Margrit Kennedy committed herself to the search for better economic solutions for almost three decades. She co-developed practical alternatives, such as the “Chiemgauer” currency in Bavaria. She gave hundreds of talks and interviews, wrote several books and many articles.
Her first career was as an international architect, regional planner and ecologist. She worked in the USA, Scotland, Nigeria, Australia and Germany for organizations such as the OECD and UNESCO. From 1979 to 1984, she led a research faculty for ecology, energy and womens’ projects in Berlin, which was followed by a guest professorship for city ecology at the technical university in Kassel, Germany. Later she was an active member of a group that planned and established a model ecological project with 150 inhabitants at Steyerberg in Niedersachsen, Germany, where she lived until her death. In 1991, she became professor in the architecture faculty of the University of Hannover and led the department for “technical development and resource-efficient building” until 2002.
In 1982, she discovered compound interest to be a socially and ecologically significant “flaw in the money system”. She worked on solutions to the far-reaching problems caused by demand for interest on capital. She fought against the injustice of a financial economy that systematically transfers wealth to the already wealthy.
She argued money should be created to realize particular goals and that the money system should be transformed into an instrument serving everyone in society.

One result of this work is the book Interest and Inflation Free Money, which has been translated into 20 languages.

For more information about Margrit Kennedy:

Margrit Kennedy died at home in Steyerberg on 28 December 2013.

Bernard Lietaer has been active in a wide variety of functions in the world of finance. At the Belgian Central Bank he was responsible for the introduction of the convergence mechanism for the single European currency system (ECU). After a period as president of the electronic payment system in Belgium he was cofounder and general manager of the successful hedge fund ‘Gaia Hedge II’ and lecturer in sustainable economics at the Institute for Sustainable Resources at the University of California at Berkeley and at the Sorbonne in Paris. He has worked as a consultant on four continents, advising both multinational companies and developing countries. A former professor of International Finance at the University of Louvain, he has also taught at Sonoma State University and Naropa University.  He is currently a Research Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California at Berkeley.  He is also a member of the Club of Rome,  a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, the World Business Academy,  and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.  Bernard Lietaer has written numerous articles and books.

Bernard Lietaer died from cancer on February 4th 2019.


Bernard has authored and co-authored many books on monetary themes e.g.:

The Future of Money: Creating New Wealth, Work and a Wiser World (1999)

People Money: The Promise of Regional Currencies (2012)

Money and Sustainability: A Report from the Club of Rome (2012)


John Rogers has been developing and promoting local and regional currencies since 1993. He was co-director of the Wales Institute for Community Currencies at the University of Newport and has written three books about regional currencies:

John currently advises local currency projects in the UK and mainland Europe.

John Rogers can be reached here: info(at)



Prof. Dr. Ulrich Scheiper teaches economics and political economy at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt and was a member of the Advisory Board of the German Regional Economics Association.

He writes this about himself: “The ‘fog around money’ also long prevented me from getting a clear view of the great flaws in our money system. The fog first cleared for me through suggestions from and talks with Roland Spinola and through the book “The Money Syndrome” by Helmut Creutz. Later I learned much about regional currencies with the help of Margrit Kennedy. I admire regional currency initiatives because they tirelessly work for their idea and because they are committed to democratic control of money. Another important step for me was when my highly valued colleague Karl-Heinz Brodbeck made it clear to me that “money is not a thing but a form of thinking, reproduced billions of times, that endows an abstract unit with power” and that the greed for money will constantly find new avenues as long as there is money.

Ulrich Scheiper seeks, through talks, workshops and articles to bring the ideas of those pioneers who have inspired him to as many people as possible.

