Bio-credits Next Steps

Dear BXN community,

We hope you've been enjoying the season, whichever it is where you are!  Great seeing so many of you in Austin.

The bio-credits working group has discussed a few next steps for the BXN that we'd like to run past you, the current membership, for a chance to weigh in as well if you'd like to.  Besides these, if you have other suggestions or ideas or feedback for the continued evolution of the project, all are welcome!

Here are three next steps we're proposing for the moment:

1.  Offer the Biomimicry Institute a credit line.

This would allow the Institute to issue bio-credits to us for things we would do for it.  Anyone who needs to be paid in bank credit (conventional money) would still free to require this, of course.  But a credit line would allow the Institute to offer bio-credits and otherwise participate in our internal market, and it gives us a chance to engage more directly with the Institute's work in a way that is also "accounted for" within our community.

We hope the Institute would be able to redeem its credit in the future - e.g. by accepting bio-credits back from us as payment for things like conference or workshop fees.  This partly depends on some IRS issues that still need to be clarified.  I don't imagine it should be a problem, though, since the worst case scenario (as far as I'm aware) is that the Institute would have to report the transactions for tax purposes, but non-profits don't pay tax anyway, right?  So...  Anyway, we're asking the experts.  Even if the Institute couldn't redeem its credit, though, an infusion of non-redeemable credits could still be spent elsewhere within the internal market.

We're proposing an initial credit line of 108 bHrs for the Institute to play with as a start.  (It's a mystical number.)  This works out to an average of 4 credits hours per member at the current membership size.

2.  Open up eligibility a bit more.

We'd like to extend eligibility to additional members of the core teams of our existing biomimicry networks.  Right now, only BNLC, BPros and BSpecs are eligible.  From this pool, 26 have signed up.  More BGN core team members who don't fit those criteria have expressed an interest, though.  Since there are plenty of spaces left within our current 150-person membership limit, this is a logical next set of people to invite.

Beyond that, if we're still short 150, we could also allow open applications from other individuals who feel aligned with the bio-credits community and project.  We could either require that they be referred by existing members, or allow independent applications.

3.  Change the name from Biomimicry Exchange Network (BXN) to Biomimicry Credit Exchange (BCX)

Just a matter of preference.  That is, assuming the word "credit" doesn't draw unwanted attention from hostile authorities or some such.  Maybe there's a reason LETS communities don't directly refer to credit or currency in their names.  I'll ask an expert...

Do let us know what you think of these proposals, especially if there's any reason you might object to something.  We strive for unanimity where possible!  In the absence of any objections within the next week, we'll move forward with them.

Nice playing "community bank" with you all!

Best wishes,
Jamie and the Working Group