By Steve Norris.
The Just Money Festival welcomed people new to Just Money and monetary reform, starting with an energizing song Change the Money by Howard Switzer. Then, the Youth Caucus did mind mapping to gather what causes people are passionate about and what is limiting progress. Next up was a trivia session on Kahoot, covering the basics in a fun and accessible way, and sparking interest in lesser known history like tally sticks. Meanwhile, the veteran groups discussed obstacles we face, how to overcome them, and how to present a digestible message.
Saturday started with the Annual Membership Meeting, announced were board election results and progress made by each of the committees. Mark gave a brief description of the works within the International Movement for Monetary Reform, an organization which AFJM is involved in. The NEED Act from 2011 has been revised to the American Monetary Reform Act of 2021. It has been posted in our Archives on our website and presented to a legislator. The Alliance has grown from all volunteers to being able to hire staff, in preparation for our growing membership. In moving from think tank to active outreach, the Alliance built a website rich with info and one of the best monetary bibliographies on the web.
Katharina Serafimova started with her dedication to community, taking the time to listen to each participant and their quick take on money. Katharina was involved in a Swiss initiative to bring about a constitutional change for the entire population to vote on changing the monetary system. During the time of Occupy Wall Street, Katharina realized that systemic change means moving beyond creating green financial products and even decarbonizing bank portfolios. Katharina is passionate about co-creating solutions to reconnect nature, money and community. In complementary currencies, the aim is to increase how quickly it circulates through the community, creating generosity and prosperity.
Storyform Science, hosted by Holly Walter Kerby and H. Adam Steinberg, provided training in how to create memorable talks and graphics using the Storyform model. Storyform Science uses the elements and principles of story to transform technical information into a narrative. The audience identifies with a guide and anticipates finding the answer to one main question. Storyform Science can be presented in a visual way through infographics and presentations. The key takeaway was show, don’t tell.
Following Storyform Science, various AFJM committee members hosted consecutive breakout rooms covering how to meet with your legislators, how to use your social media accounts as a means of activism, and how to write about monetary reform.
Next on the agenda was a panel of AFJM members involved in various commitments internally and externally. For outreach, John Howell worked towards a League of Women Voters study on how the monetary system affects League positions. Mary spoke on monetary reform in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s newsletter. Mary is also involved in an AFJM Spanish-speaking ad hoc group. Sue Peters talked about defending the monetary reform plank in the Green Party and a mentorship program initiative for AFJM members. Ryann (they/them – formerly known as Karly) highlighted the importance of community within organizational movements through their development of the AFJM – Youth Caucus.
The day ended with a celebratory happy hour with jokes, songs, poetry, and quilts.