DMC3 09: Peer-to-peer financing

DMC3: Session 09: Peer-to-peer financing
Ti 23.11. klo 13:00-15.30

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SELF-ORGANISED ARTS FUNDRAISING FROM US.

Instant Grant Program/Generosity Foundation (US, 2008)

http://generosityfoundation.org/

Steve Lambert wrote in February 2008:
“I gave my Hunter class and assignment to make $100 in the next 2 weeks. There's 9 students and the idea is that in 2 weeks we'll have $900 dollars to do a project. My students are pretty smart and when I gave the assignment, immediately asked if I was going to make $100 too. Could I say no, especially when that would make it an even grand..”
This project was a developed in collaboration with students at the Hunter College IMA Program in the Spring of 2008. We’ll be repeating it for this year’s Conflux Festival.

“We raised $100 each. Together we had $1000 in cash. Then we gave it all away in the park.”

The Federation of Students and Nominally or Unemployed Artists is James Bachhuber, Angela Ferraiolo, Sam Freeman, Tamara Gubernat, Steve Lambert, Michael McCanne, Prescila Néri, Kahil Shkymba, Bob Smith, and Hal Weiss. The project was inspired by Jon Rubin’s $100 assignment.
WATCH: http://www.vimeo.com/1714496

30$ & 100$ Drawings by Steve Lambart
http://visitsteve.com/work/30-drawing/ | http://visitsteve.com/work/100-drawing/

(Inspired by Jon Rubin's Not-a-Lotto: This project developed by graduate students from California College of the Arts in my Art/Life Seminar involved giving away $100 stacks of cash during impromptu free lotteries in ten sites through the city including a park, a dollar store, a city bus, a bar, a street corner, and a supermarket. http://www.jonrubin.net/work.php?x=73)

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Sunday Soup events (Chicago, US)

http://www.incubate-chicago.org/sundaysoupfaq.html

“Sunday Soup Brunch is a monthly meal, hosted at InCUBATE's storefront space. We invite guest chefs to cook simple soups and brunch foods using local ingredients. Soup is the center of the meal because it is nourishing, economical, and easy to prepare in large batches. Other dishes and beverages complement the soup. This delicious, well-rounded brunch meal is served family-style and sold for a modest profit at $10/person. At the end of each month this income is given as a grant to support an artist initiative or community projects. Anyone can apply to receive a grant. Visitors who purchase the meal earn a spot on the grant selection committee. Grant proposals are emailed to Sunday Soup/Brunch patrons and a popular vote determines the grant recipient.”
When is Sunday Soup?
The first Sunday of every month:
12 - 13: Sunday Brunch is served
13 - 14: Guest chefs, local collaborators, and supporters will present their creative projects their creative projects.”

By The Orientation Center (formerly known as InCUBATE)

Arts Funding for Sustainable Creative Practice panel discussion podcast:
(presented at New York University on April 30, 2009)
http://www.sweettoothofthetiger.com/AlternativeArtsFunding1.mp3
http://www.sweettoothofthetiger.com/AlternativeArtsFunding2.mp3

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SAVING & CREDIT SCHEMES

Microcredit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcredit | http://grameen-info.org/

What is Microcredit?
http://www.grameen-info.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=108
(by Muhammad Yunus), January, 2009

“The word 'microcredit' did not exist before the seventies. Now it has become a buzz-word among the development practitioners… When someone claims microcredit has a thousand year history, or a hundred year history, nobody finds it as an exciting piece of historical information…

I think this is creating a lot of misunderstanding and confusion in the discussion about microcredit. Instead of just saying "microcredit" we should specify which category of microcredit.

Let me suggest a broad classification of microcredit :

A) Traditional informal microcredit (such as, moneylender's credit, pawn shops, loans from friends and relatives, consumer credit in informal market, etc.)

B) Microcredit based on traditional informal groups (such as, tontin, su su, ROSCA, etc.)

C) Activity-based microcredit through conventional or specialised banks (such as,
agricultural credit, livestock credit, fisheries credit, handloom credit, etc.)

D) Rural credit through specialised banks.

