Living Economies Educational Trust

Living Economies is an educational network promoting systems of exchange that foster community wellbeing. We aim to strengthen and help sustain regional economies by promoting interest-free means of exchange - currencies based on and respecting the living systems of our planet - to complement money in local communities.

The Trust welcomes enquiries about currency models and resource materials, and provides support for those wishing to explore and implement currency systems appropriate for their communities.

Living Economies is registered as a charity under the Charities Act. Our registration number is CC 38114.




Helen Dew

Helen’s awareness of the potential of complementary currencies for environmental, social and economic wellbeing began in 1991 when she joined the Wairarapa Green Dollar Exchange. In 2002 she became a founding member of the Living Economies board and the New Zealand distributor of Margrit Kennedy’s Interest and Inflation Free Money, the first of a growing list of titles now available through the Living Economies online bookstore.

Helen is a keen networker, her attendance at international conferences on currencies in Germany (2003) and New York (2004) initiating ever-widening contacts with others committed to researching and promoting local and global currency projects. She was project manager for the New Zealand edition of Fleeing Vesuvius, published by Living Economies in August 2011.

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 12 Costley St, Carterton 5713, New Zealand 0064 6 379 8034


Margaret Jefferies

Margaret has been the Chair of Project Lyttelton for over ten years, working to create a vibrant sustainable community.

Living Economies introduced Margaret to the ideas of complementary currencies and to the direct role our current monetary system has in causing many of today’s global issues. She has been a member of its board since 2003.

Inspired by the concept of Time Banking while attending a complementary currency conference in upstate New York in 2004, Margaret instigated New Zealand's first Time Bank in Lyttelton. The success of the Lyttelton Time Bank is spawning Time Banks throughout the country – as well as in Australia and Uruguay.

For her services to the community, Margaret was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2018.

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 5 Foster Tce, Lyttelton 8082, New Zealand 0064 3 328 9260


Babs Lake

Babs has an interest in creating community resilience and systems of intentional interdependence. She was a founding member of The Well Savings Pool in Wellington, a core group member of Transition Towns Lower Hutt, and has participated in Hutt South Timebank, as well as serving on its advisory board.

Babs has a background in neuroscience and environmental studies, and is driven by a deep sense of responsibility for the disconnect between what is needed to live within our ecological limits and what is currently happening. She has devoted the last decade to understanding and taking action on environmental issues, including having spent over five years providing strategic environmental policy advice to members of Parliament.

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Phil Stevens

Phil has spent years as a professional musician, recording engineer and producer, computer systems and network engineer and consultant on energy and carbon management. He grew up in the desert Southwest US, a region which instilled a profound respect for the constraints imposed by the natural world, and emigrated to New Zealand with his family in 2005 to pursue a more self-sufficient lifestyle and develop community networks.

His pursuits alongside development of LE educational purposes include operational support for the Community Forge network, an open source mutual credit system used by over 100 LETS and timebank organisations worldwide; leading educational and hands-on workshops for RECAP Inc, a community resilience initiative centred in Ashhurst and the Pohangina Valley; and policy development as a co-founder of the New Economics Party.

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Murray Stentiford

With an education and professional work experience in science, engineering and IT, Murray has also been a professional musician in several genres.

He has had a long involvement in holistic education programmes, holding several positions of responsibility in voluntary organisations. He is a keen student of processes that enhance communication and wellbeing, such as NonViolent Communication and Coaching.

Murray is deeply interested in helping others to know about local economies and alternative currencies, for their ability to empower people and build thriving communities through the highs and lows of economic climate.

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Warwick Mather

Warwick has had a lifetime interest in movements for social justice and environmental responsibility, involvement in organic agriculture, natural foods and healing and in moves to strengthen community resilience. More recently he has become involved in the establishment of savings pools and alternative/complementary currencies.

He has a background in small business enterprise and management and a degree in civil engineering. His other activities include a lifelong involvement in music playing and many years teaching and choral conducting. He has a special interest in renaissance and baroque music. He and his wife Elizabeth have long-term associations with both the Coromandel and Hawkes Bay communities, sharing their time between the two.

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Bryan Innes

Bryan has been a permaculture design certificate teacher since 1996. He and his partner Jo mounted the four Ecoshows initiating the launch of Transition Towns NZ and the 2012 Permaculture Convergence.

Bryan is a trustee of Awhi Turangi Trust, a centre of sustainable practice working on experimental building systems, creation of livelihoods, food production and providing tertiary education as a hub of Otago Polytechnic. Bryan attended a community currencies conference in Weimar, Germany in 2006 after he visited the JAK Bank in Sweden to study interest-free banking. He created an interest-free community economy system based on reciprocity known as the Genuine Wealth System.

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 021 799 056


Nicole Foss

Nicole is an international speaker on energy and global finance. She is Senior Editor of The Automatic Earth, a big-picture website chronicling and interpreting the on-going global credit crunch as the most pressing aspect of our current multi-faceted predicament. The site integrates finance, energy, environment, psychology, population and realpolitik in order to explain why we find ourselves in a state of crisis and what we can do about it.

Nicole has practised as an environmental consultant and been involved in teaching permaculture design certificate courses. As a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, she specialized in nuclear safety in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union and conducted research into electricity policy at the EU level. She ran the Agri-Energy Producers' Association of Ontario, where she focused on farm-based biogas projects, grid connections for renewable energy and Feed-In Tariff policy development. As Editor of The Oil Drum Canada, Nicole wrote on peak oil and finance.

Her academic qualifications include a BSc in Biology from Carleton University in Canada (where she focused primarily on neuroscience and psychology), a post-graduate diploma in air and water pollution control, the common professional examination in law and an LLM in international law in development from the University of Warwick in the UK. She was granted the University Medal for the top science graduate in 1988 and the law school prize for the top law school graduate in 1997.

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