(Click any of the headings to learn more)
We are mourning the passing (Feb. 4, 2019) of our friend and mentor Bernard Lietaer, the original inspiration for the work that became Mutual Aid Networks.
Author of several books on re-creating money systems to be more sustainable and prosperous for all of humanity including Rethinking Money; How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity. Co-founder of GaiaCorp, a top performing currency fund whose profits funded investments in environmental projects. Co-designer and implementer of the European currency system (the Euro). He was a Research Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California at Berkeley.
Bayo Akomolafe & Manish Jain
Coordinator of the International Alliance for Localization (IAL) which is a project of Local Futures, an international NGO that has been working for more than three decades to support alternatives to the global consumer culture.
Historian, political economist, activist, writer. Co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth. He is also Co-chair for The Next System Project. Dr. Alperovitz’s numerous articles have appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times and The Washington Post to The Journal of Economic Issues, Foreign Policy, Diplomatic History, and other academic and popular journals. His most recent book is America Beyond Capitalism (a new edition of which appeared in 2011). He has served as a legislative director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a special assistant in the Department of State. Earlier he was president of the Center for Community Economic Development, Codirector of The Cambridge Institute, and president of the Center for the Study of Public Policy.
Michel is the founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. Michel was Primavera Research Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and external expert at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (2008, 2012). Michel Bauwens is a member of the Board of the Union of International Associations (Brussels), advisor to Ouishare (Paris) and Shareable magazine (San Francisco) and ShareLex. He is also scientific advisor to the “Association Les Rencontres du Mont-Blanc, Forum International des Dirigeants de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire” (2013-) and advised the Advisory Board for the ‘Fourth International Conference on Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity’. In the first semester of 2014, Michel Bauwens was the research director of the transition project towards the social knowledge economy, an official project in Ecuador (see floksociety.org). This project produced a first integrated Commons Transition Plan for the government of Ecuador, in order to create a ‘social knowledge economy’, with fifteen associated policy papers. The strategic framing of the plan is available at http://commonstransition.org . He is a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group, with Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, organizing major global conferences on the commons and its economics.
John is the Senior Director of RSF Social Finance. RSF Social Finance seeks to revolutionize how people relate to money. It is a financial services organization that has formed a growing community of motivated, values-driven investors, donors and entrepreneurs. They envision a world in which money serves the highest intentions of the human spirit and contributes to an economy based on generosity and interconnectedness. They were originally inspired by the work of Rudolph Steiner.
Dr. Edgar Cahn
Distinguished legal professor and creator of timebanking. Founder and CEO of TimeBanks USA, one of the 3 largest and most successful international networks of timebanking. Former counsel and speech writer to Robert F. Kennedy. Co-founder of the Antioch School of Law (now the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia). Popular professor of changemaking among law students. Edgar has also held positions at the University of Miami School of Law, Florida International University, the London School of Economics, and a Visiting Fellow at the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. He is a Fellow of Ashoka which is an international organization implementing system-changing solutions to human and environmental problems in 93 countries.
Author, public speaker, and leading independent publisher of books on social change since 1974 including Sacred Economics. Has introduced, developed, and promoted many important alternative economic concepts including gift economy, negative-interest economics (penalties for banks and financial entities purposefully withholding financial assets from the community and world), deschooling ourselves, etc.
Vicki Robin co-founder of the New Road Map Foundation, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that promotes a human, sustainable future for our world. Co-author of Your Money or Your Life.
The Yes Men (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno)
Culture-jamming activists. They have produced 3 films. The Yes Men (2003), The Yes Men Fix the World (2009) and The Yes Men Are Revolting (2014). The Yes Men have collaborated with other groups of similar interest, including Improv Everywhere, Andrew Boyd and Steve Lambert.
Stephanie Rearick (President)
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Stephanie Rearick is founder and former Co-Director of the Dane County TimeBank (DCTB) – a 2800-member time exchange, and Creative Director of Mutual Aid Networks, a new type of networked cooperative. In addition to her work in timebanking and growing grassroots-up economic and community regeneration, Rearick is co-owner of Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse. Rearick also works as a musician.
