The idea for Hudson Valley Current was born at the 2004 Local Currencies in the 21st Century Conference at Bard College.
The conference was organized by the E.F. Schumacher Society, which was in the process of launching the Berkshares, now a very successful and well-known local currency in Western Massachusetts.
The inspiring and well-attended conference featured luminaries such as the late Belgian monetary theorist Bernard Lietaer (one of the architects of the Euro), Edgar Cahn (founder of Time Banking), Susan Witt and Chris Lindstrom of the Schumacher Society, Paul Glover (founder of Ithaca Hours), and New Economy thought leader David Korten.
Current co-founders Chris Hewitt and David McCarthy attended the event separately as they were unknown to each other at the time. David—who was working on visioning and communications at the time with fellow Kingston resident Sean Griffin (who came up with the name of the Current)—reached out to Chris, a serial entrepreneur, in 2010 to discuss incorporation as a nonprofit organization.
At that time, Current co-founder Maria Reidelbach put together a book study group about David Korten’s Agenda for a New Economy, which helped bring the components together that would get the Current flowing.
Other early thinkers and inspirations behind the Hudson Valley Current and its structure, regulations, and launch include Ajax Green (co-founder of Re>Think Local), Jason Stern and Amara Projanski of Chronogram, Rick Feltington, Stephen “Ven” Vardin, Nancy Eos, Carolyn Hansen, Cheryl Schneider, Barbara Miller, Pamela Boyce-Simms, Carol VanCleef and many others.
The Hudson Valley Current was incorporated as a nonprofit in January 2014. Over 700,000 Currents have been exchanged since that time, all of which have stayed here in our local economy.
In fact, the first Current that was exchanged back in 2013 is still here in one of our towns.