How to Out Your Local Economy
* eBook: The Map - How to Out Your Local Economy. By John Rogers. Lulu, 2014
"The Map describes how to make the rich underused capacity of regional economies more visible. It shows how to engage individuals, businesses, voluntary groups and local government to share their underused assets to meet each others' needs. The Map is both a vision and a practical action programme."
"I believe that Austerity is an unfounded, unnecessary and dangerous idea. But it is not going away any time soon.
On the other side of Austerity is Sustain-Ability, our ability to sustain an abundant life for all. We need to pool our collective resources and do more with what we have.
Too much of our existing local economy remains invisible, unknown and not working at capacity. It needs ‘outing’. The ‘sharing’ or ‘collaborative’ economy shows us one way to do this. New websites pop up every week offering a platform for you to buy, sell, barter, gift, share, hire, rent, lend or swap.
Most of these sites are limited to exchanges between consumers and businesses and do not focus on single regions. The Map described here unlocks the whole regional economy with all its players: individuals, businesses, voluntary groups and local government.
Imagine an online map of your region that shows households, businesses, voluntary organisations and government agencies. It shows what they need and what they want to share.
Imagine Google Search plus Google Maps meets Facebook, with eBay mashed up with Kickstarter and Loyalty Points, available online and on the move, all focussed on your home region. It is a social and economic network that can scale down to a single postcode and up to regional level.
Although it doesn’t yet exist as described here, it is called The Map.
Imagine you’re looking for a babysitter. You log on to the Map App on your smartphone that connects you to The Map. It quickly shows you where the babysitters are in your area.
Imagine your small business is looking for part-time help. The Map App helps you find reliable workers when you need them.
Imagine you are an amateur football club looking for coaches. You can find volunteers via the Map App.
Every person and every group needs something and has something to give.
The Map allows people to show up, show off, connect, cooperate, compete, give, share, borrow, lend, swap, tip, buy, sell, raise funds, review, complain, criticise, rate, recommend, praise…
The Map provides a network for the good times, a safety net for the bad times and a permanently open space for all to contribute. It creates a true ‘free market’ that is local and cross-sectoral.
The world is getting ever more connected. Entrepreneurs are creating new applications to bring us together and share every day. Smartphone use in the UK may reach nearly 100% by 2018. More and more gadgets will be able to talk to each other via the Internet. We will programme our devices to automatically find best offers and to order goods and services such as taxis, books, etc.
The Map uses this connectivity to enhance existing regional networks. It provides incentives for people to share what they have to benefit everyone, to do more with less.
The Map can help us to realise this grand ambition. And it can only do that if it:
- enables investment in everyone and their ideas, talents and energy
- creates new sources of local production
- brings out the best that everyone has to give to others.
The Map can help us to grow a society and economy far superior to the narrow-minded, cramped view of Austerity and help us realise the goal of Sustain-Ability."