Michael Giroux (Vice-President)
Kathy Perlow (Secretary)
Working since she was 16 years old she finally decided to retire in 2015 at the age of 62 so she could become more active on a volunteer level and prove that passion truly exists.
She has been instrumental in the transitioning of a 19 year old timebank from a major hospital network to the locally Federally Qualified Health Center. She spent 15 years as the Membership Coordinator of the timebank and during that time her aim was to find ways to breakdown the barriers in healthcare while helping the community become strong and vibrant.
Kathy’s varied backgrounds in program development, research, fund raising and volunteer management provided a perfect foundation for complementing the work of the HUMANS and the MAN pilot sites. Kathy provides passion and drive to bring new programs and possibilities to the many people she comes in contact with through her many roles of volunteer involvement within her local community.
Anneleise Hall spent 12 years in print media as a reporter and sub-editor before recognising her passion laying in helping communities to find their strengths and dreams.
Since then she has been involved as a project manager, consultant and mentor to a number of communities wanting to initiate innovative projects ranging from whole-community sustainability visions to setting up timebanks. Her background in communication has served well in helping her to understand the stories that are important to communities in her roles as a facilitator, educator and public speaker. Anneleise is a systems thinker and works in a way that listens to all the differing perspectives and weaves all the threads together to create projects that honour and empower all participants uniting them in a common vision.
“Compassion is the foundation of embracing our common humanity.”
Rebecca Kemble, alderman for Madison Wisconsin District 18, is a freelance writer who writes for The Progressive magazine. She is also the President of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the President of CICOPA North. America, Vice-President of CICOPA Americas and serves on the Executive Committee of CICOPA worldwide. She received her Bachelors Degree from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and her Masters Degree and PhD (a.b.d.) in Anthropology and African Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Rebecca is a worker-ownerer of Union Cab Cooperative where she has worked since 2000 as a night shift taxi driver as well as a mediator. She is also a founding member, writer and editor in the newly-formed Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative.
brandon king is an community organizer and cultural worker originally from Hampton Roads VA, currently living in Jackson MS. After graduating from Hampton University in 2006 with a BA in Sociology, brandon moved to New York City where he worked as a union organizer and later as an organizer working with New York City homeless people.
brandon moved to Jackson, Mississippi in January 2014 to assist in the growing movement for economic justice, human rights, social and cultural transformation happening there. as a founding member of Cooperation Jackson, brandon serves on its Coordinating Committee, he is the Organizing Coordinator, a co-coordinator of emerging Freedom Farms Urban Farming Cooperative, and the representative to the Climate Justice Alliance.
As a DJ and visual artist, brandon also sees the arts and culture as key components necessary to energize and activate people to be engaged in the process of actualizing human rights, moving towards social and cultural transformation.
Kate Macdonald has had a varied career working in the NHS (mental health, research), social enterprise and in recent years founding TimeBank Hull and East Riding and stewarding the Mutual Aid Network in Hull and East Riding, UK. What all her roles have had in common is fighting for services and systems which champion people and focus on catalysing something better working alongside the people they impact on. She is an ideas person and sees the bigger picture which enables her to be ahead of the game in visioning possibilities and getting things going. From setting up early psychosis services to establishing a media company focussing on challenging stigma and stereotypes, she is passionate about unlocking potential within people and organisations. Her journey into the world of timebanking widened her perspective and focus on working with the whole community realising that together we can become the architects of our own destinies and that systems of mutual aid are the key to this.
Dawn is of Secwepemc ancestry and is the Founder/Curator of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. Since 1983 Dawn has worked and studied horticulture, ethno-botany, adult education, and restoration of natural systems in formal institutions as well as through her own personal healing and learning journey. Following the years she spent teaching Aboriginal Adult Basic Education, Dawn has been dedicating her time and energy to land based healing and learning which led her to her life’s work of realizing herself more fully as a developing spirit aligned leader in the Indigenous food sovereignty movement. Dawn has consistently organized and held the space over the last 13 years for decolonizing food systems discourse in community, regional and international networks and has become internationally recognized as a published author. Dawn’s work on the Decolonizing Research and Relationships appreciates and inquires into a critical consciousness that shines a light on the cross-cultural interface where Indigenous Food Sovereignty meets social justice, Indigenous climate action, and the movement to a more sustainable land and food system as a whole.