E) Cooperative microcredit (cooperative credit, credit union, savings and loan associations, savings banks, etc.)

F) Consumer microcredit.

G) Bank-NGO partnership based microcredit.

H) Grameen type microcredit or Grameencredit.

I) Other types of NGO microcredit.

J) Other types of non-NGO non-collateralized microcredit.”

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WATCH:
Microfinance in Bangladesh [06.51]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De3O17gh4c0

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Recent critique of Microlending..

"It turns out that as more and more ‘poverty-push’ micro-enterprises were crowded into the same local economic space, the returns on each micro-enterprise began to fall dramatically. Starting a new trading business or a basket-making operation or driving a rickshaw required few skills and only a tiny amount of capital, but such a project generated very little income indeed because everyone else was pretty much already doing exactly the same things in order to survive."

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"By early 2009, as the financial crisis tightened its grip on the world, Yunus had apparently backed away from his long-held posture. At that time, he told India’s MicroFinance Focus magazine the very opposite of what he had been saying: ‘If somebody wants to do microcredit – fine. I wouldn’t say this is something everybody should have’ (emphasis added). Indeed, the predatory way that credit was introduced to vulnerable US communities in recent years means that Yunus must now distinguish his Grameen Bank’s strategy of ‘real’ microcredit from microcredit ‘which has a different motivation’. As Yunus told MicroFinance Focus, ‘Whenever something gets popular, there are people who take advantage of that and misuse it.’

To be sure, Yunus also unveiled a more radical edge in that interview, interpreting the crisis in the following terms. ‘The root causes are the wrong structure, the capitalism structure that we have,’ he said. ‘We have to redesign the structure we are operating in. Wrong, unsustainable lifestyle.’ Fair enough. But in the next breath, Yunus was back to neoliberalism, arguing that state microfinance regulation ‘should be promotional, a cheerleader.’"

The danger of Grameenism October 2010
Himāl South Asian Magazine
http://www.himalmag.com/The-danger-of-Grameenism_nw4752.html

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India microcredit sector faces collapse from defaults 18.11.2010
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/banking/finance/finance/India-microcredit-sector-faces-collapse-from-defaults/articleshow/6946275.cms

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Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotating_Savings_and_Credit_Association

“ROSCA is a group of individuals who agree to meet for a defined period of time in order to save and borrow together. ROSCAs are the poor man's bank, where money is not idle for long but changes hands rapidly, satisfying both consumption and production needs.

Meetings can be regular or tied to seasonal cash flow cycles in rural communities. Each member contributes the same amount at each meeting, and one member takes the whole sum once. As a result, each member is able to access a larger sum of money during the life of the ROSCA, and use it for whatever purpose she or he wishes. This method of saving is a popular alternative to the risks of saving at home, where family and relatives may demand access to savings.

Every transaction is seen by every member during the meetings. Since no money has to be retained inside the group, no records have to be kept. These characteristics make the system a model of transparency and simplicity that is well adapted to communities with low levels of literacy and weak systems for protecting collective property rights.
The system further reduces the risk to members because it is time limited — typically lasting no more than 6 months. This reduces the size of the loss, should someone take funds early and not pay back."

“The individuals in the ROSCA select each other, which ensures that participation is based on trust and social forces (see Social capital), and a genuine commitment to participate.”

See also 'Chit funds' from India
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chit_fund

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Tanda Foundation (US/MX)

http://www.tandatanda.org/ [now offline]

“Tanda Foundation is an experimental and informal not for profit held and run by its users. We aim to found new ways and means to support creative production, create a community interested in build a public fund via micro-donations and decide our own cultural agenda. The Foundation aims to be an accountable platform of funding for its users, where the process of application, reviewing, voting, and collection of funds is accesible to all its Patrons and Candidates.
The Foundation relies on 2.0 infrastucture to exist with minimal costs and labor. Think in an automatic not-for-profit.”

