This hands-on guide is to help you to understand how the Fractal Economy works and how you can get involved.
Click on a question to see the answer
After creating a free account, you will have a clear view of your membership ID. When purchasing from any other members, share your ID with them so that they can record the sale made to you as a member. The transaction will then show on your Purchases page, and the seller will then contribute 3% of the sale to our community fund for NFPs.
All individual members will have an equal vote for which NFPs receive funding from our community fund.
Joining this Cooperative provides funds and supports businesses who are clearly supporting our democractically chosen NFPs who are likewise being enabled by us to support our community.
If we sell products or services then we are able to list our trading business within our Fractal Directory, aka our Purple Pages, where our members intentionally search for participating businesses to support with patronage and in-turn support NFPs who are so appreciated by our communities.
When selling to members, participating businesses record the transaction and contribute 3% of the sale to our Community Fund. As individual participants, each person gains an equal vote for the direction of this Community Fund to any participating NFP.
The online system lists a directory of participating NFPs. It then enables equal voting by all members for the direction of Community Funds to these NFPs, we plan to further advance the system and may provide optional promotional discounts etc. to members. These system development advancements are presently being funded by donations from people wanting to support community NFP’s.
No, there are no membership fees.
The only payments welcomed and accepted by our Cooperative are:
- Optional donations from people who also want to support community supporters by purchasing from participating businesses
- 3% of sales made by participating businesses when our members share their Fractal Economy Cooperative ID when making a purchase.
Yes, you can access your account any time with your smartphone, either by visiting this website with your browser or by using our Mobile App.
All you need is a device with a browser, internet access and available data.
Yes, we are enabling businesses, individuals, NFPs and our community with web-enabled communication and processing functionality. Our directory, member accounts and management system is being developed and maintained by Websight Creative based on their proven proficiency developing our web systems thus far and with their creation of Community Voting Systems.
The Fractal Economy Co-Operative Ltd (FEC) is a legally registered trading cooperative. These three points sum up in a nutshell what we do:
- The FEC invites individuals, businesses, and any other incorporated entities – including charities, NGOs, not-for-profits, government departments, schools etc – to become members. Technically, all entities other than individuals are called partners because only Individual Members have voting rights.
- The FEC encourages and facilitates Individual Members to buy preferentially from fellow members. Our Transact app, records these transactions and applies a 3% Community Contribution on sales. This Community Contrubtion is levied on the Trading Partners.
- After admin costs, the Community Contributions collected by the FEC will be distributed to our Not For Profit Partners that the board and membership of the FEC deem eligible for gift funding. Members can vote on how they would like to see the gift money allocated. The budget allocation is directly proportional to how members vote.
Our future goal involves building a economic community with a wide membership base with significant capital that enables us to acquire a banking license (Core Practice #4) and provide greater financial benefits to the community, such as zero- or very low-interest loans.
The FEC has a board of directors who are voted in periodically. This is equivalent to our voting in members of our legislatures. This is a form of democracy called representative democracy. On top of that we practice a very ‘interactive’ form of what is called direct democracy which allows members to raise a petition to initiate a new policy, amend an existing one, overturn board decisions, etc. If the petition garners endorsement from 20% of the members, it goes to a binding referendum, and is passed if a two-thirds majority votes for it. Direct democracy empowers members in decision making, encourages people to inform themselves about issues (because they can make a difference) and participate in policies. It also makes the cooperative immune to corruption from the top by powerful economic forces. Whatever policy that the cooperative has that you do not agree with, bear in mind that you have as good a say as anyone else in changing it. More on our direct democracy practice is described in Core Practice #1 of our Six Core Practices.
The answer to this question may be addressed if you know what an eligible ‘not-for-profit’ may be. NPFs support us and our community for reasons beyond profit, usually in the ways most needed and appreciated by our community. It may be the school that you send your child to (we believe that the funding of education is a communal responsibility even though pedagogy – teaching methods and contents – is left for the school to independently manage). It may be your local church; it may be the music festival that you go to yearly; it may be the women’s refuges that you wished the government would support; it may be any number of environmental organisations you support in principle, but not by membership or donation; it may be the local neighbourhood centre; it may be a media which will not take corporate sponsorship (i.e. advertising); etcetera. With such a broad criteria for what we consider as eligible organisations/activities for gift funding, everyone will find a not-for profit that he/she wants to support.
If you can imagine that you would like to become a member as a buyer in the FEC; and that a lot of people would feel the same way; then all the buyer-members have collective purchasing power. If buyer-members give a slight preference to buying from fellow FEC members, it will in many cases lead to a loss of sales for people and businesses who are not members. (Remember: sales to non-FEC members are not levied for Community Contributions) The big hardware store chains in Australia give a 5-10% discount to certain people like building companies and tradespeople. They do this because they do not want to lose out on potential sales to this market. A discount amounts to the same thing as paying voluntary Community Contributions which is what our Community Contributions are. Credit card charges which are borne by businesses also work on the same principle. They will bear these charges rather than lose out on potential sales.
Feel welcomed to contact us with any questions via this contact form and we will respond to you promptly.