New alternative and complementary currencies are a growing worldwide trend, and many states in the US have created their own local curriencies.
Banks. We can’t live with them, we can’t live without them. Yet.
Like many Transition, and other changemaking initiatives around the world, Transition Town Peterborough (TTP) has been giving some serious thought to how it might scale up its impacts.
Mainstream money, largely because of the way it is issued, rented out and (mis)allocated into first use, is a primary driver of inequality, unfairnesses, poor productivity and environmental damage.
The biggest challenge is changing our mindset from the scarcity built into the existing monetary system to one based on relationships, cooperation and plenty.
One currency seems not to be able to serve every human need alone.
As an environmentalist there’s an awful lot you can get involved in that’s about protesting or campaigning, but it’s quite unusual to have something you can actually do which goes right to the heart of your everyday life and which makes a huge difference.
What would it be like if we did a local currency at scale, across a whole city? What would it be like if we had an electronic means of exchange as well as a paper currency?
A recently completed trial led by the Institute of Swedish Safety and Security(ISSS) showed how local currencies could be used in projects to increase the resilience of the local economy and thereby increase disaster preparedness.
A delegate to the recent Community Currencies conference in The Hague proposed that changing behaviour should be the ‘fourth function of money’, so it may be timely to explore the implications of this line of thinking a little further.
In the 1950s Father José María Arizmendiarrieta, the village priest of Mondragón in the Basque region of Spain, inspired the development of a series of cooperatively owned industries to employ youth in his parish. His vision was that, through ownership by the workers, the wealth created by new industries would be distributed to the workers and to the larger community that nourished and supported them.
The economy is big news, and a big worry. But there are as many economies as we need. There are global, national, regional, and neighborhood economies. There are economies for greed, destruction, and exploitation, as well as for generosity, creativity, and love. And there are as many types of money as we need to operate these economies.