When talking about alternative money systems, the Fureai Kippu system in Japan is often mentioned as an example of how to deal with the challenge of an ageing society. It provides a ‘caring currency’, which one receives when one supports an older person or someone needing care with their everyday activities. Credits are units of time (hours), which are administrated by a support organization. Participants can redeem their time credits later when they themselves need help. “The fascinatingly simple thing about it: an hour is an hour is an hour- thus a completely inflation-proof money”, according to Margrit Kennedy in an interview. And what is more suitable for a pension than inflation-proof money? Fureai Kippu, which originated in a Japanese context, has also led to discussions in Germany about using such a time bank to save for help in old age.

Fureai Kippu was partly inspired by a Volunteer Labour Bank, a time bank founded by Teruko Mizushima in Osaka in 1973. It was similar to the Time Bank developed by Dr. Edgar Cahn in the USA in the 1980s. Members of the Volunteer Labour Bank swapped services for time credits, a mutual exchange. This time bank took on a pioneering role but most Fureai Kippu Organizations in Japan had other origins. During the 1980s, many self-help organizations developed to help older people and those needing care. Mutual help, however, is of great importance in Japanese culture. A favour should be repaid with a favour. Simply accepting help from volunteers was thus problematic for people in need. This is how ‘paid volunteering’ first took off, which has also been legally recognized. In this case the payment has symbolical character. From these self-help organizations originated many Fureai Kippu systems, which, for several reasons, combined payments in Yen and time currency. Actually, the volunteers themselves wanted to give unpaid help and the people who needed help made greater demands when their helpers were being paid. Fureai Kippu’s solution was simple: their volunteers would be paid in a time currency, which they could themselves later redeem. Additionally, part of their work would be symbolically paid. There are also hybrid forms in which the person needing help pays small amounts per hour, which go wholly or in part to cover the costs of the administrating organization. This also recognizes the fact that the very people who need help often have no opportunity to earn time credits. Currently the commonest Fureia Kippu model is a combination of payments in conventional currency and time currency. Thus it is different from ‘classic’ time banks, which mostly rely completely on reciprocity through time credits. The decline of Fureai Kippu systems in the 2000s can be traced to increased state supported services, which however are also partly declining due to high operating costs. Many of these systems are supported or co-financed by state or quasi-state organizations, for civil society in Japan is expected to play an important part in solving the collective demographic challenges. Even Fureai Kippu could face difficulties if too few healthy people are left to support a large number of needy people because of the demographic changes. On the other hand, some studies show that only 9% of volunteers cite saving time credits for their own old age as their main motivation for helping. The majority take part for altruistic reasons and say they do not intend to redeem their time credits.

Further reading:

Hayashi, M. (2012) ‘Japan’s Fureai Kippu Time-banking in Elderly Care: Origins, Development, Challenges and Impact’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (A) 30-44

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) is a British ‘think tank’, which promotes economic and ecological justice.
NEF has been the UK’s leading research organisation for money, credit and complementary currencies since 1986.

www.neweconomics.org

WIR Bank serves small and medium sized companies across Switzerland with seven branches and two main businesses, which grew out of the self-help organization WIR Economic Circle, founded by Werner Zimmermann in 1934. What began as a network of 300 firms and private individuals today includes 50,000 small and medium sized enterprises, which, with the help of the complementary currency ‘WIR’, generated a turnover of 1.43 billion Swiss francs in 2013.

The WIR system functions as a cash-free payment medium with its own currency that is pegged 1:1 to the Swiss Franc (ISO certificate: CHW). Interest is not paid on WIR savings and WIR loans are often cheaper than loans in Swiss francs. WIR transactions are only possible with other WIR members. As an approved credit institute with a banking license, WIR Bank can offer its customers joint loans in Swiss francs (CHF) and WIR (CHW), which, according to WIR Bank, “from a long-term perspective offer the most cost-effective financial products on the Swiss market.”

