Community Exchange News

Community Exchange News is the Newsletter of the Cape Town Talent Exchange


  1. International Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies
  2. Would you Like to Serve on the CTTE Committee?
  3. Selling to Traders who Advertise with Rands
  4. Tip: Only Sell as Much as You Can Buy
  5. Add Pictures to Your Announcements and Wants
  6. Booking for Markets
  7. Compulsory Reading and Viewing for Talent Exchangers!
We apologise for the long gap between this and the previous CTTE Community Exchange News. We hope to do better in the future!

This particular Newsletter should have been posted several months ago as our report below on the International Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies was written in March, and we wanted to report to members about this. Anyway, better late than never.

1. International Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies

Lyon, France
16-18 February 2011

A number of CES members from around the world attended the recent International Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies in Lyon, France, from 16-18 February.

They were: Tim Jenkin (CES Administrator), Annette Loudon (former Administrator of Sydney LETS [SYCE]), Liezl Coetzee (member of Cape Town Talent Exchange [CTTE]) and Karel Boele (member of SYCE).

The first two days of the conference were devoted to academic papers where Liezel Coetzee presented her research paper on the CTTE.

On the third day of the conference, which was devoted to practitioners, Tim Jenkin made a presentation about the CES. The presentation was well received and there was a lot of interest from the international audience, as the reputation of the CES is high and it is recognised as the only global network of complementary currency exchanges.

Collaboration with Community Forge
After the conference Tim Jenkin, Annette Loudon and Karel Boele were invited to participate in a weekend workshop with Community Forge at a location called Tiocan, which is situation in the mountains above Geneva.

Community Forge has been developing a software platform similar to CES and there has been talk for some time about combining forces to produce a new software platform that will be compatible between the two systems and that will include other systems, such as time banks.

This represents huge recognition of what has been achieved by CES. In a sense CES is recognised as the de facto standard in global connectivity and other systems want to be part of the Community Exchange Network established by CES.

In the coming months CES and Community Forge will devise a strategy for the new generation of software and begin to construct the platform. The new software will consist of a suite of separate applications instead of one monolithic application such as the current CES. It will be more open, with a separate marketplace where users will be able to advertise their offerings and wants and a powerful reputation system. The marketplace will be like regular on-line shopping sites such as eBay and Gumtree, except that all prices will be in complementary currencies instead of national currencies.

2. Would You Like to Serve on the CTTE Committee?

Serving on the committee is not an onerous task, but does require someone with passion for the CTTE. We need people who are prepared to organise markets, write content for the newsletter, promote the exchange and just get on with it, without having to be hand-held. The CTTE is run by its members, for the members and committee members must have the values of the exchange at heart. If you are that person please submit your ideas around what you can offer the committee and the exchange to

Dawn Pilatowicz is the current steward of the CTTE.

3. Selling to Traders who Advertise with Rands

How many times have you phoned someone in response to their offering ad, only to be told that they are no longer selling for Talents, or that they are now selling for part Talents and part Rands, or they quote you a price in Rands only?

This seems to happen far too frequently. One gets the impression that everyone wants to buy for Talents but sell for Rands. In other words they want to receive things for free but receive money for what they sell. That doesn't seem fair, and certainly is not in the spirit of the Talent Exchange.

If everyone sells for Talents only then we create a virtuous circle where everyone benefits and there is a spiral to the top. We will reach a situation where we are able to trade confidently without money. The moment there is a Rand component anywhere it introduces a vicious circle that drags us all to the bottom. We are back where we started in the world of mistrust that is the product of debt-based money.

Aside from banning Rands altogether, we can all play a part in creating a Talents-only culture by taking these simple steps:

4. Tip: Only Sell as Much as You Can Buy

We have seen it over and over: new members come onto the Exchange with a good product or popular service and in no time build up a huge credit balance. When they come to spend their Talents they find little to spend them on or advertisers are no longer selling for Talents or want part Rands. A feeling of having been exploited sets in: they have sold freely for Talents but no one wants to sell to them for Talents.

It is very easy to sell popular items on the Exchange, but for newcomers it can often be a daunting experience to obtain equivalent value in a reasonable period of time.

To prevent this from happening to you it is important to remember that you should only commit to the exchange as much value as you can reasonably expect to obtain from it in an acceptable period of time. In the beginning, before you have developed an understanding of how things work, it is best to release your value slowly, at approximately the same rate as you find you can obtain value. In other words, sell at more or less the same rate as you can buy. As you begin to understand the ways of the Exchange you can offer more, to counterbalance what you receive.

Remember that at all times your objective is to keep your mean balance hovering around the zero Talents mark. Big numbers in your account represent only a claim on the collective product, not how ‘rich’ you are. Not being able to realise that claim can only lead to frustration.

5. Add Pictures to Your Announcements and Wants

There has long been a call for the ability to add pictures to Want and Announcement advertisements. Now you can do it! When entering details about your wants or announcements you can now upload a picture that will attract more interest to your ad. In the Add Want or Add Announcement forms simply select the picture from your computer and it will be uploaded when you submit the ad.

6. Booking for Markets

As the weather improves, it is market season again! Markets are advertised on the home page of the Talent Exchange, in the Announcements List and in the weekly list of Announcements that gets emailed to you.

If you would like to attend one of these markets as a seller, it is important that you book so that the organisers know what to expect and prepare. Usually there is a small ‘stall fee’ to cover expenses and benefit the organiser.

As there are certain ‘fixed costs’ for every market, it is important to know how many stalls there will be. Unfortunately it happens too often that sellers book stalls and then do not turn up on the day, or do not book and turn up unannounced.

It is very difficult to organise markets if members book stalls and do not show up, or do show up without booking. In future, a booking will be taken as a firm commitment and the member booking will be debited the stall fee before the market. If they do not show up the fee will not be ‘refundable’.

7. Compulsory Reading and Viewing for Talent Exchangers!

Here are a few items that all Talent Exchangers should read/view in order to understand what the Talent Exchange is about and why we should all be promoting it in this time of economic instability!

You can find loads more great stuff on our links page at

Community Currency Magazine
This magazine exists to serve the whole community of innovators, implementers and users of complementary currencies. Contributions of stories and material support are invited.

Money As Debt
Paul Grignon's animated presentations of "Money As Debt" tells in very simple and effective graphic terms what money is and how it is being created. It is an entertaining way to get the message out.

Money As Debt web site

To view the videos, go to YouTube and search for “money as debt”.

The Money Fix - a Documentary for Monetary Reform
"Money is just information, a way we measure what we trade, nothing of value in itself. And we can make it ourselves, to work as a complement to conventional money. It's just a matter of design."

View YouTube Video...

Go to the web site:

Sacred Economics
Read the on-line version of Sacred Economics, a book by Charles Eisenstein that explores, on a social, political and personal level, the transition in money and economy that is upon us today.

Humanity is only beginning to awaken to the true magnitude of the crisis at hand. If the economic transformation described in this book seems miraculous, that is because nothing less than a miracle is needed to heal our world.