“Grants are Tandas, offered in two types: Cash or Fame.
We also facilitate the "Auto-Tanda" mode.”

http://www.metamute.org/en/tanda_foundation_public_funding_for_creative_practice

LISTEN in English:
http://2009.pixelache.ac/alteconcult/audio/juarez_tandatanda_alt-econ-cult_pixelache09_cc-by-sa.mp3

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EXCHANGE & TRADING SYSTEMS

Community Exchange Systems/CES (Cape Town, South Africa)

“The Community Exchange System (CES) is a community-based exchange system that provides the means for its users to exchange their goods and services, both locally and remotely. It could also be described as a global complementary trading network that operates without money as it is commonly understood.”

http://www.ces.org.za/docs/whatces.htm

“Requirement: Your car needs an oil change.

Step 1: You either look through the Offerings List or do a search to see if anyone is offering oil changes or car maintenance. Someone is offering oil changes for T80 but you must bring your own oil and oil filter.

Step2: In the Offerings List you click on the person's name to obtain contact details. You phone the person (the 'seller') and agree on a time and place for the oil change.

Step 3: The oil change takes place and then you (the 'buyer') fill in a Trading Slip (obtainablehttp://www.ces.org.za/ from the site), giving the date, your name, your account number, the amount (T80) and your signature. You fill in the same details on the counterfoil and get the seller to sign it. The counterfoil is then separated from the slip and you hand the main part to the seller, keeping the counterfoil for yourself. For the seller your Trading Slip represents your payment and your acknowledgement of the service or goods delivered; for you the counterfoil is your record of payment.

Step 4: You leave, satisfied that your car has fresh oil. The seller then goes to a computer and enters the details of the trade into the transaction form of his or her CES 'bank account'. This becomes a credit for the seller and a debit for you. You are now obliged to provide goods and services to the community worth T80.”

http://www.ces.org.za/docs/example.htm

CES in Finland
http://www.ces.org.za/exchparams.asp?country=FI

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Local Exchange Trading Systems/LETS (originated Canada)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LETS

“Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) also known as LETSystems are local, non-profit exchange networks in which goods and services can be traded without the need for printed currency. Michael Linton originated the term "Local Exchange Trading System" in 1983 and, for a time ran the Comox Valley LETSystems in Courtenay, British Columbia, CA.”

“A LETSystem is a trading network supported by its own internal currency. It is self-regulating and allows its users to manage and issue their own 'money supply' within the boundaries of the network.

The key points include:

* co-operation: no-one owns the network.
* self-regulation: the network is controlled by its users.
* empowerment: all network users may 'issue' the 'internal currency'.
* money: money, as a means of exchange, is an integral feature.

LETSystem recording services keep track of transactions and issue statements of LETSystem trading.

LETSystems use their own type of 'money' - they are money systems.

Barter is a type of exchange where we swap goods and services without using money - I give you a loaf of bread and you give me two cabbages. You fix my car and I'll cook you dinner. But you may not like my cooking………….

Money overcomes the limitations of barter. I give you money for your goods and services and you can spend it elsewhere. In a LETSystem you can use your account to buy what you want from one person and then sell what you can to another.”

“The word "LETS" was chosen to highlight an invitation (let's) and a culture of consent. LETS embodies the 'Law of Two Feet' - "If you like it, you walk in. If you don't, then you walk away”.

http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/faq.html#whatis
http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/

The LETSystem Design Manual
http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/design/dm1%5E3.html

http://wiki.ashevillelets.org/wiki/What_is_LETS%3F
http://www.gdrc.org/icm/lets-faq.html

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Ithaca Hours (Ithaca, NY, US)

http://ithacahours.org/

Since 1991..
“Ithaca Hours is a local currency system that promotes local economic strength and community self-reliance in ways which will support economic and social justice, ecology, community participation and human aspirations in and around Ithaca, New York. Ithaca Hours help to keep money local, building the Ithaca economy. It also builds community pride and connections. Over 900 participants publicly accept Ithaca HOURS for goods and services. Additionally some local employers and employees have agreed to pay or receive partial wages in Ithaca Hours, further continuing our goal of keeping money local.”

