Puerto Rico is a microcosm of massive, worldwide challenges:
- Battered by natural disasters
- Constrained by a dysfunctional economy
- Hampered by deteriorated infrastructure
- Burdened with debt
- Suffering from unmet social needs
The result? Disillusioned, disempowered and disconnected citizens
Now imagine . . .
Puerto Rico can serve as a beacon of hope for a different future, for ourselves and for the world. A future of healthy and resilient communities united in a commitment to find a better way; of a solidarity economy that allows creativity to flourish and enables prosperity for the many, not just the few; of a market that can deliver vital investments in people and planet; and of a regenerative, environmentally sound economy based on innovation and entrepreneurship.
Working together, we can make this possibility a new reality.
Seeds of a New Economy
- Puerto Rico imports more than 80% of its food.
- 33% of residents face food insecurity.
- The island relies heavily on imports of construction materials, and 72% of those products are subject to tariffs.
- Puerto Rico relies completely on imported fossil fuels for transportation fuels.
Building on Grassroots Efforts
NCG is working with partners in Puerto Rico to increase self-sufficiency on the island. With a year-round growing season, Puerto Rico is well positioned to not only attain food sovereignty but also develop an export-oriented economy built on an agricultural base.
NCG provides local organizations working to enhance local agricultural entrepreneurs with the tools they need to significantly enhance their results. They are already doing the work: encouraging small-scale farming, revitalization of indigenous crops, connecting urban food deserts with local farmers, and inspiring young people to take up farming.
A Two-Pronged Initiative
Small-scale, organic farming of food crops can catalyze a transformation for both farmers and consumers. Food deserts — communities that have little access to fresh produce — can replace unhealthy, costly, imported processed food with locally grown fruits and vegetables. Farming can become a career path for young people. Land can be secured or repurposed for regenerative, sustainable production. And Puerto Rico can move toward greater food self-sufficiency. More
Raw Material & Value-added Products for Export
Hemp was once a commonplace plant that grew in almost every part of the United States. Larger-scale hemp farming produces a crop that feeds a new industry, which can replace much current fossil-fuel-based manufacturing. It offers an opportunity for smaller producers to network into a supply line for larger manufacturers, and for new business to evolve around value-added products. And its production and downstream manufacturing are suited to a clean, low-carbon economy. More
The UNO Complementary Currency
Complementary or local currencies are usually issued by a non-profit entity with the goal of increasing the purchasing power of local communities and keeping money circulating locally.
These currencies fill the gap when there’s not enough national currency to fuel the productive economy. By linking unmet needs with resources that remain unused by the national currency, complementary currencies can contribute significantly to the stability of local, regional and national economies.
NCG plans to issue a local currency called the UNO in Puerto Rico to catalyze economic development, focusing initially on the agricultural sector. The currency will be managed in consultation with local stakeholders.
The UNO fulfills this function by facilitating the initial growth of local agriculture and agricultural spin-off programs in Puerto Rico. It allows startup ventures to get off the ground, bypassing the difficult conventional capital raising The UNO can get startups to the proof of concept stage when they are more likely to need and secure traditional financing.
Lifts People into the Global Economy
The UNO also works to prepare many unbanked and underbanked consumers and producers for entry into conventional finance. By building a track record in the complementary currency and growing assets, they can qualify for loans from traditional lending institutions and become part of the international banking system.
By first understanding the concepts about money described here, then following the guidelines of the system we lay out in this document and this one, Puerto Ricans can bootstrap their failing economy. This short presentation explains how momentous change can happen quickly using our mechanism. Now the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated just how quickly change can occur, transcending ideological boundaries and decades of entrenched practice.
To measure outcomes against rigorous academic standards, and to develop core best practices, we have teamed with the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) at Middlesex University in London to study the project implementation.
NCG’s Executive Director Michael Sauvante, an Honorary Research Fellow with CEEDR, will lead this formal research program.
We have partnered with the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity (GISP) to measure project outcomes using the Genuine Progress Indicator metric.
The GPI is designed to take fuller account of the well-being of a nation by incorporating environmental and social factors which are not measured by GDP.
Used in “green” economics, GPI factors in environmental and carbon footprints that businesses produce or eliminate, including in the forms of resource depletion, pollution and long-term environmental damage.