“empowering Communities: Local Initiatives For Clean Gas And Electricity” – The macroeconomic challenges we face today cannot be solved locally, but there are tools and initiatives that can help empower communities to support the most vulnerable and keep value circulating locally.

The cost of living crisis is creating grim news around the world. The disruption of global supply chains and the economic fallout of the pandemic, rising energy costs, and now the possibility of a long war in Ukraine, are causing food prices to spiral. Oxfam predicts that over 260 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty by the end of this year, surviving on $1.90 a day or less.

“empowering Communities: Local Initiatives For Clean Gas And Electricity”

People in the world’s poorest regions like sub-Saharan Africa, where Oxfam says food costs account for as much as 40 percent of consumption, will be worst affected. However, in richer countries, the worst consequences of the crisis are also felt by those households with the lowest incomes.

Community Food Initiatives

For example, in the US, Oxfam reports that the poorest 20% of families spend 27% of their income on food, while the richest spend only 7%.

Campaigners and charities rightly point out that this crisis disproportionately affects the world’s poorest, who are the least culpable for causing it and can often be left feeling disenfranchised and powerless.

There are no silver bullets. Sound economic solutions to wealth inequality require a long-term approach to policymaking—a mindset that is too often absent in short-term policy cycles.

However, as bleak as things may seem, that doesn’t mean people can’t do anything to try to improve their situation. At the local level, there are examples of community-led initiatives that can help local people work together to alleviate the cost of living crisis.

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Studies have shown that money spent in the local economy is more likely to stay in the local economy and benefit local people than money spent in chain businesses. Furthermore, small businesses are more likely to support the local community through charitable donations and participation in initiatives.

Local currencies can boost local economies by creating means of payment that can only be spent at participating independent businesses in a given city or neighborhood. Initiatives can take many forms, but in general, the idea is to create a micro-economy designed to ensure that money stays local.

It takes this concept a step further with a secure blockchain-based platform that allows anyone to create a local currency and begin distributing it within their communities as a form of additional income. Everyone in the network gets their own unique identity in the form of a QR code. Occasionally, participants meet in person. At these meetings, people scan QR codes to verify each other’s identities and thus become eligible for new allocations of currency distributed at the event. Any participating member can instantly send and receive currency within the network using their QR codes.

Applies a freeze on all currencies, so their value will decrease over time if held in accounts. This prevents local currencies from being hoarded as if they were cash and ensures that their value continuously circulates in the local economy.

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Such a system offers the opportunity to help support the most economically disadvantaged individuals in the community. Not only does the currency offer additional income by attending identity verification sessions, but people can earn income in local currency. For example, a small business could run a promotion and pay rewards in local currency to residents who refer new customers.

Local currency is one type of community financial cooperative, while credit unions are another. Credit unions have experienced significant growth in recent years, particularly in Asia, where membership grew by 114% in 2020. According to the World Association of Credit Unions (VOCCU), over 375 million people are part of credit unions in 118 countries that manage over $3 trillion in assets. .

Unlike banks, credit unions are not run for profit and exist for the benefit of their members. They can offer valuable means of credit to people who may be excluded from obtaining credit at banks or from the financial system entirely.

Credit unions don’t traditionally issue local currencies, but it’s worth noting that VOCCU highlights the possibilities of digital currencies in its 2022 regulatory update. The association also previously shared a case study about an Estonian credit union that issued its own digital currency to its members.

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In addition to empowering financial solutions, resource sharing initiatives are another great way for communities to support each other and help save money during the cost of living crisis. Car sharing is one example – not the Uber model, which is based on profit, but a scheme that allows people to rent their car or rent it when needed on a peer-to-peer basis.

For example, in the UK, you can use a platform like Hiiacar to rent your car or rent a car from someone locally for a fee. The platform takes care of all administrative elements such as verification of driver’s licenses and insurance. However, Hiiacar also works with hyper-local groups that simply want to pool resources between neighbors based on trust without any money necessarily changing hands.

Resources don’t even have to be limited to physical objects. Sharing skills is another way communities can support each other. This could take many forms, perhaps trade tasks involving a particular skill such as DIY or gardening. Another way to help the community is through skills exchange, which can help empower younger or disadvantaged members of the community. The OECD has compared knowledge sharing as a development tool comparable to financial or technical interventions in its power to reduce the global North-South economic divide.

While it is vital that governments and corporate leaders implement the necessary macroeconomic decisions to mitigate the crisis, it is also important that people are empowered with tools that can make a difference at the individual and community level. Moreover, doing so in a way that preserves value and returns it to those within the community.

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If you think local currency could make a difference in your neighborhood, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us for an informal chat or visit our website to find out more. The project aims to support initiatives designed and implemented by communities that take an innovative approach to solving local issues related to community safety, connectivity, access and support. Project funding is available to support community-led initiatives focused on improving safety outcomes for young people in Greater Shepparton. The four funding streams are:

A Local Action Group (the Group), made up of diverse community members living and working in Greater Shepparton, was formed to support and implement the project. The group will review the EOI and make recommendations regarding the allocation of funds.

The Community Empowerment Project holds information sessions for anyone interested in making an EOI or seeking additional information about the grant process.

EOIs can be made through a variety of forms, including written, video submission, or panel experience.

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Mayor Cr Shane Sali said the council is encouraging people with ideas that fit into the funding streams to attend an information session to find out more.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to propose ideas for projects that respond to local issues of safety, connectivity, access and support.” “Whether your idea is small or big, I invite you to attend an information session to find out how you can get involved in this unique opportunity,” Cr Salley said.

For more information and/or assistance, please contact the Empowering Communities Project Coordinator at empoweringcommunities@shepparton.vic.gov.au or by contacting Council on (03) 5832 9700

Want to get the latest news and events in your Facebook feed? Just go to our Facebook page and click the Like button. The platform allows citizens to engage in a constructive dialogue with the municipality of Tundža and find agreements on regional projects.

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This project allows the community to present civic projects to the Municipality. They are then implemented in partnership with initiators. It is a platform that unites the efforts of local authorities and local communities, as well as 44 villages of the municipality of Tundža, to solve major social challenges and problems through partnerships and constructive dialogue. Anyone with an idea for an initiative, campaign or event can sign up on the platform and fulfill their goal.

The initiative was launched in 2015, with the aim of supporting every active citizen with a certain motivation. After the implementation of the platform, in the same year, 41 contracts were signed to support various initiatives in 30 villages of the municipality of Tundža. In 2018, a total of 33 contracts were concluded, and another six are yet to be finalized. This has proven to be a useful practice that promotes direct people’s participation. It encourages citizens to think outside the box and improve their future and local environment.

Currently, more than 70 initiatives have been implemented through this project, improving the lives of thousands of people in the region. This is a new way of making decisions, which has revitalized the municipality of Tundža. The project encourages and supports the participation of local people, structures, organizations and businesses in initiatives that result in tangible and lasting results

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