Dervaes Institute – Urban Homesteaders

While I’m working on the currency brand reporting mechanism, I’d like to take some time to highlight the efforts of a family that I’ve been following off and on since early 2005.  Started as or PTF, I now read their homegrown exploits at Perhaps it might still be too early to expect a ‘seedling’ organization to issue its own currency brand, but when that time comes, I could see the Dervaes Institute as a prototype for such independent currency issuing entity. I’ll list the reasons.

1) PTF has a clear, compelling, self-determined mission. PTF’s mission statements and goals provide a clear yardstick for the market to assess its performance.

In a satconomy framework, each currency issuer declares an obligation to provide specialized services/goods to the market, which in PTF’s case includes public outreach and exploration of sustainable solutions (e.g., 10000 lbs of garden produce). All contribution towards the fulfillment of that self-determined obligation is represented by self or entity-issued credits, which brand members could use to purchase the products of other currency issuers and in the process cancel the seller’s self-declated debits. Credits are always issued with an equivalent number of entity-issued debits.

2) PTF is a very transparent organization. Not only does PTF offer a clear yardstick for evaluating its performance against its self-declared goals, PTF also offers the public the ability to closely scrutinize its actual week-to-week performance through regular blog updates.

In satconomy framework, it is not enough for market participants to agree with an entity’s mission and goals – the market must also determine the sustainability of an entity’s market contributions. It is easy to see PTF’s weekly challenges, successes and even the few failures (e.g., failed crops or unproductive yields). The blog updates are comparable to the press releases of a publicly traded, stock-issuing corporation.

3) PTF already offers ways of quantifying the market’s support of its activities. For now, PTF has the ‘grow-the-future’ metric of total donations in its journal site. PTF also measures the ongoing quantity of its produce, by weight, against the target 2008 harvest yield that it has set for itself.

In a more mature implementation of satconomy framework, a currency issuing entity would also provide regular, timely and verifiable updates of its currency activity. This reporting mechanism is what I’m currently trying to prototype.

Whether or not the use of alternative currency mechanism is in PTF’s future, hopes to see it flourish like the lush plants in its urban garden.