In June 2014 the European Central Bank dropped its base interest rate below 0% for the first time. It charges “negative interest” on overnight deposits of commercial banks and is not the first or only bank to do this. With this policy central banks hope to stimulate commercial banks to make loans into the real economy instead of depositing excess money with the central bank. As a result the inter-bank interest rates also fell below zero and some banks introduced fees on deposits in current accounts of large customers.

(New date to be confirmed)
The advent of the financial crisis caused economists, politicians and citizens to question the legitimacy of a debt-based money system and highlighted the need to reassess our beliefs about the nature of money and the workings of the banking sector.

Today, with a new financial crisis on the horizon, the need to understand and rethink money and banking seems more important than ever. In line with an increasing number of politicians and economists, we acknowledge the urgency of understanding the deficiencies of the current money system and the need to examine monetary reforms and alternative forms of money as means to create a more stable and sustainable future.

On this basis, Gode Penge and IMMR will gather international experts on March 21 2020 to assess and discuss advantages and disadvantages of various monetary reforms and new forms of money with the further aim of examining how a sustainable money system could be designed in today’s digitized and globalized world.

The speakers of the conference are:
– Prof. Dr. Thomas Mayer (Ex-Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank)
– Miguel Fernandez Angel Ordonez (Ex-President of the Spanish Central bank)
– Prof. Steve Keen (University College London)
– Prof. Michael Hudson (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
– Svein Harald Øygard (Former Central Bank Governor of Iceland and former Deputy Minister of Finance in Norway)
– Prof. Dr. Fabian Schär (University of Basel)
– Prof. Joseph Huber (Monetative)
– Prof. Ole Bjerg (Copenhagen Business School)
– Prof. Mary Mellor (University of Northumbria)
– Jón Helgi Egilsson (Monerium)
– Edgar Wortmann (lawyer and member of OnsGeld)
– Prof. Dr. Martijn Van Der Linden (The Hague University)
– Leander Bindewald (Ph.D. in economics and member of Monneta)

Attendance is free of charge. Book your ticket now on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/future-of-money-private-vs-sovereign-currencies-tickets-89462315193

For further information please visit our website: https://futureofmoney2020.godepenge.dk/

For discount on selected hotels in Copenhagen or any other inquiries you are more than welcome to contact us via conference2020@godepenge.dk

The summer school Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems (AEMS; 5 ECTS, completely in English) addresses the problems of the current economic and financial systems from a holistic perspective and offers an overview of innovative reform proposals. The interdisciplinary program is open to students and professionals of all fields, who learn about why a drastic systemic change is needed in order to reach the climate target of 1.5°C. The orientation towards illusory limitless growth will be critically questioned and discussed in lectures, workshops and (panel) discussions with experts from different fields, as well as a final project work.

More information on the program and application process can be found here.

The report from 2019 with 51 participants from 23 nations can be found here. There is also an Image-Video available.

For more than two decades now, various forms of complementary currencies emerged all over the world, aiming at “taking back local economies” (North 2014). CCs are commonly understood as media of exchange (Hallsmith/Lietaer 2011) or accounting systems (Fare/Ould- Ahmed 2017) that are used within a particular group of users. Responding to broader debates on our current monetary system, they exemplify how civil society actors offer various attempts from the local to the global level to reconstruct money in order to make it a tool for economic, social, political and/or ecological purposes. In most cases, they tend to be, however, rather small and short-termed.

This panel addresses complementary currency schemes as actors of economic and social change. It particularly aims to identify factors that influence the success and longevity of such schemes. A comparative discussion of different forms and types shall help to explore what internal and external conditions seem to facilitate or hamper success. Related issues might also be discussed, such as the underlying ethics, the modes of economic exchange within the circuits, their contribution to sustainable development and/or resilience.

More information and contact on the organiser website: www.ramics.org

A new book by Bernard Lietaer shows the way to a sustainable world and calls for concrete measures from individuals and leaders.

