Soul Stirrers #2: COMMON
Based in Boulder, Colorado, COMMON is a creative accelerator and global network of social enterprises dedicated to “doing shit that matters”. Under this broad umbrella and in addition to its growing professional community, COMMON also operates as a branding agency and consultancy, working with values aligned partners to redefine their businesses and identify opportunities for catalyzing positive social change. We love this multi-faceted approach to kickstarting transformation and are especially fond of their mantra: “saving the world has to be fun, otherwise no one will do it.”
Conceptually, [COMMON Cents] can be thought of as a hybrid between membership rewards points, a financial currency (which can be spent) and equity (giving everyone a financial stake in the community’s success).
You earn CC by helping the fellow community members — and the community as a whole — with their projects and goals. You can also purchase CC via a monthly subscription, or by making a one time contribution of equity (in your startup for instance).
Equity and cash contributions become the economic “backing” of CC, so that in the future you may earn dividends on your CC holdings, and also exchange your CC for cash.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies remain largely conceptual to the general public since our understanding (or at the very least, awareness) comes exclusively from media outlets. Blockchain has yet to make sense to us or impact our lives in any meaningful way beyond hype.
Through the application, adoption, and experimental (yet actual) usage of cryptocurrencies among self-organized communities, however, new forms of shared value can begin to emerge that benefit all involved, rather than a select few. COMMON offers us an example of how this innovative technology can be used to develop robust economies for ourselves within the confines of capitalism.
At the end of the day, whether COMMON Cents sinks or floats does not define the overall success of the endeavour. Instead, we must recognize that every attempt at leveraging tools to regenerate and redistribute resources - as a much-needed alternative to extracting and hoarding them - gets us one step closer to a more equitable world. Like COMMON, we just need to keep on trying, and indeed we shall at Lahayim!