Some of the projects Dawn is leading includes: Wild Salmon Caravan, Indigenous Food and Farm School Challenge, Dismantling Structural Racism in the Food System.
Kurt Roskopf is a disability advocate. He also works on Zero Suicide and Anti Human Trafficking. It is through his hosting Ability Fest in South Milwaukee Wisconsin that he met the Milwaukee area Time Exchange. It is through their help that he was able to find out about Mutual Aid Networks. Kurt also helps the Time for All Coordinator Call Project started by TimeBanks.org.
Gen de Spa
After spending enormous energy raising awareness about the Trans Pacific Partnership for several years, only to have the hoped-for-change-of-government in New Zealand support the toxic deal, gen de spa is taking the Bucky Fuller quote to heart – ‘Build the alternative system that makes the old system obsolete’.
She is currently initiating a remnant native forest restoration and biodiversity education project at her home in Staveley, completing a Masters in Wellbeing Economics and teaching and actioning Wellbeing Economics in Christchurch and Mid-Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Gen brings to the Board experiential wisdom in Timebanks, Gift Economy and Savings Pools and a practice of experimenting with Wellbeing economics ideas. Mutual Aid Networks are of particular interest to gen as she helps weave together various threads of post-earthquake Christchurch which support and are supported by the new economic paradigm.
Ana Urzúa is the Sustainability Coordinator of Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities and Founding Director of Cooperación Santa Ana, a resource for the training, coaching and incubation of worker cooperatives in Santa Ana and throughout Orange County. Cooperación Santa Ana advances economic democracy and increases community wealth of marginalized communities of color through business ownership, policy change, and relationships of solidarity, reciprocity and regeneration. She’s worked on organizing and policy change in support of community-driven development, and currently serves on the boards of the Mutual Aid Network, THRIVE Santa Ana Community Land Trust, and is cooperative member of CRECE OC, urban farming cooperative. She has published several articles on urban planning, gentrification, displacement, and economic development in Santa Ana.
Ana was born in Colima, Mexico, and received her anthropology degree from the University of California, Irvine. Ana believes in embodying the change we wish to see in the world. She is a long time practitioner of tai chi and yoga, and a coach, and brings these and other healing practices into movement spaces to support personal and collective transformation.
Zev lives and works as a milpa farmer, Permaculture educator and bio-cultural seed keeper based in the Hut Hamlet Housing Co-op at Earthaven Ecovillage outside of Asheville, NC.
After growing up in a patch of kudzu, Zev earned a B.S. in Human Ecology at UNC Asheville in 2004, started his own businesses after participating in PDC’s and apprenticeships with Patricia Allison and Chuck Marsh, and now seeks to grow climate resilient community and multi-generational village culture through his consulting work and land projects, most recently Co-operate WNC, a regional scale Mutual Aid initiative.
Please see www.wnc-mutual-aid.org and www.livingsystemsdesign.net for more info.
Most of the operations of HUMANs are carried by four workgroups that bring volunteers, personnel and experts together in regular online meetings. You can also see the workgroup meeting times on our HUMAN calendar.
Please feel free to join any one of the workgroups below:
As a lot of our sharing between local pilot sites happens virtually, across countries and continents, technology plays a big role in in. This workgroup develops, maintains and operates our tech infrastructure – particularely the MutualAid Platform “MAP”.
Marketing, wording, outreach, copy-editing, website and education materials… those and much more are the outputs of this workgroup.
Since our poshterity approach does not work without conventional money, this workgroup take care of funding bids, business planning, crowdfunding etc.
Governance structures, by-laws, procedures, and the nuts and bolts of how HUMANs work… learning from local MAN pilot sites and sharing our collective knowledge back with them.