Lietaer calls for a new perspective and three paradigm shifts essential for survival. With unsuitable means we half-heartedly try to repair the complicated clockwork of our world. This gets us nowhere. It won’t get us out of the crisis. The time has come to choose a completely different perspective and to lead ourselves and our world through “three paradigm shifts”.
This is what Bernard Lietaer demands in this book, which he dictated on his deathbed.

First: Recognize and adhereto the law of sustainability.
Lietaer shows that in our world we are dealing with “living systems” that are linked in many ways. With forests, our money, our society, and .. and .. and. Our well-being depends on the future sustainability of these systems. Lietaer’s “Law of the Sustainability of Living Systems”, developed with other experts, explains and specifies the principles ofsustainability: It says that living systems are only sustainable if they achieve a balance between productivity and elasticity. Balance, therefore, between short-term benefits of long-term existence. Just like that of Yin and Yang -not an “either -or”. We violate this law criminally. We have driven mostliving systemsout of balance. Monocultures of all kinds, for example, emphasize short-term benefits and are not even sustainablein the short term without massive additional costs, as Lietaer shows with the example of forests and today’s monetary system.Lietaer calls on readers to ensure that this law is recognizedand complied with. Both as individuals and as leaders in business and politics, readers arechallenged to balance the short-sighted overvaluation of rapid returnwith the preservation of resilience.

Second: Balance matrifocal and patrifocal values.
In order to viewour society within the framework of the law of sustainability, Bernard Lietaer uses the terms “matrifocal” (“give and maintain”) and “patrifocal” (“take and have”). Both men and women follow this pair of values, each person according to their personal orientation. From this point of view it becomes clear that here, too, we are violating the law of sustainability. All over the world we live bypatrifocal (“have”) values and neglect the matrifocal (“give”) side of balance, as we can seein our dealings with education, the elderly, people in need of care and with each other. Even though Lietaer sees signs of improvement, he does not only demand a fundamental change in our values in this area. He invites his readers to become aware of these values in themselves and to achieve their personal balance. Leaders must also establish and maintain a matrifocal/patrifocal balance in their areas of responsibility.

Third: Make personal information personal again.
An extremely important system for the sustainability of mankind is the flow of human information. It enables learning and solving problems together. This is also why the “General declarations of human rights” declares unhindered flow of information a principle human right. Bernard Lietaer shows that this system, which is essential for survival, is completely out of balance. Companies have centralized flow of information and exploit it to their advantage. We individuals have thus been dispossessed of our information and, from the point of view of the law of sustainability the information system has deeply slipped into the “productivity corner”. The answer, says Bernard Lietaer, is to restore personal ownership of our information. This must be achieved jointly by both IT companies and governments. A convincing message. Despite addressing at first glance a seemingly complex matter the book creates a convincing message – in simple and clear descriptions, examples and pictures.

“Towards a sustainable world” will be available here from Dec 2019. A German edition is planned for 2020.

More information on www.sustainable-world.ch

International conference on complementary currencies:

The Complementary Currencies and Societal Challenges conference will be held in Brussels, Belgium, organised by the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi) and the Research Association on Monetary Innovation and Community and Complementary Currency Systems (RAMICS).

The event is designed to include academic and practitioner knowledge and will be organized in two days:

 

  • November 21 (evening) – Closing event of (E)change Bruxelles project co-organized with Financité

This social event closes the (E)change Bruxelles action-research project co-organized between the Universite libre de Bruxelles and Financite. It celebrates the emergence of the new Brussels local currency ‘La Zinne’. Researchers participating to the research seminar of the 22nd November are welcome to join this social event, although it is not compulsory.

