Arrived in beautiful West Milford NJ late afternoon on Sunday March 27. Gorgeous place!
I stayed with Tim (Main MAN board member) and Karen Dalton, who live up a mountain across from a lake, in a community that manages the lake and some surrounding property as a commons. The first of many lovely surprises — which went on to include their free, public, shared-stewardship medicinal garden, the raised bed community gardens they’re about to build (created by Sustainable West Milford, who host the TimeBank Tim works with), and more.
It was perfect timing to spend some quality time with Tim, because he’s the person who’s been working diligently to get our Main MAN software (Wezer is the name of the open source platform, and I’m inclined to call it our MAP or Mutual Aid Platform) installed on our own server, so we can start playing around to make it exactly how we want it. Exciting!!! There are huge possibilities. Including I can foresee a time in the not-too-distant future (hopefully sometime yet in 2016) where you can be doing what you want to do in the world, and have your accounts filling up almost automatically. You’ll know what you need in each kind of exchange or shared resource in order to meet your needs, and can adjust accordingly if you need to – i.e. you might need some more timebank hours to get respite care, so you can go earn those doing any of the things anyone in the world might need, like proofreading or phone calls or social media help or whatever. But I digress…
On March 28 I had the pleasure of presenting about Mutual Aid Networks and the experience of Dane County TimeBank at the potluck for the West Milford TimeBank. The turnout was great and people had really good questions. A lot of local commitment to ecological sustainability.
The next day I drove to Providence Rhode Island to see Main MAN Board member Michael Giroux and his awesome Fertile Underground Natural Cooperative (FUNC). That night we had a gathering of the core initiators of FUNC, at a really cool space that clearly hosts lots of creativity. This discussion was really rich, and it’s a group of people who think freely and creatively and then act accordingly. I like it!!
Then onward to NYC just for fun, so I won’t write about it here. Next up in the tour report: Detroit, Lansing, then Detroit again… Stay tuned…
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