The “Community Currencies in Action” project was a collaboration between English, French, Dutch and Belgian partner organizations between 2012 and 2015, cofunded by the EU Interreg programme. (Original project website archived here)
Goals of CCIA
The main aim was to promote different types of complementary currency and to bring together and expand the collective knowledge of participants, while making it accessible to others. One of its distinctive features was integration of the public sector, both as promoter of complementary currencies and as target group for project publications and events. The CCIA project was 50% supported by the European Union’s regional development fund Interreg IVb for North-west Europe.
The following six complementary currencies were either partly extended or begun by CCIA:
- The Makkie in Amsterdam, a time currency project for the promotion of citizen participation in the Amsterdam-East neighborhood. From the beginning, the city government participated in the project as one of four lead organizations.
- The “E-Portmonnee” (now called Limb-U) in Limburg province, Belgium, a reward and incentive scheme for the reduction of household waste and extension of composting and recycling. The local public waste service Limburg.net runs the currency for selected communities. Local administrations are responsible for issuing the currency to participating households and also offer goods and services for purchase with the earned points. These range from energy-saving bulbs and garden accessories to shopping vouchers, theater and museum tickets, to bus and train tickets. Thus the environment wins twice.
- “TradeQoin” is a business barter currency started during the CCIA project by the organization Qoin in the Amsterdam region.
- The social enterprise “Spice” (now called Tempo) led three more time-currency projects in South Wales. These time currencies are connected to a national UK network of redemption points but are issued by local organizations, partly with the support of public funds.
- The “Brixton Pound” is a local currency in South London, which has existed since 2009. It is supported by the London Borough of Lambeth as a CCIA Partner and is further connected to publicly funded programs.
- The regional currency “SoNantes” (now called Moneko) was introduced to the French city Nantes in April 2015. It promotes regional businesses and is based on the principle of ‘mutual credit’ between businesses. Citizens of Nantes may also purchase SoNantes with Euros and spend them at participating businesses or use them in future to benefit from special offers from the city, including bus and train tickets. The project was initiated by the city authority. The public bank Credit Municipal de Nantes was tasked with implementation.
Apart from the six partners who led a pilot currency project, two additional organizations took part in CCIA: the Wales Council for Voluntary Action in Cardiff as the official management partner with respect to the EU institutions and the New Economics Foundation in London, which was responsible for academic supervision of the project and acted as central contact point and publications manager. Leander Bindewald managed the project and was its spokesman and principal researcher. Alongside the numerous publications in various languages by NEF and other CCIA partners, it is above all the many contacts with politicians and public institutions that will demonstrate its long-term effects. Over a three year period, the project set new standards for explaining and demonstrating the possibilities of complementary currencies to a range of audiences, from local politicians to universities, central banks and UN institutions.
The most important publications of the CCIA project are:
- A handbook for the implementation of complementary currencies: People Powered Money – Designing, Devloping and Delivering Community Currencies. The book can be downloaded for free (PDF), the raw text is also available, unformatted, in German, French and Dutch (at the link above).
- A briefing paper for the public sector: Community Currencies – Opportunities and Challenges for local government
- The study of effectiveness: Money with a Purpose – Community Currencies achieving social, environmental and economic impact
- The methodological Evaluation Handbook No Small Change- how to evaluate your community currency, with accompanying work materials
- Legal Toolkit: Investigation and questionaires on the legal situation of complementary currencies in various European countries
- Toolkits for practitioners and groups on: Communications, Management&Implementation, Evaluation/Impact-Assessment, ICT
- The multi-lingual information platform on complementary currencies www.Community-Currency.info (offline as of July 2020, archived here)
- Download all CCIA Publications in one zip-file (73MB) here.
For more information on CCIA contact Dr. Leander Bindewald, who managed the project at the New Economics Foundation in London