“In regionally diverse and digitally advanced economies – whether local, national or sectoral – there is no one-size-fits-all money. What is more, though money evolves along with social and technological changes, it must not be forgotten that people ultimately control its path. In towns, regions and online networks people have quietly been creating their own currencies for decades: testament to the growing realisation that monetary innovation is not the exclusive purview of governments and big business.
Strong, active communities make for more resilient financial systems, while improving peoples’ livelihoods and standards of living. Currencies can be designed to support this, to foster the kind of social interactions and exchanges we want, rather than remaining dependent on pounds, dollars and euros. This realisation is now moving decisively into the mainstream. As it becomes more and more clear that monetary monocultures serve the international financial markets better than the needs of people and societies, currency experiments are increasingly emerging as welcome disruptions to this status quo.“
Between 2012 and 2015, Community Currencies In Action (CCIA) sought to harvest best practices from the deployment of six pilot currencies being launched by a coalition of European partners experienced in testing and evaluating innovative economic solutions which serve local communities. “People Powered Money” is the resulting document offering a wealth of insight on the process for evaluating a local problem, determining if a currency solution is the appropriate fit, engaging local stakeholders, and assessing the impact of the currency in addressing the problem.
Throughout the text, case studies offer insight into the outcomes of a range of currencies from small community operated timebanks incentivizing social participation to larger intranational mutual credit exchanges which allow small to medium enterprises to float inventory when global demand for their goods is contracting. The text opens with a theoretical understanding of currency innovation as a solution to the crisis presented by national or regional currencies which become poor mediums of exchange once they begin trading heavily on international markets. It then shifts gears to provide practical advice about the importance of communication strategy and tempering expectations for a currency deployment while it is still in the early stages. The full report can be on the New Economics Foundation website by clicking the link below.
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