  • November 22: A research seminar (in English) on the following 5 themes:

–          CC and urban resilience

–          CC and civil society

–          Technology and CC

–          CC and entrepreneurship

–          Ethics and CC

The surge of growth of cryptocurrencies and digital money have recently caught the attention of both management scholars and practitioners (Brière et al., 2015; Dodgson et al., 2015; Iansiti & Lakhani, 2017; Lehr & Lamb, 2018; Michelman, 2017; Posnett, 2015; Vergne & Swain, 2017). However, cryptocurrencies are only one of the latest forms of complementary currencies (Blanc, 2016). Before the emergence of cryptocurrencies, complementary currencies were mainly conceived of and issued by citizens, nonprofits, businesses, and even local public administrations, and circulated within a defined geographical region or community (Cohen, 2017; Dissaux & Fare, 2017; Guéorguieva-Bringuier & Ottaviani, 2018; Lietaer, 2001). Also known as local, social, regional and alternative currencies, these complementary currency systems are often developed to respond to societal needs and aspirations that official currencies do not address (Meyer & Hudon, 2017; Fraňková et al., 2017; North, 2007). Specifically, they can be designed to promote sustainable behavior, build community social capital, and foster trade and local development (Blanc & Fare, 2013; Collom, 2007; Gomez & Helmsing, 2008; Marshall & O’Neill, 2018; Seyfang & Longhurst, 2013). For example, inter-enterprise currencies are mainly used in business-to-business networks in order to facilitate the exchange of goods and services between small and medium-sized enterprises (Meyer & Hudon, Forthcoming; Stodder, 2009).

Complementary currencies are socio-economic innovations aiming to address societal challenges of social cohesion, economic inclusion and environmental preservation (Stodder, 2009; Joachain & Klopfert, 2014; Michel & Hudon, 2015, Sanz, 2016). This conference aims to gather researchers and practitioners to explore and debate the potential of complementary currencies for sustainable development and socio-economic resilience (Ulanowicz et al., 2009; Gregory, 2014; Graugaard, 2012). We believe that the topic is one that is predestined for cross-disciplinary research and for thinking beyond established boundaries. We invite conceptual and empirical submissions drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives and diverse methodologies to explore complementary currencies, including researchers working on cryptocurrencies.

For questions, please contact the organisers: Marek Hudon (mhudon@ulb.ac.be); Hélène Joachain (helene.joachain@ulb.ac.be) and Camille Meyer (cmeyer@uvic.ca)

 

In the wake of the 2008 crisis, governments worldwide have rescued the financial system at a high societal cost, yet without a systemic reform to correct its weaknesses. Today a broad reflection is emerging on how to create a more stable financial system at the service of people and planet. Many actors inside and outside of the financial sector are pushing past current practices and mind-sets with a view to making our money more sustainable.
A shift in the financial system seems well underway. Technologies like Blockchain allow a range of societal actors to create decentralised money systems. Civil society actors put pressure on the financial sector to act more responsibly. And if Facebook’s 2,3 billion users accept Libra as means of exchange, the monopoly of fiat money will be a thing of the past. How can policy makers ensure all these evolutions contribute to a sustainable and just world?

IN THIS CONTEXT THE WORK OF BERNARD LIETAER (1942-2019) ON SUSTAINABLE FINANCIAL ECOSYSTEMS IS MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER.

The aim of this think tank event organised by the Club of Rome EU-chapter is to explore the core insights of his work, and to discuss with participants the leverages at policy level that are needed today.
More information on facebook.

The Summer School Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems (Vienna, 5 ECTS, completely in English) is open to students and professionals of all fields and offers alternatives to the processes that are putting strains on our economic and eco-social boundaries. In addition to classic and new concepts from the field of economics, students will also hear presentations from natural and social sciences and discuss the actual leeway for economic and monetary reform. Reports from the last years can be found here.

More information and how to apply here.

Which challenges does digitalization pose to money, banking and monetary policy? Should central banks introduce digital cash to respond to these challenges? Which consequences would digital cash have for the economy? Are other or further reforms needed?

We want to build on the success of the conference “The future of money” in Frankfurt last November and once again gathered international experts, central banks, researchers and banks to discuss proposals for how a sustainable money system could be designed in today’s digitized and globalized world.

The conference will be in three parts: (1) the problems of the current development, (2) the e-krona, and (3) alternative solutions beyond the e-krona. All parts will end with a panel discussion.

More Information and registration on the organisers’ website.