ Time Exchange is a local time exchange between people you probably know. The way you can use your mBZ tokens is to find others that wish to exchange time! Obviously non-members will have to join a local RegenCAN Exchange first — and once they have joined you will be able to trade mBZ tokens with them.
The Start-up Phase -- mBZ Issuance
The start-up phase is the time period from the first member to when we reach 1,000 RegenCAN System members. There are many questions that need answers and initial issues that need temporary solutions. It is the nature of the start-up phase of all new ventures!
How does one get mBZ tokens into the hands of RegenCAN members? Who pays? This conundrum is a challenge for any community currency or token system. One has to have accountability! What are the mBZ tokens backed by? This is a responsibility that can’t be taken lightly especially when it involves so many people. We have solved this issue with a two temporary fixes that transition into a permanent solution.
The temporary fix: direct issuance
120 mBZ tokens are activated and paid directly to the first 1,000 new members by the RegenCAN System. (N.B. Donors do eventually back the 120,000 tokens issued in this phase). Some mBZ will be issued from funds raised from ‘angel’ sponsors.
The permanent solution: a donor-backed system
The permanent solution is when donors back the micro BLITZ Time Exchange. This will happen when the RegenCAN System has over 1,000 members and management of the finances transitions to a local co-operative. All mBZ tokens will then be backed by a fund that is owned by the RegenCAN System members.
Double Benefit (Donor) Cycle
Without knowing about the complexity of the issuance of mBZ, RegenCAN members get access to sponsor / donor backed mBZ tokens when they work for a project. How? Firstly, sponsor / donor backed mBZ tokens are allocated by the micro BLITZ system to public works projects that are developing community infrastructure. The mBZ tokens are paid into the local RegenCAN Exchange accounts of local RegenCAN members when they work on these projects.
From this point onwards, the mBZ tokens cycle exclusively between RegenCAN members. In other words, once the mBZ tokens have been used by the public works cycle, they only cycle between RegenCAN members — i.e. when members exchange time with each other.
The primary reason we have included the public works cycle in is to double the community benefit from the mBZ issuance. Another good reason is that working on a well-run project is a great way to get the ‘best’ experience. And, furthermore, it is a subliminal way to change the outlook of a whole community from we are ‘trapped’ to ‘we can do it ourselves’
WEALTH & PROSPERITY
Wealth is more than money in a bank account or a big house or a smart car. Wealth is everything one owns plus your health, community, friends, etc. For example, UK charity Centre for Thriving Places developed the Thriving Places Index (TPI) to give local organisers and politicians a better view of the welfare of their people. See the graphic below.
Another good example of a GDP alternative is GNH (Gross National Happiness) — GNH takes 9 variables into account:
- living standards
- good governance
- ecological diversity
- time use
- psychological wellbeing
- cultural diversity and resilience
- community vitality
The 8 Forms of Capital
Regenerative Enterprise: Optimizing for Multi-capital Abundance (including the 8 Forms of Capital) by Ethan Roland & Gregory Landua has become a core permaculture methodology. As an analytical tool it can help us map flows and exchanges between ourselves and the rest of the world. It broadens our focus from money alone, helping us see the wealth of connections that exist around us.
Briefly, the eight forms of capital are:
- Social capital, such as influence and connections.
- Material capital, non-living physical objects, both raw and processed
- Financial capital, currencies and other tools of the global financial system
- Living capital, living beings including plants, animals, and soil
- Intellectual capital, knowledge learned from a book or school
- Experiential capital, knowledge gained by doing
- Cultural capital, shared knowledge of a community
- Spiritual capital, religion, spirituality, or other means of connection
RegenCAN uses the 8 Forms of Capital framework to help our members build capital everyday!