“The name HOUR is meant to remind you that, in addition to being a medium of exchange for commodities, currency represents someone's labor, the time taken to provide a skill or perform a service. Your time is worth something to someone else. When you give someone an HOUR, you are telling them: "I did this much somewhere else. Please give me the equivalent here."

http://ithacahours.org/
http://ithacahours.org/faq.php
http://www.ithacahours.com/

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AikaPankki (Kouvola, Lahti, Mäntsälä, Parainen, Jyväskylä, Tammisaari, Tampere, Turku, FI)

http://stadinaikapankki.wordpress.com/
Initiated by Ruby van der Wekken

Presentation in 'Co-creation, co-governance and peer-to-peer production of public services' seminar, Aalto University School of Art and Design, 22.10.10.
http://www.vimeo.com/16529533

Based on UK TimeBanking model:

“Person-to-Person model
This is the most common approach in the UK. It usually involves a ‘broker’ (often a paid worker) who facilitates and records exchanges between individuals and develops the membership of the Timebank.
There are different ways that person-to-person Timebanking services are set up:
An independent, stand-alone local organisation run as a self help group, a co-operative, not-for-profit organisation or charity 
A two way service run by statutory agencies utilising existing staff time and resources in collaboration with local residents in a defined community
A two way service run by a third sector organisation or social enterprise as one of many services they provide for the local community. 
A service commissioned by local statutory and voluntary agencies in response to identified needs – communities of interest
Small local neighbourhood time banks run and shaped by neighbours”
http://www.timebanking.org/what-is.html

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FiFi.Voima: 'Aika vaihtaa pankkia' by Sonja Hyppänen
http://fifi.voima.fi/voima-artikkeli/2010/numero-7/aika-vaihtaa-pankkia

“Don’t do it yourself! Kumpulan Vaihtopiiri as an example of communal empowerment of Helsinki suburbs”. by Giacomo Botta
http://blogs.helsinki.fi/leppoisalahio/2010/04/22/don%25E2%2580%2599t-do-it-yourself-kumpulan-vaithopiiri-as-an-example-of-communal-empowerment-of-helsinki-suburbs/

NEF: The New Wealth of Time
http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/new-wealth-time

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ONLINE PEER-BASED BANKING

weBank: can people replace institutions?

http://webank.org.uk/

Report by Christian Alhert, http://www.openbusiness.cc/

Focus on “emerging finance businesses that all utilize the internet to dis-intermediate traditional financial organisations and mechanisms by increasing the level of direct financial interaction of remote individuals. In other words, individuals are offered ways to act together collectively and engage in financial activities such as borrowing, lending, investing and currency exchange, without the traditionl intermediary of a bank.”

As we learned a few sessions ago..

P2P has usually been used as a term to describe the technical means of interacting, where members of a network are treated as equals, enabling fast file transfers using and sharing computer resources collectively.

Hence: “person-to-person” or “Peer-to-peer (P2P) finance” or “social or web 2.0 finance”

P2P finance has received an increased level of attention lately in english-language mainstream media..

For example: Wall Street Journal article in Dec 2008 entitled “Peer Loans Ease the Credit Crunch” & Harvard Business Review lists P2P finance as a 'breakthrough' idea in 2009.

'Peer' Loans Ease the Credit Crunch http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122862542958985749.html

Forget Citibank Borrow from Bob
http://hbr.harvardbusiness.org/web/2009/hbr-list/forget-citibank-borrow-from-bob

Green Note: Private Student Loans Network: http://www.greennote.com/about_us/

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History of the term 'P2P Finance'

Oldest 'player' in P2P financial market has been UK company Zopa & US business Prosper, since 2005 & 2006 respectively. Until then online person-to-person lending was untested.
Now there are over 30 companies in different countries, including Germany, Netherlands, Italy, France, Sweden, Finland & Japan.

Zopa (UK/IT/US/JP)
http://zopa.com/
http://uk.zopa.com/ZopaWeb/public/about-zopa/about-zopa-home.html

Prosper (US)
http://www.prosper.com/
http://www.prosper.com/welcome/how_it_works.aspx

Almost all examples are “focused on one national 'market', mirroring the fragmentation of financial regulation (in this context) into nationally confined markets.”
“In contrast, Kiva, a P2P lender with the mission to lend money from people in the developed world to entrepreneurs in the developing world, transfers money across national borders.”

