Community Exchange News

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


  1. Market Day - 18 August
  2. CES Assistance - Can You Help?
  3. Tip: How to Keep your Offerings Alive
  4. Where Are My 500 Talents?
  5. Exponential Growth: Over 450 CES Exchange Groups Around the World
  6. Are you Prepared for the Coming Financial Storm?
  7. How to Revive a Dormant Exchange
  8. Skill Share
  9. Exchange Growth if you take a Risk
  10. Talents and Rands

Alternative sources

This Newsletter can also be read on the internet here and here.

Market Day 18 August

The next CTTE Market Day will be on Saturday 18 August at the Novalis Ubuntu Institute. It is our last winter market for 2012 so we encourage everyone to come for warm soup, tea, coffee and cakes and to declutter before next month's spring cleaning.

Our monthly markets have been getting better and better. Come along to the August market and make it even better. Bring your family and friends and come and experience the amazing spirit of a Talent Market. You will never want to attend a regular ‘money market’ again!

Either come as a seller - and be a buyer at the same time - or come as a buyer only. If you do not wish to be a stallholder, bring your items for sale and place them on the community table. We would particularly like more healers and more food stalls, and we can make smaller stalls available for people advertising their projects and / or the services they provide.

Non-members can join at the event and begin trading immediately.

August, September and October's markets will be on the third Saturday of each month when our regular bank balances are at their lowest and our markets do not compete with busy regular markets.

Date & Time: Saturday 18 August 2012, 10:00 - 13:30
Venue: Novalis Ubuntu Institute, 39 Rosmead Ave, Wynberg
Costs: T30 per stall. Tables and chairs provided
Bookings: Liane Greeff or 083 415 2365 or 021 709 0864
Sellers: Please bring your own trading sheets: Click here to download

CES Assistance - Can You Help?

As the CES gains in popularity around the world, the administration of all the exchanges and servers is becoming more than a part time task for the CES Board. We need your help. We now have over 460 exchange groups around the world, with more joining every day. We are the pioneers in this transition from a national to a community currency. You, as a member of a CES exchange, are a dual citizen. The more we can help improve the CES the better for all of us. CTTE is the biggest and most active group amongst all the exchanges. We are the showcase to the world. What we have achieved here in Cape Town is the blueprint for other exchanges.

If you are interested in assisting in making the system better for all, then please click on the link below and fill in the short form indicating how you can help.

After that we will hold a meeting of all those who have indicated that they can help, and brainstorm how we can turn the CES into the new exchange system that we would all like to see.

Click the link to indicate how you can help >> I would like to help grow the CES!

Tip: How to Keep your Offerings Alive

Have you noticed how your offering(s) attracted a lot of initial attention and then died off?

This is natural, for when your offerings are added they start at the top of the list and are immediately visible to those users who check regularly for new offerings. Also, many users go to the Offerings page and click on one of the ‘latest offerings’ lists that are accessible on that page.

Once your offerings no longer qualify as ‘latest offerings’ they get pushed further and further down the category lists on which they continue to appear, until they are effectively out of sight and out of mind. And when the monthly list of offerings gets sent out by email, it includes only the offerings added in the past month.

To keep your offerings ‘active’ go to them once a month and ‘refresh’ them by updating them. This tags them with the current date and brings them back to the top of the list.

It is very easy to update your offerings. Log into your account and click on the [Offerings] button at the top. Then click the [Update] button on the grey bar. This will open a page displaying all your offerings. To update your offerings click on ‘Update offer (to today’s date)’. That will refresh the offering and bring it to the top of the list.

If you wish to edit one or more of your offerings click on ‘Edit offer’ for the particular offering. You can also delete offerings that are no longer relevant and hide ones that are not currently applicable but might be at a later time.

Where Are My 500 Talents?

It appears that some who join the Talent Exchange believe that they are ‘given’ T500 to get them going. They believe that they can spend this ‘free gift’ and then disappear if they do not find the exchange suits them.

We’ve even had members querying why they have a zero balance when they get their first statement of account!

Perhaps no one explained to them how the Talent Exchange works, or perhaps it is just the “money mentality” that most people bring with them when they join the exchange. After all, we are all victims of the incessant ruses and special offers of the money economy that try to encourage us to spend our hard-earned Rands: buy three and get one free, coupons and vouchers, discounts for loyalty card holders, ‘on promotion’ items, was R4999 - now R3999 etc. So it is in the money economy; so it is bound to be in the talent economy, surely?

To help you understand about your T500 there are a few things you need to know about Talents:

Exponential Growth: Over 460 CES Exchange Groups Around the World

There are now over 460 CES exchange groups in 50 countries, and we’re heading for 500 before the year is out!

Most growth is taking place in Spain, which is quickly catching up with long-time leader Australia. This is clearly as a result of the dire economic situation at the bottom end of Europe.

While there are many thousands of stand-alone exchange groups around the world, CES is so far the only global network attempting to link them together. The ability to trade across groups, towns, regions and countries is what makes CES unique. You can travel to other countries and have your account back home debited. No traveller’s cheques, no credit/debit cards, no cash, no currency exchangers eating up your hard-earned money, no unfair exchange rates.

New CES server commissioned in Australia

In June this year the second CES server came on line. This one is based in Australia and is now hosting ten Australian groups. Eventually all of the remaining 76 Australian groups on the global server will be moved across to the new local server.

