In this post, we will explore the concept of regeneration as the foundation for autonomy. We will examine a case study of Curacao, a small Caribbean island, and understand how its economy and autonomy were affected by external forces. We will then delve into the concept of regenerative development and its importance in creating conditions for thriving communities. Finally, we will introduce Colectivo, a framework for creating local regenerative economies, and discuss its key components and roadmap for implementation.
Curacao is a small Caribbean island with a rich history as a hub in the region. Despite its prosperous economy and high average income, Curacao faced challenges in its quest for autonomy. Economic shrinkage and the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led to high unemployment rates and food scarcity, exposing the island’s dependence on external forces. Attempts to seek financial assistance resulted in further indebtedness, raising questions about the true autonomy of the island.
Recognizing the cracks in the existing system, the people of Curacao sought to create a system that nurtures autonomy and resilience. They envisioned a regenerative system that prioritizes the well-being of local populations, fosters community empowerment, and utilizes available talents and resources. This vision led to the birth of Colectivo, a framework for local regenerative economies.
Colectivo emphasizes the importance of tailoring economic systems to local communities’ specific needs and challenges. It offers a toolkit for communities to create and govern complementary community currencies. These currencies complement existing economies, fill gaps, and enhance the overall well-being of the community. The framework also includes methods for monitoring and verifying regenerative assets, which generate positive impacts for the community and the environment.
Colectivo supports the creation of positive value through grants, empowering NGOs and social entrepreneurs to drive social change. It also promotes community commerce, which strengthens the local economy and generates additional benefits. Leveraging regenerative assets, such as food forests and mangrove forests, Colectivo enables the creation of more community currencies, fueling ongoing development. The framework utilizes a mobile wallet optimized for local users, providing convenient access to participating businesses and services.
Colectivo operates within a network of local and global stakeholders who share a common vision of regenerative development. Collaboration with organizations like Refi, Celo, Astroprotocol, and Curve Labs strengthens the framework’s impact and promotes collective progress. The choice of Celo as the underlying technology is driven by its alignment with Colectivo’s values and vision for a better world.
Colectivo is currently in the implementation phase, incorporating research insights and user feedback to refine the framework. The team aims to complete the framework by the first half of the next year, enabling scalability beyond Curacao. An innovation festival is planned for October 21st-22nd, providing an opportunity to showcase the Colectivo framework and engage with local innovators and change-makers.
The pursuit of autonomy requires a foundation of regeneration. Curacao’s story highlights the importance of addressing local needs and creating conditions for thriving communities. Colectivo offers a framework for local regenerative economies, empowering communities to govern their own complementary currencies, leverage regenerative assets, and foster collaboration for collective progress. By embracing regenerative development, communities can move closer to true autonomy and create a better future for all.