Franz Galler (age 51) comes from the Bavarian community of Ainring and is the founder of the regional currency initiative Sterntaler and the cooperative RegioSTAR eG. As a trained bank manager he worked in the banking business for over 25 years and is now an independent wealth advisor. In 2010 he founded the ‘Office for sustainable regional development’, through which he organized a new course called ‘Sustainable economy in rural areas’ in the Technical University in Munich in 2011. Galler is a strong advocate of regional autonomy and living civic participation instead of dependence on the state or the global economy. He pursues the way back to a human scale through concrete projects. The cooperative RegioSTAR eG runs its own village shop, permaculture projects and above all a service-backed regional currency to complement the Euro, all of which can serve as a safety net in the case of possible currency crises. In his public talks he demonstrates new regional ways out of the ‘mental prison of money’ and gives practical examples for a different relationship to money. He propagates solutions based on regionality instead of globalisation, on cooperation instead of competition and on sustainability instead of on growth and environmental destruction. (cooperative and business vehicle for the Sterntaler) (office for sustainable regional development)

Information on the training program „Nachhaltige Ökonomie in ländlichen Räumen” at the Technical University (Hochschule) München: Info-Flyer (pdf, 468 kb) Referenten-Liste (pdf, 229 kb)

Prof. Dr. Harald Spehl was born in 1940 in Hohen-Neuendorf near Berlin and studied economics in Münster, Berlin und Rosario/Argentina. Later he was a research and teaching assistant at the universities of Münster and Cologne, gaining his doctorate in 1970. From 1973-1975 he was Professor of Economics in the Planning Deparment at the University of Dortmund, from 1975 to 2007 Professor of Economics (specialised in city and regional economies) at the University of Trier. His research interests included: regional development and regional politics, ecological and sustainable development as well as economic and social cooperation.

He is a Member of the Academy for Spatial Research and Regional Planning in Hannover, founding Member of the Association for Ecological Economics, Member of the Society for Regional Research, the Regional Science Association and the Regional Studies Association.

He is a member of the board of the Institute for Current Social Questions in Stuttgart and since 1995 the Chair of TAURUS – Trierer Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Umwelt-, Regional- und Strukturforschung e.V. (The Association for Environmental, Regional and Structural Research), an institute of the University of Trier.

After his retirement in Trier in 2007, he was a co-founder of the Cusanus-Hochschule where the teaching of economics is not restricted to neo-liberal economics but a whole spectrum of economics theories is taught.

Rolf Merten, born 1952, trained as a wholesale and export merchant, an economist and a psychologist. He took advanced training with the Bavarian Rural Medical Chamber in psychotherapy and pyschoanalysis, Gestalt therapy training in Berlin and at the Fritz Perls Institute in Düsseldorf, where he now teaches.

Rolf has been the manager of the ‘Inselhaus Children and Youth Help Organisation’ in Wolfratshausen for the last 28 years. He also runs a psychotherapy practice in Eurasburg (Obb.). He is also the chair of the Oberland Regional Association and co-founder of the Association for Regional Currencies “Der REGIO”, which operates in several regions, mostly in southern Germany:

The idea that each country should have one currency is so deeply rooted in people’s minds that the possibility of multiple and concurrent currencies seems unthinkable. Monetary systems contribute to problems of high unemployment and social distress during financial and economic crisis, so reforms to increase the responsiveness and flexibility of the monetary system can be part of the solution.

This book discusses ‘monetary plurality’, which is the circulation of several currencies at the same time and space. It addresses how multiple currency circuits work together and transform socio-economic systems, particularly by supporting economies at the local level of regions and cities. The book shows that monetary plurality has been ubiquitous throughout history and persists at present because the existence of several currency circuits facilitates small-scale production and trade in a way that no single currency can accomplish on its own.

Monetary plurality can improve resilience, access to livelihoods and economic sustainability. At the same time, it introduces new risks in terms of economic governance, so it needs to be properly understood. The book analyses experiences of monetary plurality in Europe, Japan, and North and South America, written by researchers from East and West and from the global North and South. Replete with case studies, this book will prove a valuable addition to any student or practitioner’s bookshelf.


