�It�s time to re-conceive the
very idea of �barter exchange� and payment to realize the full
potential of cashless exchange.�
�Thomas Greco, Jr.,
Keynote Speaker at IRTA Convention,
September 15, 2006
A three-year persistent focus by IRTA�s (International Reciprocal
Trade Association) Executive Director Krista Vardabash and the Board
of Directors, led by President Lois Dale, has made an impact on the
commercial barter industry�by changing the vision of possibilities
within the commercial barter industry.
A door has been pushed open revealing heretofore unimagined
opportunities and, predictably, the �business as usual� thinking of
the past is no longer enough.
The evolution is underway, and could well morph into a huge
inter-connecting network of trade exchanges working cooperatively
together. This global network would provide service to millions of
business owners, enabling them to turn unused time and unsold
products & services into a valuable form of capital to build and
expand their companies.
The focus on catapulting the industry forward began on IRTA�s 25th
Anniversary, at the 2004 Cancun convention, when former IRTA
Executive director Paul Suplizio (who passionately led the
organization its first 16 years) provided his lucid vision of the
future. (Story on lower right side of home page.)
Then last year Bernard Lietaer, an expert on monetary systems
(while at the Central Bank of Belgium he co-designed and implemented
the convergence mechanism, ECU, for the single European currency
system) and author of The Future of Money: Creating New Wealth,
Work and a Wiser World, addressed attendees at IRTA�s convention
He skillfully carried the baton forward when he pointed out to
the IRTA members the problems with the many world currencies, even
suggesting that within five years we will see financial convulsions
in world financial markets. (http://www.barternews.com/future_of_money.htm
Lietaer further elaborated that the commercial barter industry
had an unprecedented, immense opportunity to create an organization
of such importance that it could someday rank among the elite
institutions of the world. And he emphasized that it was possible to
achieve, if action were taken by the assembled entrepreneurs.
�We�ve proven it can fly, but we�re now like the Wright Brothers
years ago�just at the beginning of something that�s going to be
dramatic.� Lietaer further assured the group it could all begin with
a few visionaries willing to take bold action by beginning to walk
in the footsteps of Dee Hock, the architect of Visa. �We�re all, the
people in this room, putting the blocks in place to build a
It was a stunning eye-opener from a world-renowned monetary
authority. The attendees left the convention wrestling with his
suggestion that the possibility existed to literally make a positive
change in the world�s financial infrastructure.
This year�s keynote speaker was Thomas Greco, Jr., an independent
scholar, educator and writer, who has been working at the leading
edge of transformational restructuring for more than 30 years.
His expertise includes private currency and exchange system
development, the theory and history of money and banking,
statistical analysis, and survey research. Greco�s books include:
Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender,
New Money for Healthy Communities, and Money and Debt: A
solution to the Global Crisis.
His bold, succinct message paralleled that of his two
predecessors, and once again he hammered home that the commercial
barter industry could build the financial stabilizer for the world
business community through the development of a global trade
exchange network...utilizing a valuable goods/services backed
Greco pointed out to the trade exchange owners that the fastest
way to amp up the worth of their own network is to work together. As
participating exchanges expand their membership to include all
levels of the supply chain (from retailers to wholesalers to
manufacturers to basic commodity producers to consumers and workers)
every member is able to pay their suppliers with trade credits. Thus
becoming a global payment system for the business community
As this larger �Network� becomes more valuable, so will each
individual exchange within the network. When established, the
�Network� will be an enabling organization that exists for the sole
purpose of assisting participating exchanges and their members. It
will operate separately from the industry�s trade associations.
With the knowledge of the past and the technology that exists
today, immense possibilities are now at the industry�s beckoning.
After decades of effort and striving there are now trade exchanges
in 42 countries around the world...widening the path to greater
possibilities of success and accomplishment.
What we do today as an industry will determine what we will be
Thomas Greco, Jr. can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 42663, Tucson, Arizona 85733
Ph: (520) 795-8930; e-mail:
�This idea is something that
is very important to the barter world and of great interest to me
�Karen Welch, President
of We Trade Network
I was so heartened with the presentations and conversations at
the IRTA convention just concluded at the TradeWinds Hotel in St.
Petersburg Beach (FL).
Specifically, I was interested in the GETS program (Global
Exchange Trading System). This is proposed to work much like the
Visa model where various trade exchanges keep their fee structure,
brand, etc.; and the system allows members to see items available
from members of other trade exchanges, and actually make purchases
There will need to be some sort of standard that trade exchanges
must meet in order to participate. This is exactly what my partner
and I have been discussing as an ideal for the industry.
I�m thankful to see that someone�s taking the steps to implement
such a system. I would love to offer whatever help I can in order to
get this moving forward. We�re a small exchange in Montana, but this
idea is something that is very important to the barter world and of
great interest to me personally.
For those exchanges that are well-established this many not seem
as important, and change is challenging. But the benefits of such a
system far outweigh the energy required to implement it.
Member to member trading on a broader basis than local, would
make trade much more valuable to all individual members, and the
exchanges. More trade would be the result.
Cooperation works so much better than competition.
Karen Welch, CTB, President
We Trade Network
Kalispell and Missoula, Montana
Phone (406) 833-5022