Alternative Economic Model Sector

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1 Hour of Your Time =  1 Time Dollar  = 1 Hour of Someone Else’s Time

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The Mutual Aid Network (MAN). The Main MAN framework was formally established in August 2015, with adopted Core Principles, ByLaws, and Working and Advisory Boards. Among the Advisory Board members include Charles Eisenstein, Bernard Lietaer, Michel Bauwens, Vicki Rogers, Edgar Cahn, and The Yes Men (bio links for all these folks are at the end of this page). There are currently eight approved pilot sites located in Allentown, PA, St. Louis, MO, Providence, RI, Waterville, KS, Madison, WI, Hull, United Kingdom, Bergnek, South Africa, and, of course, Lansing MI. 🙂 The Main MAN will enable the MMMAN to leverage the resources of these other MAN sites, as well. A global cooperative of cooperatives! To watch a great Donor’s Briefing video on the MAN click here. Also, here’s a link to the MAN Core Principles, which are based on our own investigation of various core principles held by cooperatives throughout history – – with a few additions of our own that reflect the global ecological crises we are facing (We’re rather proud of ‘em, especially here in Lansing, cause we’re the folks who did the research and wrote up the first draft. W00t, Go Lansing! 🙂 ).

Mid-Michigan Time Bank (MMTB) Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 8.59.27 PM.png

The MMTB, created in 2013, currently has around 175 members, who exchange services with each other using time as the basic currency unit.The MMTB is currently seeking 501(c)(3) status. For more information on how timebanking works in general, see the Wikipedia link here.  To see our first update video, click here (that’s me on the right hand side of the rake-guitar duo. 🙂 }

The Lansing Makers Network (LMN)Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 9.06.44 PM

The LMN, also created in 2013, currently has around 20 members who rent a shared space containing donated tools and equipment to fabricate a wide variety of items. Their current capabilities include woodworking, metalworking, ceramics, fabrics, electronics, laser cutting, and 3-D printing. Through these tools LMN members become empowered to take control over the technologies that are so integral to our daily lives, instead of allowing those technologies to take control over us. The LMN has 501(c)(3) status. For more information on makers spaces, see the Wikipedia link here. Also, I should add that on Saturday 12/19 the MMTB mobilized to assist the LMN in moving from their existing building to their new facility a few miles down the road.

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So our collaborations have begun already.  We need your help to nurture and grow this budding relationship between our two New Economy initiatives!

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The Capital Village Trade Cooperative (CVTC). The CVTC was also born in 2013 with about a dozen members whose trades involved organic gardening, woodworking, pottery, music, and various other arts. The group’s activities have become rather moribund recently due to lack of funds. A MMMAN would thus serve as a perfect catalyst to revitalize the group, as the interest in having a functioning coop has not lessened. What they need is a MMMAN to help make that happen – which is why we’re asking for *your* help!.

The Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB). Established several years ago, the GLFB serves as aScreen Shot 2016-03-31 at 9.40.13 PM distribution hub for a number of Community Supported Agriculture operations in the greater Lansing area, and operates as a typical CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) organization. Local food production and distribution *must* be a core element in any New Economy initiative which hopes to provide resilient community infrastructures.

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Resource Recovery Corporation (RRC). Established two decades ago, this not-for-profit corporation is a cooperative whose member foundries utilize this centralized waste recovery services to facilitate efficient metals and other residual materials recycling. The author conceptualized and designed this facility for his MSE and would like to use it and its member foundries to investigate interfacing the MAN concept with the metals manufacturing and recycling industry sectors, which are also essential to building resilient community infrastructures.

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Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC). The City of Lansing is geographically situated at the intersection of Eaton, Ingham, and Clinton counties. The TCRPC serves as a regional political body to facilitate effective planning activities, and is noted for its award-winning sustainability strategies. MMTB members receive time dollars for attending all regional and local planning meetings, made possible by a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the TCRPC. Involving local governmental entities in the creation of the MMMAN will enable us to grow the network with a minimum of government roadblocks and a maximum of their support.


All of the above groups are currently operating mostly autonomously with limited collaboration. The basic idea behind forming a MMMAN is that all of them would form a mutually supportive network enabling their individual members to leverage the resources of other member groups to enable them to achieve their goals more quickly and efficiently (and with fewer US Federal dollars) than they would individually. The MMMAN would also be able to establish and maintain shared savings and mutual credit pools to provide members access to financial resources to capitalize initiatives that they might not otherwise be able to obtain through mainstream banks. The MMMAN would thus become a cooperative of cooperatives, a Mutual Aid Network.. This model was created by Stephanie Rearick of the Dane County Time Bank in 2013.

The following community elements are coming together to form the MMMAN (link here)


West Virginia Solar Model