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Kiva (US)

http://www.kiva.org

“Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.

The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.”

Now Kiva is also applying itself in developed countries including USA:

July 2009:

"The financial crisis has made a lasting impact on small businesses around the world and here at home in the United States. With the credit crunch creating a virtual standstill of lending, small businesses in the U.S. are facing an uphill battle to find funds, especially if their financial history isn’t stellar. Kiva.org, one of the web’s most interesting innovators in the micro-lending space, is hoping to come to the aid of U.S. entrepreneurs and small businesses by launching a pilot expansion that would allow individuals anywhere to make small loans to low-income U.S. entrepreneurs through Kiva’s platform."

Kiva Brings Microlending Home To U.S. Entrepreneurs In Need
http://techcrunch.com/2009/06/10/kiva-brings-microlending-home-to-us-entrepreneurs-in-need/

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ACCION USA in Kiva.org
http://www.accionusa.org/home/support-u.s.-microfinance/learn-about-u.s.-microfinance/about-u.s.-microfinance.aspx
http://www.accionusa.org/home/support-u.s.-microfinance.aspx

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Fixura (FI)

Finnish peer loan system
https://www.fixura.fi/

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“P2P Finance offers higher returns”

weBank quote:
“P2P Businesses promise returns on investments of often more than 5% (ranging to more than 10%)”…

However these are potentially risky investments as some services offer no insurance against defaults.. some, such as German P2P lender Smava has introduced an insurance scheme making lending less risky.

2008 saw new businesses opening in the this new market at a faster rate than in any previous year.

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Experiments with P2P models

exploring new ways of approaching financing online..
catering to people's needs by allowing them to engage more directly with each other.

weBank quote:
“Some put borrowers and lenders into direct contact,

others hold auctions and aggregate investments into bands, makings the process anonymous.”

“other very different business models are being tested, such as bringing thousands of years old 'rotating savings and credit associations' (ROSCAs) online;”

“enabling currency transfers by matching supply and demand between individuals;”

“and focusing on confined communities such as MBA alumni lending to MBA students.”

“And apart from companies offering new ways to borrow and lend money, we can also see innovation in areas such as collective investment into music and film production, as well as scheme to collectively buy a football club”

Political awareness

weBank quote:

“In January 2009 the European Parliament called for a legislative framework to encourage micro-lending schemes”

“Microcredit – the provision of small loans to very small businesses and other borrowers who might not approach the mainstream financial system – originally emerged in the developing world, but it also has a useful role to play in stimulating grass-roots economic activity in Europe.”

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/expert/infopress_page/042-46576-019-01-04-907-20090119IPR46575-19-01-2009-2009-false/default_en.htm

“it is too early to say whether or not current regulatory set-ups hinder the emergence of financial mechanisms which could operate at lower costs compared to banks and also offer credit to consumers otherwise marginalised.

It is also not clear whether P2P approaches represent an inherently lower risk than traditional financial institutions, or if they are just another form of the same risk, only with part of it transferred to the awareness of individuals.”

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Questions

Will traditional mainstream financial institutions put their money behind P2P scheme?

Will the P2P business models scale up?

(for example law suit problems with Prosper (US) indicate that even a system that is meant to cut out the middle man still needs strong regulation and new ethical frameworks)

How much lending and borrowing that can be facilitated via the internet?

(“whilst maintaining acceptable risk, and without an ever increasing army of humans checking credit worthiness”)

While the internet makes P2P lending possible, it doesnt necessarily make it cheaper or safer.

However, new firms have the advantage of embracing new technologies more effectively than established operators, and are more likely to explore radically different business processes.

weBank quote:

“Either P2P Banking doesnt not scale and is of no interest to banks, or it is the biggest threat to business that ever existed.”

“How much potential there is for more radical business models to be developed in the future, models which go even further, combining the characterisitics of businesses such as Zopa and Prosper (lending and borrowing), with models involving collective investment.

In other words, is there scope for a highly distributed ownership of a banking system?”

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MyFootballClub (UK)

http://www.myfootballclub.co.uk/

which brought 50,000 people together

“Situated in Kent, England, Ebbsfleet United play in the Blue Square Premier, which is four divisions below the Premiership.

