We’ve been busy taking what we’ve learnt from other groups at the currency conference to put together a pilot to test and pave the way to launch our currency. We’re following in the footsteps of Kingston Pound in a way.
So at Kingston, they first had a trail with paper currency at a food festival – it was a way for people to exchange some Kingston Pound notes and see the money in action, but it was also a way for the K£ team to talk to and engage lots of people in their scheme. It got people talking about the currency and about the possibilities!
From this they then got people to pledge their support. People pledged some sterling £s into the scheme in exchange for K£ to spend. Once the K£ system had K£3000 pledged, the team then went to their local shops and enterprises to ask them if they wanted to be one of the businesses that this pledged money could be spent with. We want to do something similar here in Birmingham, to get potential users to pledge some sterling £ into the system in exchange for Birmingham Pounds to spend in shops and businesses in the pilot areas.
We are very keen to make sure that we are able to include as many communities as possible, so we’re looking to start the pilot in more than one location over the city, perhaps one north and one south. Birmingham is a city of villages and we know each village is working to forge communities within, but we would like to extend arms between these villages to truly strengthen Birmingham as a whole.
We would look to do an electronic pilot to start, with people making electronic payments from an app. We would want it to be as intuitive and simple as possible.
What do you think of this idea? How can we make sure we’re inclusive and extend to as much of the city as possible? Are you part of a community that might like to be one of our pilot regions?