Are you Prepared for the Coming Financial Storm?

Have you read the financial press recently? Have you read a single article that is positive about the economic outlook for 2012? In fact, have you read anything that is not positively scary?

It is not just marginal reporters exaggerating the current situation for sensationalism but the most influential individuals and organisations that are telling us that things are bad, very bad and getting worse. That is unusual because mostly we are told that things are getting better, even when they are not. The powers that be know that they need to maintain confidence in ‘the system’ at all times, otherwise negative sentiment and raw fear will drive the actual negative situation over the edge.

Read the full article...

How to Revive a Dormant Exchange

I honestly think circumstances are going to revive and invigorate the exchanges everywhere as the economies become more unsustainable. Meantime it's about setting up networks of people who will trade with each other.

Anyone can organise markets, trade days, meet and greet events, picnics. Essentially, get people together to meet each other, find out what they do, and how they can help each other when the crunch comes. My favourite is the 'meet and greet'. Get a number of people to bring along a plate of eats and drinks and one thing to trade. Each person has 5 minutes to introduce themselves to the group and what it is that they do, what they can offer and what they need. Small groups are great, because it’s more personal and can happen in people’s homes. People can invite non-members along as well, so that they can learn about the exchange too. Then each of these people can organise another small group etc. and so the networks expand and the trade starts happening.

The CES is about people, communities, sharing, generosity and heart. The trading is simply a by-product.

Dawn Pilatowicz
May 2012

Skill Share

Very frequently, when trying to encourage people to join the Talent Exchange, their first reaction is "It's a wonderful idea, but I really don't have any skills to offer. All I know is what I do at work, and nobody would want that!"

One could respond to this in a number of ways, but the first thing that strikes you is that it is so terribly sad. Imagine going through life not having any worthwhile skills and being proficient at only one very narrow specialisation that can't even be called a skill. Your whole life is defined by your employer. Isn’t that the definition of slavery? What would happen if the employer went bankrupt or the specialization became meaningless by the introduction of some new technology, as so frequently happens?

From experience you get to know that statements about having no skills are never quite true. We all have a multitude of skills, and because we have never thought about sharing them we do not recognise our own abilities or attach any value to them. And why should we? We grow up with the idea that all you need in order to get by in this world is to have a marketable specialisation. That will land you a paying job and so long as you are able to use it to earn money, other skills are only relevant for hobbies or to impress friends.

But times are changing. Specialisations that were once relevant are becoming meaningless because of mechanisation and computerisation. Your personal skills and talents are going to become increasingly valuable as the fiat-money exchange system collapses and takes away your access to others’ goods and services through the medium of money.

In the coming era it is not your narrow marketable specialisation that will count but your wide range of skills that you can share with others. We will be trading our skills, our talents, and we will do this through the local networks that we will have to set up, not through the anonymous money-based ‘market’ that can disappear overnight.

The Talent Exchange is so named because it provides us with a network through which we can trade our skills and talents. The more skills you have and the more proficient you are at them, the more access you will have to others’ skills and talents.

So there is no need to feel ashamed about your lack of skills. Simply ask yourself what you love doing in life. What is your passion? What are you good at? Those are your skills. Polish them up and you will be set for life. Having good skills that you can proudly share with others will boost your self-esteem and help you make the needed connections and survive in the coming period.

Exchange Growth if you take a Risk

I was a close friend of the founder of the exchange; and when he told me about it I was one of his greatest cynics!

He did not convert me at that stage; however eventually I joined the exchange when I volunteered to do some work for someone who was ill. She insisted on paying me a small amount in rand and then asked if she could give me some talents as well; and help me register and so forth. I thought why not; but still had no intention of becoming very active.

Two years later I am a fully fledged member of the exchange: I have built up a healthy wack of talents: and have started to find services for which I may use them.

So what was the turning point?

I had been hanging on to my capitalist sensibilities: understandably; as times are tough. However I did not realize that I was in fact perpetuating a cycle of “what you put out there; you get back”; Laws of attraction and all that.

I had been reluctantly charging a rand/talent split for my services and gaining a few clients who attended erratically. I was then looking out for talent only services for my use; and not finding them; or sending queries to them and getting no response.

One day I decided to charge talents only for my services and suddenly things took off.

I found talent only services as returns for my efforts. I also met other connections who brought outside business to pay the tiresome rand debtors (not that this was my intention)!

I realized that my exponential growth was due to the fact that I had embraced the true spirit of the exchange; and that if the exchange is to take off as a significant alternative force in the future it is essential for everyone to try to do this.

My advice: Take a risk; honour the principles of this wonderful alternative economy and reap the
rewards; happily!

Victoria Wilson

(CTTE Member and Voice; Djembe and Holistic Coach)

Talents and Rands

A note from the CTTE Administrator...

I'd like to remind everyone that the Talent Exchange is not the place to try to earn Rands. It is primarily an exchange for Talents and if absolutely necessary, a portion may be charged in Rands to cover costs.

Please reread the Terms and Conditions of using the CTTE and pay particular attention to:


An account-holder may not use the facilities of the CES for advertising purely Rand-based offerings. Trades may be advertised and effected for part Talents and part Rands provided that the Rand component shall not exceed the Talent component, unless the Rands are for necessary disbursements made by the Seller.