Trading without Money

The cool thing about using the Talent Exchange is remembering that the exchange of goods and services does not have to involve money or banks!
Unlike the money system, the goal is not to accumulate wealth but keep your balance at zero – indicating you are giving and receiving in equal proportion. This is what makes for a healthy community exchange system.
All it requires is a little effort, a lot of honesty, and the willingness to offer as well as receive goods or services.
Not for money but simply for a measure of that willingness, which we call Talents.

If you bought things at the Festival in previous years for Talents, but haven’t found a way to earn Talents to balance your account, now is your opportunity to get organised so you can make more than you spend and get back to Zero or above

How the Talent Exchange works

  • Trading in Talents works via the CES website – an online system that keeps track of your account
  • Sign up for a free account, and join a Talent Exchange closest to where you live.
  • You add a service, skill, or item to sell, as a way of contributing and earning Talents
  • When you buy something, you give the seller your TE number and the seller enters the transaction online
  • Your account is debited and theirs is credited. No bank and no money required
  • The units of exchange, called Talents, are pegged at the local currency, so we all have the idea of value
  • When people buy your offering, you debit their account and your account is credited
  • This credit can be exchanged for anything offered by other CES members
  • The system is completely transparent. You can see if someone is abusing the system

How trading works at Learning Clan

  • For an entire week we make this a no-Rands event, that is, to trade only in Talents
  • In this way we learn how to trade off-the-money-grid, and about relying on our community for our needs
  • You can transact instantly on the CES phone app or record sales on paper and enter when you get home.
  • When you want to buy something, give your name and TE number and amount to the seller
  • The seller enters the transactions into the Exchange debiting your account.
  • You will be notified by email when the transaction is recorded
  • If you have accumulated Talents – you can then spend them on the goods and services available on the CES
  • If you are in debit, you must offer your skills, services or goods to balance your account back to zero

Important things to know

  • When you join the Exchange, you will be asked  to add an offering to the Exchange
  • Your offering on the Exchange  is not necessarily the one you offer at the Festival.
  • If you buy things for Talents, either on the Exchange or at the Festival, you must also earn Talents, otherwise you are only taking services from the community and not giving
  • Everyone should bring something to sell at the Festival. This can be goods or services or a skill, or food – make a little, spend a little, and everything flows
  • You can opt not to buy anything, but then what will you learn about living and contributing in community?
  • If it is your first time – please do sign up well beforehand on the Exchange. You should at least have familiarized yourself with the Talent Exchange before arriving.
  • Anyone currently in the red should attempt to balance their account before attending TLC. 
    a) enter something to sell, or a service, or skill, on the Exchange
    b) attend a local Talent Market and sell something – Email Claudia for details: 
    c) finding someone who may be interested in selling some of their excess Talents for cash
  • All accounts are transparent – so it’s easy to see who is abusing the system

An exchange of Talents means that wealth remains where it is created and needed, and it does not leak away to the usurious ‘money lenders’

So… add this powerful means of exchange to your portfolio, and get a little closer to freedom from the money system!


  1. Why use an Alternative Economy?
  2. Why are Talents better than money or cryptocurrencies?
A week-long, off-grid, talent-exchange village in the forest

Empower Yourself

… with a money-free trading account on the Community Exchange System.
Earn Talents by offering service, goods or skills to your local community. And spend without the need for cash.

You can join an exchange near to where you live. Over 750 exchanges all over the world that can all trade with each other.

If you live in Cape Town, join the Cape Town Talent Exchange
Explore the wide range of existing offerings available for Talents – not money.