Three common Misconceptions
Three threatening Results
Three possible Solutions

In this 2013 presentation late Prof Margrit Kennedy describes three misconceptions most people hold about money; the results of these misconceptions, and thirdly offers three possible solutions in terms of monetary innovations. What is money? Let’s take the good news first. Money is one of the most ingenious inventions of humankind. It helps the exchange of goods and services and overcomes the limitations of barter, thereby creating the possibility of specialization, which is the basis of civilization. Why then do we have a money problem?

Slides of the presentation can be downloaded here, a transcript here.

John Rogers ran a local exchange system in Wales from 1993-2003, co-directed the Wales Institute for Community Currencies at the University of Newport from 2003-2007 and is the author of three books on local currencies.

In July 2013, he was invited by Professor Bendell at IFLAS (The Institute for Leadership and Sustainability) in the University of Cumbria, England, to give an Open Lecture on community currencies.

National currency is a highly successful ‘social technology’ that enables us to do business with each other, to build roads, schools and hospitals and run complex modern economies. But all this comes at a price. The interest-bearing money system behind it creates debt and erodes regional autonomy.

Local currencies are necessary as a counterbalance and come in many shapes and forms. But an even more challenging question than ‘why’ we need them is ‘how to do them’.

John Rogers outlines three ‘Ms’ as guiding principles for successful local currency development:

Mavericks
– most local currencies are run by people outside the mainstream who can see a different way of doing local economies – we should encourage the mavericks

Methodology – we need more methodology and less ideology around local currency development in order to ensure that they are designed, managed and governed well

Maps – we need to make richer maps of the unmet needs and underused resources in each region before introducing local currencies.

Even the experts rarely agree on the answer to this question. The worldwide crisis, into which the property bubble in the USA and the large ‘system relevant’ banks have sucked us all, shows however that this question is becoming more and more a question of survival for many people. Should we leave it to the speculators and the stock markets in the so called ‘free market’ to decide what our currency is worth? Or are we in a position to decide for ourselves with which currency we pay? You can download the whole presentation as a PDF here (9.8 MB) .