WIR Bank (Switzerland) Weblinks

Homepage: http://www.wir.ch/

Online banking Portal: https://wwwsec.wir.ch/

Marketplace: https://marktplatz.wir.ch/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wirbankgenossenschaft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wirbank

Google+: https://plus.google.com/106580524068869511405

Postal and business address

WIR Bank Genossenschaft Auberg 1 4002 Basel

Contact

Tel: +41 (0)848­ 947 947 Mail: info (at) wir.ch Opening hours: Mo – Fr 7.30 – 18.00 Uhr

The JAK Members’ Bank (swedisch: JAK Medlemsbank) is the first bank in Sweden to create an interest-free banking system for its members, based on the JAK Bank model. The abbreviation JAK stands for the Swedish words Jord, Arbete und Kapital – land, work, capital. The bank was founded in 1965 as a cooperative savings and loans organization and officially became a bank in December 1997. According to the cooperative, its main task is to offer its members interest-free loans. In 2007, the cooperative had 33,000 members (2005 = 28,000), who are served by 550 local representatives and 28 branches across Sweden. Total deposits in  2007 were around 87 million Euros; loans amounted to about 76 million Euros. The bank’s headquarters is in Skövde.

JAK Bank (Sweden) on the Web:

Homepage: http://jak.se/

German site: http://jak.se/german/

German Onlinebanking Portal: https://jakbank.jak.se/jak-services/main.iface

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jakmedlemsbank

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/3029853?trk=NUS_CO-logo

Postal and business address

Contact

Tel: +46 (0)500 464500 Mail: jak (at) jak.se

Opening hours: Mo-Thurs 9.30 – 16.00 Fr 9.30 – 15.00

fairventure-logo

Fairventure is „an initiative and a network for ‘cultural-creative’ people to come together undogmatically and learn about each other“.

The goal of Fairventure is to create an overview of the commonalities between various disciplines and specialisms and make them visible. The idea of Fairventure was substantially inspired by the ideas of Paul Hawken, who described the worldwide movement for change as the “immune system of the earth”. If one takes this image seriously, illuminating new perspectives emerge. Successful companies see themselves as “chaordic organizations” and the Open Source Movement is based on a similar understanding of cooperation and joint working: organisms and life are not just simple metaphors when used outside the fields of biology and medicine but are concepts that also describe facts in social and economic fields.

Fairventure congresses and conferences are organized through a voluntary organization. Ticket sales contribute to covering costs. Participants may pay a reduced entrance fee and in some cases receive a small fee for their contribution.

The first conference took place in Leipzig in 2012. Conferences then followed in Langenberg 2013, Berlin 2014, Stuttgart and Steyerberg 2015.

Other activities include economics courses for school students and young people (link to MONNETA courses).

http://fairventure.de/


za:rt is an Austrian initiative for practical networking activities between complementary currencies and exchange systems. The association provides a platform for networking groups from Austria, Germany and Switzerland.  They are represented on the advisory board. At yearly meetings, the participating systems agree on joint rules, which are based on the governing Rules.

Main activities of the association:

Clearing: The “3Countries Clearing” is a Platform for interregional accounting between exchange circles, exchange rings, cooperation rings, regional currencies etc. in the German speaking countries. Each system pegs the worth of its accounting unit to an ‘hour’. This volume forms the basis for mutual accounting.

Networking: participating systems administer offers and requests that may be of interest to other systems through a common interregional marketplace.

Software: za:rt offers its members professional advice, equipment and support through use of the online payments platform Cyclos. This software for administering complementary currency systems was originally developed by the dutch NGO STRO Foundation, which has established a worldwide community of developers and users.