In February 2008, the members purchased the football club for £600,000. Just three months later, Ebbsfleet United won the FA Trophy at Wembley – the club’s greatest achievement in a history that dates back to 1890.”

“As a MyFootballClub member, you will be part of a unique website community, the first in the world to purchase a football club. You will join thousands of members living in over 80 countries, all of whom get to vote on key decisions, from team selection to financial budgets.

Before every match, MyFootballClub members have a say in team selection. They can back the coaching staff's judgement, or choose to pick the team and formation themselves.

Members also get to vote on other fundamental decisions, from setting a weekly playing budget (£10,000 this season) to deciding on season ticket prices to approving Nike as the club’s supplier and its designs.

MyFootballClub members communicate on its thriving forums, which have around 25,000 forum posts from members each month. Members can also set up special interest groups as well as talk in its chatroom.”

WATCH:
Ebbsfleet/MyFootballClub - 'Inside Out' BBC TV [08.55 mins]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBz1YMWftBQ

WATCH:
Us.Now Ebbsfleet feature
http://explore.usnowfilm.com/explore/3

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'The Age of Stupid': eco-activist film crowd-funded (UK, 2008)

http://www.ageofstupid.net/money

WATCH:
The Age of Stupid: final trailer, Feb 2009 HD
http://vimeo.com/2992103
http://www.ageofstupid.net/

“CROWD FUND YOUR FILM IN SIX EASY STEPS”
1. Write a Crowd-Funding Budget
2. Download our documents and adapt them for your project
3. Get lawyers to check your documents
4. Pitch to anyone you even slightly know who is even remotely rich
5. Spend the money on making your film
6. Share out the loot”
http://www.ageofstupid.net/how_to_crowd_fund_your_film
http://www.ageofstupid.net/sites/files/ageofstupid/images/aos-money.preview.png
http://www.ageofstupid.net/review/for_sale_a_warm_fuzzy_feeling

WATCH:
The making of 'The Age of Stupid' [52 mins] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2009/mar/02/age-of-stupid-making-of

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Sellaband (NL/DE/UK)

http://sellaband.com/

“SellaBand has been regarded as a driving force behind the Music Revolution. It challenges the traditional music industry and encourages aspiring artists and music lovers to go into business together. SellaBand aims to level the playing field of the global music industry.

Anyone can invest in a SellaBand artist or band and once they have achieved the required amount of investment, investors receive a limited edition copy of the album. On top of that, the artists and their fans share equally in the revenues of the album. SellaBand is an exciting way of discovering new music, changing the face of the music industry and being part of the fun.

To date 29 Artists from 12 different countries have raised the full $50,000 and over $2,200,000 has been invested in unsigned artists. SellaBand has proven that new talent is still out there, waiting to be heard and that music fans from all over the world are willing to put in their hard earned cash to make it happen. We've been around for over 2 years and already we have changed lives and made dreams come true. The Music Revolution is happening. Right here, right now… (october 2008)”

http://www2.sellaband.com/aboutus.html
http://www.sellaband.com/site/how-it-works.html

weBank quote:
“Sellaband.. offers musicians a space to upload their music and distribute it for free and also engage directly with fans. Whilst, in this sense, Sellaband functions much like MySpace, it has combined this function with a distributed investment model. If an artist reaches $50,000 in investment s/he will be recorded professionally while the investors (the fans) get free CD's and a slice of advertisement income in return. However, although more than 30 artists have reached this goal, it seems unclear if the financial return works, or if the entrepreneurs behind Sellaband have instead created an ingenious record label by minimising their investment costs in an artist, whilst providing fans with an emotionally gratifying means of engaging with that artist.”

Update 2010: Sellaband went bankrupt, but was bought by German investors
“Since August 2006, 43 bands got full funding for an album, which typically meant gathering $50,000 from investors, who received a copy of the album for a minimum investment or share in sales revenue for higher investments.

