We all know that small island nations face many challenges to prosper, besides the obvious economic and logistical implications, there are also cultural and many poverty-related complications that play a role. So too in Curaçao. As an island with beautiful beaches, World Heritage type architecture and top-notch cuisine, we could always count on a thriving tourism industry and we are pioneers in trust and hedge fund administration. The other side of this wealthy image is also a reality. A big part of Curaçao’s population cannot access the resources they need, but also lacks the mindset and knowledge to prosper and be more self-reliant.
There are many individuals who possess skills and talents they cannot put to use or when they do practice their skill, are not compensated fairly. For example, someone who has something to teach, may not share their knowledge because they cannot access (rent) a classroom. Or someone who has spent a week building a boat gets paid for only 1 day’s work because there was no contract. Besides fostering discontent, this system also promotes other (possibly illegal) ways of acquiring necessary resources.
Kolektivo is an attempt at redesigning the very foundation on which our local economy and community are built by creating a complementary economic system that is purely driven by social impact. Fancy words that mean: you do something for the community and get compensated within the same community economy with a digital community coin. This is how we aim to create a local economy that helps progress the island and benefit all its inhabitants - effectively monetizing social impact and creating a regenerative economy. Regenerative in the same way nature is regenerative: interconnected, holistic, balanced, adaptive, innovative, community-driven, abundant and robust.
With a digital borderless community currency, what becomes possible is the near-instant, secure, and transparent transfer of value. This currency operates on a blockchain to ensure transparency and accountability, which in turn increases trust among its users. This way the community is able to fairly distribute resources and set rules according to the objectives of its economy.
Kolektivo allows individuals and organizations to take “ownership” of their community services by monetizing its social impact. In doing so, a multitude of individuals, community projects and organizations become more self-sufficient and self-reliant. This offers a huge opportunity for (unemployed) individuals, social entrepreneurs, and organizations who currently participate in volunteer projects, to prosper and contribute to more well-being on the island. This will directly benefit all participants in the impact economy by equalizing the playing field and creating opportunities - while indirectly benefiting all inhabitants of the island through the results of the initiatives that have been started or backed by Kolektivo. Imagine the mindset change and ripple effect on this generation and the many to follow. The impact of this community currency is multi-faceted and will be of influence for decades to come.
The creation of a digital community currency, especially the specific design of Kolektivo, is still in its infancy. Implementation in the community is not only innovative, but also essential to many stakeholders and potential partners. Local institutions such as the Ministry of Economic development and The Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten could leverage Kolektivo’s insights and tools to reach their objectives without needing to do the work themselves. Due to its transformational potential, many international institutions are also interested in the developments around community currency. Large institutions like the Red Cross and the World Health Organization (WHO) are already deploying resources to improve and implement community currency projects around the globe. Meanwhile, technological organizations that have built their organizations around these innovations, are eager to gain real-world insights and are constantly looking for feedback to advance and improve their technology.
If successful, Kolektivo will set in motion a transformative economic revolution that will drastically re-align the incentives around public resources and provide prosperity to communities in Curaçao and beyond.
Editor's note: the above article was sent to Willemstad Smart City, courtesy of Kolektivo.
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