A small group of courageous Bellingen locals have responded to the challenge issued in a talk by lecturer Gavin Tang in late 2017 exploring how communities can work together to change our economy in ways which benefit people and communities rather than just serving shareholders and corporations.
This group has been working behind the scenes for the past 12 months to create the governance body which will enable the Fractal Economic Cooperative to start trading in the community.
They achieved Stage 1 of this by holding a formation meeting of members and interested people at the Farmers Market on November 10.
This meeting ratified the cooperatives’ Rules, elected the first Board of 5 Directors, and appointed a Secretary and a Chief Executive Officer.
The papers from this meeting have been lodged with the Department of Fair Trading, to legally register the cooperative. When this is complete the Cooperative can commence on Stage 2 of its development with IT, Funding, Training and Business development before launching into trading in the local area.
Individuals and businesses in our community are warmly invited to become members and register their businesses and themselves. They can attend meetings of the Fractal Economy Cooperative so their skills and economic activity can help achieve this transformation in our economy.
The next meeting will be about ‘Reimagining and Reinventing Democracy’ tomorrow, December 4 at 4.30pm at the Youth Hub in William Street, Bellingen.
Learn more by visiting www.fractaleconomy.coop.
When trading commences, the FEC will have the opportunity to realize a primary goal of their work - that community-based social and environmental initiatives, activities and organisations receive funding to achieve their goals. The FEC raises revenue to achieve this through having individuals and businesses throughout the community as members.
A 3% levy on sales between FEC members then applies and the revenue collected from this levy is distributed to nominated community not-for-profits by a direct democratic process of FEC member votes. The cooperative is trying to build a healthy and sustainable economy from the ground up as a grassroots project and in so doing utilise ‘best practice’ in democratic decision making.
To learn more and meet with like-minded people the public are invited to attend a lecture and information session.
Gavin Tang, a founding member of FEC will speak about ‘Reimagining and Reinventing Democracy’ on Tuesday, December 4 at 4.30pm at the Youth Hub.
For Gavin, the principle of participation and inclusion is intrinsic to (or implied in) the notion of democracy. ‘If we live in a democracy’ says Gavin ‘we should be participating in, and be included in, policy decision making.
If that was actually happening now, we would not have so many collective outcomes that the vast majority of individuals do not want, including the ongoing use of fossil fuels and the consequent climate change impacts of this, gross inequalities of wealth and income, free trade agreements made without public debate, and so on.’
The lecture explores how society and human consciousness has evolved to the point where it is imperative that every individual enjoys full participation and inclusion in policy making.
“In our current political system powerful economic interests are undermining the democratic process”, says Kevin Turner.
Another of the founding members of the cooperative said “it is not enough that our participation in these crucial decisions for the future is limited to voting for a political representative every three or four years.”
The talk will be followed by the monthly meeting of the Fractal Economy Cooperative, which interested members of the community are invited to attend.
The meeting will be held at the Stables behind the Ambulance station in Church Street Bellingen at 6.30pm.