But even though the company kept one third of revenue from the sale of released albums, plus interest from the escrow accounts before albums were made, it lost money.
“The problem is that the business model is not bringing profits,” said SellaBand founder Pim Betist. He left the Amsterdam-based company he conceived in 2001 as a Friendster-style approach to funding music, about a year and a half ago. “That’s why they’re suffering, and that’s why they went bankrupt, and now they need to let go of the concept.”
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/02/bankrupt-crowd-funded-sellaband-acquired-by-german-investors/
New Project by Pim Betist: Africa Unsigned (2010)
http://www.africaunsigned.com/ | http://www.africaunsigned.com/page/faq

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Geert Lovink keynote: “After the Critique of Free and Open: Alternative Platforms and Revenue Models”

Free Culture Conference, Berlin, October 2010

“a need for the movement to shift from making legal demands and instead focus on the platforms and revenue models that could support the kind of culture we’re striving towards.

According to Lovink, we need to take the global economic crisis we are in right now as a starting point for discussing all these issues.

We also aren’t burdened anymore by the need to introduce web 2.0 or promulgate the advantages of participatory culture.

In a way we’ve moved to the second stage, but we’re still within web 2.0.

Instead of making demands on the current system, we must look for the implications of the alternatives.

Lovink proposed that we move away from the emphasis on amateur as a victim, and towards the empowerment of young professionals, because in Lovink’s view, amateurs are emerging, starting professionals.

What should we demand of our new technologies?

The technologies we create and embrace should empower young people to take part in the economy, because these technologies can bring about the redistribution of wealth that isn’t happening centrally; they can help us in our embracing experimental economic models.

Coming from a 1980s DIY background, Lovink said that he understands that these technical demands are good in themselves, but now it’s more important to think about and practice what alternative revenue models could be.”

http://blogs.fu-berlin.de/fcrc/2010/10/08/geert-lovink-keynote-after-the-critique-of-free-and-open-alternative-platforms-and-revenue-models/

http://wikis.fu-berlin.de/display/fcrc/Conference+Documentation

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SOCIAL MICROPAYMENTS

Flattr (SE), 2010

http://flattr.com/

“Social micropayments.. Give to the people who make the things you like. Get from people who like what you do.”

“Before Flattr, the only reasonable way to donate has been to use Paypal or other systems to send money to people. The threshold for this is quite high. People would just ignore the option to send donations if it wasn't for a really important cause. Sending just a small sum has always been a pain in the ass. Who would ever even login to a payment system just to donate €0.01? And €10 was just too high for just one blog entry we liked…

Flattr solves this issue. When you're registered to flattr, you pay a small monthly fee. You set the amount yourself. At the end of the month, that fee is divided between all the things you flattered. You're always logged in to the account. That means that giving someone some flattr-love is just a button away.”

WATCH:
Peter Sunde about Flattr Social Micro Donations - Speaking at re:publica [April 2010] [12.30-]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyGCsCpofVk

WATCH:
Peter Sunde discusses Flattr [June 2010]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0PnH7VyHeo

What is Flattr? (1.30mins)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwvExIWf_Uc

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Karchingle (US?)

http://kachingle.com/

Micropayment monetization for online content and services

“Kachingle's initial target market is blogs and news and politics sites because these wonderful sources of information are suffering the most from the lack of a viable business model and there is much angst in the blogosphere and journalism sectors regarding this.

However, Kachingle is a generalized crowdfunding service and will work with many other forms of valued online content and services including music, software, online services, video, podcasts, etc.

There are two business models — one for the Site Owners and one for Kachingle.

• Site Owners: Invite their avid readers/users to become Kachinglers, and "turn kachingling" for their Site. Based on each Kachingler's usage patterns, each Site receives a "fair" proportion of their Kachinglers' monthly contributions. 85% of the contribution is distributed to the Sites.

• Kachingle: Retains 15% to cover the cost of processing payments (we pay all related PayPal fees) and our commission.”

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Kickstarter (US)

http://www.kickstarter.com/

“We believe that…
• A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
• A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.”

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ThankThis (US)

http://www.thankthis.com/

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Crowdculture (SE)

http://crowdculture.se/

“Crowdculture.se establishes an accessible digital infrastructure for micro financing of cultural productions. This is a new financial model that supports cultural innovation and market development of Sweden’s cultural life. Crowdculture.se provides a market place for an alternative and personally engaging cultural economy, that today has no counterpart- a similar micro-financing project with a cultural focus suitable for Scandinavian conditions is missing!