1. The monetary system as an evolutionary construct – Georgina M. Gómez;
2. Monetary Plurality in Economic Theory – Jérôme Blanc, Ludovic Desmedt, Laurent Le Maux, Jaime Marques-Pereira, Pepita Ould-Ahmed and Bruno Théret;
3. Making sense of the plurality of money: a Polanyian attempt – Jérôme Blanc;
4. How does monetary plurality work at the household level? The division of labour among currencies in Argentina (1998-2005) – Georgina M. Gómez;
5. Monetary federalism as A concept and its Empirical underpinnings in Argentina’s monetary history – Bruno Théret;
6. Famine of Cash: Why Have Local Monies Remained Popular throughout Human History? Akinobu Kuroda;
7. The pervasiveness of monetary plurality in economic crisis and wars – Georgina M. Gómez and Wilko von Prittwitz und Gaffron;
8. Birth, Life and Death of a Provincial Complementary Currency from Tucuman, Argentina (1985 – 2003) – Bruno Théret;
9. Community Currency and Sustainable Development in Hilly and Mountainous Areas: A Case Study of Forest Volunteer Activities in Japan – Yoshihisa Miyazaki and Ken-ichi Kurita;
10. Sustainable Territorial Development and Monetary Subsidiarity – Marie Fare;
11. Relationship between people’s money consciousness and circulation of community currency –  Shigeto Kobayashi, Takashi Hashimoto, Ken-ichi Kurita and Makoto Nishibe;
12. Gaming Simulation using Electronic Community Currencies: Behavioural Analysis of Self-versus-Community Consciousness – Masahiro Mikami and Makoto Nishibe;
13. For the policy maker: when and how is monetary plurality an option – Georgina M. Gómez.

For more information and to order this book directly from the publisher see

Jump directly to the following questions covered in this interview:

Q 1 – Where does money come from?
Q 2 – Is money neutral?
Q 3 – Why is money scarce?
Q 4 – Can this monetary system work sustainably?
Q 5 – Does the financial system need growth?
Q 6 – Why are you interested in monetary-systems?
Q 7 – Do we have just one monetary system at the moment? Like a monopoly?
Q 8 – What would you propose regarding the monetary system?
Q 9 – Are there alternatives to the current monetary system?
Q 10 – Why is there this speechlessness about money-topics?
Q 11a – What kind of behaviour does our money-system create between people?
Q 11b – Does the scarcity of money harm only the poor people?
Q 11c – What does money do to people and their relationships?
Q 12 – How did you discover complementary currencies?
Q 13 – Did the knowledge of complementary currencies effect your life?
Q 14 – What do you think your co-author Margrit Kennedy achieved in regard to monetary systems?
Q 15 – Are there changes to this financial system?
Q 16 – What do you think about internet-based currencies like Bitcoin and the new technology Blockchain?
Q 17 – You observed the global financial development for decades. What do you conclude from your experience?
Q 18 – Where do you see practical progress concerning complementary currencies?
Q 19 – What would you propose for countries which are in Euro-crisis like Greece?
Q 20 – If you were in power, what would you do?
Q 21 – What do you think about the Euro?
Q 22 – For which task do we need the Euro?
Q 23 – Could a currency have influence on the question of war or peace?
Q 24 – Are there “currency-wars” or wars because of currencies?
Q 25 – Does the money-system polarize?
Q 26 – Can a national lead-currency deprive other currencies and nations?
Q 27 – What is the motivation for your work?
Q 28 – Do you like to give a message to the next generation?

Jump directly to the following questions covered in this interview:

Q 1 –   How did you start thinking about money?
Q 2 –   Is your work on money-systems related to your personal experiences?
Q 3 –   What did you expect when you started your research and what do you think about your findings today?
Q 4 –   Do you see any positive effect of the financial-crisis of 2008?
Q 5 –   Do you think we will experience more financial crises in the future?
Q 6 –   Where do you see big obstacles for changing the financial system?
Q 7 –   Which practical projects do you consider capable of changing something in our economy?
Q 8 –   How likely is it, trying to make a living with work that you really enjoy?
Q 9 –   What would you tell people who feel helpless and ask, what they can do to make a change?
Q 10 – Does the monetary system hurt people? Do you have personal experience with systemic violence of the financial system?
Q 11 – How is scarcity of money artificially built into our system?
Q 12 – Regarding your children – what do you fear and what do you hope for?