Projects: The association is involved in supporting local projects and initiates its own projects around the Bodensee in order to promote trans-border cooperation and the development of projects around various themes that base themselves on the use of a regional payment medium. These projects include project “Community Provision”, supported by the EU Interreg Project between 2008 and 2011, in which five partners from Germany, Switzerland and Austria took part.

za:rt on the Web:

Homepage: http://www.zart.org/ Vernetzungs- und Clearing-Plattform: https://zart.cyclos-srv.net/3lc/do/login

Postal address

Verein für Zusammenarbeit regionaler Tauschsysteme/Transaktionssysteme Weidenweg 2 A 6850 Dornbirn ZVR-Zahl: 023089021

Contact

Tel. +43 (o)664 6366161 Mail: info (at) zart.org

Board members: Gernot Jochum-Mueller, Dornbirn (A), Obmann, GVN Interreg Projekt Rolf Schilling, Bildstein (A), Kassier, 3Länder Clearing Heidi Lehner, Zürich (CH), Schriftführerin, deutschsprachiges Cyclos Netzwerk

https://www.ecogood.org/sites/default/files/logo.png

The Common Good Economy is both an Idea and a movement. The Common Good Economy Movement wants, through a democratic, participatory and transparent process, to establish an economic system in which the common good has the highest priority. Money and economy should be means to an end rather than ends in themselves.

Structure of the Common Good Economy Movement

Pioneer entrepreneurs, consultants, auditors, speakers and many others get together across national borders in thematic Activist Circles in order to learn from each other and to coordinate their activities. The following Activist Circles currently exist:

Speakers Editors Consultants Auditors ‘Pioneer Companies’ (pioneer companies that have produced a ‘common good audit’) Ambassadors Science and Research International Coordination Facilitators.

Groups of people, companies and communities that are committed to realizing the vision of a common good economy at the local and regional level organize themselves as Energy Fields. There are 80 such Energy Fields worldwide at the moment.

At the national level, activities are coordinated twice a year through an Energy Field Networking Meeting. The international movement meets once a year for a Delegates’ Assembly. In order to realize the movement’s call for each member to have a direct democratic voice, the representative Delegates’ Assembly will be complemented in future by an Online Parliament for all members. Individuals, companies, community organizations, local authorities and regions can register on the website as Supporters. More than 7000 people have so far made use of this service. The movement is carried forward by the voluntary commitment of many people and through financial contributions by Sponsors.

Common Good Economy Weblinks

Homepage: https://www.ecogood.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Gemeinwohl.Oekonomie Twitter: https://twitter.com/gwoe/ youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbWn3kINrKpoIG4-_knsajw XING: https://www.xing.com/net/gemeinwohloekonomie/

Postal address

Post- und Büroadresse (auch Post für den Verein) Vereinsbüro Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie Garnisongasse 7/17 A-1090 Wien Medieninhaber Verein zur Förderung der Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie Laudongasse 56/18 A-1080 Wien

Contact

Tel. +49 (0)30 12064298 Mail: info (at) gemeinwohl-oekonomie.org represented by: Christian Felber (Obmann) Lisa Muhr (Obmann-Stellvertreterin) Manfred Kofranek (Schriftführer) Bernhard Drumel (Schriftführer-Stellvertreter) Franz Ryznar (Kassier) Ana Moreno (Kassier-Stellvertreterin)

The politically independent Modernising Money Association (MoMo) and its board of prestigious advisors are committed to making the financial economy serve the real economy and the money system serve the needs of people. The association was founded in October 2011 and has the goal of stimulating a public discussion of the ‘100% money’ monetary reform proposals of  Joseph Huber and launching a  Peoples’ Campaign.

Goals of the initiative:

1.Only the Central Bank should have the power to issue electronic money for loans in future

2.Commercial banks should no longer be all0wed to create their own fiat money, only lend out money that is already in existence

3.The Central Bank should normally bring new debt-free money into circulation by issuing it to local authorities and citizens.