At Crowdculture.se cultural producers, financiers and consumers can contribute to the realization of projects that fall outside the cultural establishment’s immediate taste, and thus stimulate the growth of a more vibrant cultural life as well in the city, as on the web.”

“The community Crowdculture.se serves as a meeting place for cultural producers, financiers, consumers and institutions. The platform allows producers, which may be an individual idea agent, as well as a more established ensemble, group or association, to share a project description of the production which they wish to realize. All suggested productions together form a sort of ”production library”.

Another group of members on the platform are the active members; Cultural consumers. Each active member is paying a small monthly fee and in exchange governs a vote that the member can place on the production in the library she would like to see realized. This vote is an investment right, as the vote carries a certain value per second. The value is determined by the platforms over all economy, divided by the amount of active users and seconds, in a real-time calculated economical flow.
A production receives a sum of money equivalent to the added value of the votes she gets in each counted second.

When a production has received the number of votes over time that is need for realization, the money is paid to the producer, so that her production can be connected to appropriate institutions. In this way, the platform provides the financial tools that enable both cultural innovation, market development of Sweden’s cultural landscape and the opening of the institutional arena for others than those who currently work within them.”

SLIDES:
http://www.slideshare.net/FabelCommunication/crowdculturese-a-brief-introduction

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NEW ONLINE ACCOUNTING SERVICES

Scred: Pools & Minicorps (FI)

http://scred.com/

“ Scred is a Finnish company building tools and services to help friends, groups and communities manage their money, wherever they are.
Pools are for simple tracking and balancing amongst friends, while MiniCorps allow you to track income and expenses, as well as actually sell items and receive money.”

“Say you are spending a weekend together at a cottage. Mike pays for the petrol to wherever you are going, and Lisa pays for the food. Other small expenses pop up along the way, as they tend to do. After the trip is over and you're finally safe from the mosquitos Scred will work out all the complex shared expenses between participants back and forth and will tell you exactly what each person owes, and who is expecting money. All you need to do is to lie back and relax.

Use pools to:
* Track debts between people
* Balance your debts and shared expenses.
These will be automatically shuffled within a pool.
* Manage transactions in multiple currencies and Scred will work out the rates.
* Let Scred tell you who owes what after a long trip.
* Use Scred on your mobile phone, even without a connection!
* Pools can be used totally for free.”

LISTEN in English:
http://2009.pixelache.ac/alteconcult/audio/lawson_scred_alt-econ-cult_pixelache09_cc-by-sa.mp3

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Scred: Fläbät (FI)

http://www.flabat.fi/

“Fläbät.fi is a service for selling and buying tickets for events in Finland, with instant signup, no fuss and decent pricing.

The service has been tested in private beta, and during that time over a thousand tickets have been sold using the service. Fläbät.fi is now open as a public beta in order to get feedback from a wider audience.”

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Further things to watch/read

READ:
AREA Chicago #8: 'Everyone's got Money Issues' (US)
http://areachicago.org/p/issues/8/

WATCH:
Us.Now
http://explore.usnowfilm.com/

WATCH:
Money as Debt (2006, US)
Paul Grignon's 47-minute animated presentation of "Money as Debt" tells in very simple and effective graphic terms what money is and how it is being created. “a painless but hard-hitting educational tool and encourage the widest distribution and use by all groups concerned with the present unsustainable monetary system in Canada and the United States”

http://www.moneyasdebt.net/
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2550156453790090544

WATCH:
Wealth of Neighbours/The Money Fix (2009)
http://www.wealthofneighbors.com/

WATCH:
Future of Money Interviews
http://vimeo.com/16025167

Future of Money Videoblog
http://www.vimeo.com/15546706

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Blogs/Websites

Value for People
http://www.valueforpeople.net/

Micronomics
http://micronomics.citymined.org/

KashKlash
http://www.kashklash.net/about/

P2P Foundation: Money
http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Money

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