The book People Powered Money (download as PDF) is one of the results of the project Community Currencies in Action (CCIA), which ran between 2011 and 2015. CCIA, which was part-funded by the European Union through its Interreg program, was the largest transnational project in the area of complementary currencies. It brought together experts from north-west Europe and coordinated six pilot projects in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.
This book takes the results of these pilot projects and insights from the wider movement for the renewal of currencies and offers both decision makers and practitioners alike information and advice for the successful implementation of a currency project in a community. With the correct insights and support, users can gain many economic, social and environmental advantages. The text of this book is also available, unformatted, in German, French and Dutch.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part provides a non-technical overview of the potential advantages of community currencies along with some basic pragmatic observations about them and will be of use to decision makers or people who are new to the field.
Chapter 1 presents the rich and various background of complementary currencies and sets the following sections in the context of their historical legacy.
Chapter 2 describes the goals of community currencies and underlines the importance of goal-oriented design. The book then describes in detail four benefits of new currencies: increased quality of public services; support for small and medium enterprises; social inclusion and building local networks; improvement of environmental sustainability.
Chapter 3 gives an overview of typical participants in a community currency project and what level of engagement or contribution might be expected from each. Challenges of large, complex, multi-partner projects pose are discussed here.
Part 2 focuses on details of planning and implementing a currency. This section is (necessarily) more technical but also useful and accessible to the uninitiated.
Chapter 4 summarizes the most important considerations in designing a currency and, although it is stressed that each community currency is unique, provides some guidelines for planning currencies.
This is followed by a more detailed discussion in Chapter 5 of some of the technical planning requirements typically involved in a community currency. Then the discussion moves away from planning local currencies to cover, in Chapter 6, the greatest challenges to creating successful currency projects. A currency can look great on paper but without solid organizational structure and assured cost recovery it is difficult to sustain a project.
Chapter 7 deals in more detail with the development of effective communications, which is fundamental to starting a currency project and for ensuring the right people are on board at each phase. Finally, Chapter 8 covers evaluation of a currency project. For both individual community currencies and for the entire field, it is important to collect evidence in order to learn what works and what does not, which aspects of the planning were effective or not and why, and how such projects can be further refined and developed.
CCIA: People Powered Money – Designing, developing & delivering community currencies,
New Economics Foundation, London, 2015
Print ISBN: 978-1-908506-78-8 | ePub ISBN: 978-1-908506-80-1
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