Hello, World!

Welcome to the Main St. Market blog

Glad you could join us!

We’re beginning our journey here in Ithaca, NY, which has a rich history of innovation in economics and money. Advancing this tradition, we have named our next-generation marketplace app Main St. Market — because we’re passionate about and committed to helping the people and places known as “Main Street” worry about money less and enjoy life more. Easy, right?

Main St. Market was born when Ithacash — the new local loyalty currency and successor to the famous Ithaca HOURs currency dating back to the early 90’s — teamed up with the app’s original developers. It took a while to figure out how to make it all work, but we think we’re just about ready to roll out here in the community.

Moving forward, we will be using this blog to communicate what we’re doing, why, and how. Hopefully you’ll get some insight into what we’re all about in the process, and get some ideas for organizing in your own community. If you have questions, don’t be shy about reaching out! We’re friendly.

Though the same two of us (Scott Morris and Aaron Fernando) work on both Ithacash and Main St. Market, this blog is branded as Main St. Market. Why? Because Main St. Market will have a broader usage outside Ithaca, is more easily-understandable for new users — and it’s the platform supporting the use of our Ithaca Dollars (i$), the currency units of Ithacash.

The Mission of Main St. Market

Is it necessary to struggle financially in order to live ethically? We don’t think so. Our hope is that Main St. Market will help us demonstrate that we don’t only have to dream of a better world, we can actually achieve a better world.

Today, earning money and living ethically are often at odds with one another. In spite of wanting to live in alignment with our values, due to our limited options we are forced to participate in the very systems that fuel the world’s most pressing challenges:

  • Wealth & Income Inequality
  • Social Isolation
  • Climate Change
  • Economic Insecurity

We‘d also like to call attention to the market incentives that reward behavior that is:

  • Selfish
  • Wasteful
  • Hyper-Competitive

…while punishing and systematically eroding virtues we prize like:

  • Generosity
  • Stewardship
  • Cooperation

But what if a better way was possible? What if we could do better by providing incentives that reward people for doing good?

We believe that Main St. Market presents a way where we can make a living and make a difference at the same time. It is a marketplace app that allows communities to organize skills and resources more effectively toward the better world we know is possible.

Navigating this Blog

We’re all about putting theory into practice — but we also want to communicate with our users, friends, and allies without wasting anyone’s time. So we will be corralling our writing into four general themes, each designed for different audiences. Depending on what you’re interested in & the work you do, you’ll be able to find content relevant to you under one or more of these:

(at the time of writing these pages are empty, but stay tuned!)

We look forward to any feedback, comments, or ideas now or at any stage of this journey! Follow this blog if you want to stay updated and keep an eye out for our posts: we’re aiming to write at least 3 times a month.