The MoMo Association and the 100% Money Initiative on the Web

Homepage des Vereins: http://vollgeld.ch/verein-momo Homepage der Vollgeld-Initiative: http://www.vollgeld-initiative.ch/ Facebook: http://facebook.com/vollgeldreform Twitter: http://twitter.com/@Vollgeldreform youtube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf3KRYVKuDLVPSag6gLpjw

Postal address

MoMo Verein Monetäre Modernisierung
Postfach 3160
CH-5430 Wettingen Switzerland

Contact:

Vollgeld-Initiative

Infotelefon: +41 (0)44 586 69 94

Mail: info (at) vollgeld-initiative.ch / info (at) monnaie-pleine.ch

Main contact: Thomas Mayer

Other contacts: http://www.vollgeld-initiative.ch/ansprechpartner/

MoMo Verein Monetäre Modernisierung

Tel. +41 (0)79 773 34 50

Mail: info (at) vollgeld.ch

Board members: Hansruedi Weber (Präsident), Werner Kallenberger (Vizepräsident), Daniel Meier (Kassier, Geschäftsführung)

In 2012, a group of citizens interested in reform of the money system got together and founded the organization “Verein Monetative e.V.” in Berlin (Constitution here). The organization demands a fundamental reform of the current monetary system. It sees the main problems as follows:

  • the Central Bank only issues cash money whilst money for cashless transactions (fiat money) is exclusively created by commercial banks
  • banks continually create new fiat money ‘from nothing’ when they pay non-banks, for instance when they create loans, sell securities etc.
  • instability and financial crises are inevitable
  • the state and its citizens have to pay for banking crashes.

Its proposed reforms include:

  • reinstatement of the state’s ‘seigniorage’ power to create money, accountable to an independent fourth estate, the ‘monetative’
  • a so-called ‘100 % money’ system and the end of money creation by commercial banks
  • bringing new money into circulation through public spending for the benefit of society.

The organisation ‘Monetative e.V.’ is affiliated with the International Money Reform Movement. At both national and European levels it pursues the goal of social and economic research into the functionings of the money and financial systems, in particular money creation in history, in the present and in possible future scenarios; it is also engaged in knowledge sharing and adult education on these topics. The organization and its members:

  • organize regular information evenings, discuss technical questions in internal workshops and hold annual conferences (see Schedule)
  • contribute to the general clarification of the functionings of the money system
  • publish a regular Newsletter
  • contact journalists, politicians and organizations interested in money reform
  • cooperate with similar money reform initiatives worldwide.

Monetative on the Web

Homepage: http://www.monetative.de/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Monetative Twitter: https://twitter.com/Monetative youtube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkxcl3lSt0WOJN1q5tlDRuA

Postal address

Monetative e.V. Merseburgerstr. 14 10823 Berlin

Contact

Tel.  +49 (0)30 12064298 Mail: mail (at) monetative.de Vertreten durch: Klaus Karwat, 1. Vorsitzender

The initiative TALENT Switzerland is an exchange ring with its own currency and offers “exchange with an alternative currency all over Switzerland”. TALENT is an interest-free exchange medium that offers a counterbalance to market globalization. TALENT was founded in 1993 by the Initiative for a Natural Economic Order. TALENT Switzerland has been an independently constituted voluntary organisation since 2001. TALENT Switzerland offers its members a networking platform with an online marketplace where offers can be made and paid for cashlessly through TALENT members’ accounts. Both professional and informal goods and services can be exchanged. Regional members’ groups organize local events and exchange markets. There are currently groups in the following regions:

TALENT Switzerland on the Web

http://www.talent.ch

Postal address

Verein Talent Schweiz 5000 Aarau

Contact

Tel.  +41 (0)44 586 84 53 Skype: talentschweiz

Mail: info (at) talent.ch

Secretariat: Ursula Dold

Tel. +41 (0)44 586 84 53
Opening hours Mondays from 08.30 – 11.30 am

Mail: sekretariat (at) talent.ch

President:  Ursula Dold Postfach 459, 9113 Degersheim Tel. P. +41 (0)71 511 25 93

Mail: ursuladold (at) talent.ch