- WHAT IS A BRIGHT?
A BRIGHT is a measure of the transaction between you and another member of the BRIGHT Exchange. We each decide what we are happy to offer other members in exchange for their BRIGHTS. You receive BRIGHTS for whatever you offer, and you spend your BRIGHTS on whatever you want. A BRIGHT is simply an acknowledgement of gratitude for a trade or favour done. It has no cash value and is only redeemable by exchange with other members. The gratitude you earn cannot be lost, stolen or taxed but you can think of it. You can think of your BRIGHTS account as a measure of all the goodwill you have generated and benefited from!
- WHY EXCHANGE BRIGHTS?
The principle that everyone’s time and skill is of equal value underpins our BRIGHTS EXCHANGE ethos. Members usually value each other’s contribution at the rate of ten BRIGHTS for each hour of their time.
You will never make any cash by trading in BRIGHTS. BRIGHTS have no cash equivalent and bear no relation to the conventional economy, but you undoubtedly can save a lot of money!
Members may agree to use cash for out-of-pocket expenses. For example, if someone gave you a lift to London in their car, you might credit them with 40 BRIGHTS because they have committed four hours of their time, but you might also pay for the petrol or acknowledge their running costs with an appropriate gift.
The BRIGHTS exchange is a bit like other bartering systems but much better and much more efficient! You offer your skills, knowledge, time, or expertise to any other member when they need your help. You spend your BRIGHTs whenever you want, on whatever you want that is available. You don’t necessarily have to trade with the person you helped, because everyone in the BRIGHTS EXCHANGE “pays it forward” and receives BRIGHTS as a “thank you” for the help they have provided. This means that the BRIGHT EXCHANGE is more flexible than any bartering transaction because you don’t have to wait or hunt around for someone who happens to offer what you want, as well as wanting what you happen to offer.
Every new member’s account opens with 20 BRIGHTS so that they can start spending BRIGHTS before earning any. If you are a busy BRIGHTS EXCHANGE member and trading regularly, your account will move from debit to credit and back again many times.
- HOW DOES THE BRIGHT EXCHANGE WORK?
The BRIGHT EXCHANGE is run by and for its members.
A core group of individuals who have agreed to take forward specific responsibilities meets each month to make sure everything runs smoothly. Every member is always welcome to join these meetings: the times and dates are fixed well ahead to help make sure that everyone can contribute and participate as often as they want to. All members are encouraged to attend an Annual General Meeting which is usually held in the autumn. We conduct meetings on the principle that all contributions are of equal value, and shared in a spirit of kindness and generosity
- HOW DOES TRADING WORK?
The BRIGHT EXCHANGE website enables members to find out about all the current offers available, contact other members, update our own profiles, add or remove our offers and requests, check our current balance, transfer credits to other member’s accounts and leave a testimonial for any member who has shared their skills with us.
Brights exchange members are as diverse as the skills, knowledge and expertise we offer to each other. Some people trade with other members several times every week, whereas others may use the network only for very occasional exchanges or just one specific type of trade.
It is entirely up to each member to decide what they want to trade. It is important to offer what you like doing because it works best for everyone when people can say a joyful and enthusiastic ‘YES!’ whenever they are asked to trade.
We currently have 50 active offers on our trading list ranging from allotment advice, clutter-clearing / feng shui consultation, dog walking, DJing, (use of) a garden for lunches and meetings, hypnotherapy, sewing tutorials, study skills, vegan catering, to yoga-coaching, and the (loan of) an anti-allergy vacuum cleaner. Don’t underestimate the value of what you have to offer. Members whose work might be invisible or attract only a very low salary is rewarded in the same way as contributions that are very expensive in the sterling economy. And there’s always a demand for practical help and support of every kind…
There is no advantage to hoarding Brights – the more we all trade, the stronger the community grows. The word ‘debt’ is not part of our BRIGHT EXCHANGE vocabulary, because we all rely on each other to commit to the community and keep the books balanced. If you are unable to trade for a while, you can let the core group know so that we don’t all start to worry about you! Any individual who consistently spends BRIGHTS but does not earn any will be supported by the core group to ensure that their account gets back into credit as soon as possible.
If you are looking for a particular skill or expertise, and need to check out someone’s credentials, you can approach this in the same way as you would in any other situation: look at the on-line testimonials, follow up word-of-mouth recommendations, and ask about qualifications or membership of relevant professional bodies.
- WHY SHOULD I JOIN THE BRIGHTS EXCHANGE
It’s all about give and take!
Oscar Wilde warned us of how dangerous it can be to “know the price of everything and the value of nothing”.
Within our sharing economy our members’ talents, knowledge, skills and expertise are all valued equally.
Some might think that anything that comes for free is worthless. Our member feedback system is testimony to the quality of service our members provide for each other. Here are some examples that demonstrate the true value of giving and of gratitude: “Jo is doing a fabulous job on my smallest room ““Lucy gave me a great Thai massage today …highly recommended” “I highly recommend Fiona’s effective solutions approach to creative challenges”
Members of the BRIGHTS EXCHANGE appreciate and enjoy many benefits besides the opportunity to trade: building life-enhancing friendships, forging interesting collaborations, meeting new people, making new contacts, exploring fascinating connections, and creating strong roots in the local community. The rewards of generosity, and of being part of something bigger than ourselves are there for the taking… and the possibilities are endless.
In the BRIGHT EXCHANGE, we are all about friendship, gratitude, cooperation, ethical exchange and sharing.
The BRIGHT EXCHANGE will not work out for anyone who wants freebies but is not prepared to give back to the community. And be warned: joining the BRIGHT EXCHANGE definitely won’t help anyone’s business build a viable new paying customer base!
- JOINING THE BRIGHT EXCHANGE
Everyone is welcome to join our friendly community: there are no criteria for membership and no special hoops to jump through! Our sharing economy thrives on diversity: young, old or in-between; Brighton born-and-bred or newly arrived; employed, self-employed, unemployed, student or retired.
You may find new like-minded friends among our membership. You might meet people whose experience and knowledge give you an opportunity to broaden your perspective, adjust your worldview or change your life.
The BRIGHT EXCHANGE is inclusive, works for everyone and has no formal affiliation with any other organisations.
Members are asked to pay an annual fee of £12.00 which is used to cover the costs of publicity, occasional room hire, running the website etc. A deduction of 20 BRIGHTS is made each year from every account so that members who help with administration can be thanked with BRIGHTS credits.
You can join right now. If you want to find out more just come along to one of our social events or contact