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Business Administration Course – From Barter to Bitcoin and Beyond: Re-imagining Money for a Sustainable Future

First Cycle Course. 7.5 credits

The Lund University offers an interesting course of Business Administration.

Learning outcomes

Growing inequality, apocalyptic environmental damage, and the protracted effects of a global financial crisis have resulted in a discussion on the role of our monetary system for the organization of society. At the same time, new technological and financial developments are giving rise to much experimentation on new forms of money. This course looks at various attempts to “re-imagine money.” It explores opportunities for addressing big societal challenges and asks in particular how new forms of money can contribute to developing more just and equal societies. A passing grade on the course will be awarded to students who:

1. Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how our national and international monetary systems work.
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify relevant research topics within the are of international strategic management of trade and monetary exchange.

2. Competence and skills

  • Demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge on international management, monetary theory, and digital technologies to analyse, assess and deal with issues related to various forms of local, national and international monies.
  • Demonstrate an ability to independently identify a social / environmental challenge and formulate a design for a monetary system addressing that challenge,
  • Demonstrate an ability to assess the potentials and limitations of particular monetary system and clearly present arguments of its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the future challenges and main issues related to international strategic management of glocal monetary systems.

3. Judgement and approach

  • Demonstrate an ability to assess the boundaries of the current monetary system and discuss the opportunities and limitations for change agents to impact it.
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify their need of further knowledge concerning monetary systems and technologies and to take responsibility for developing their knowledge.

Course content

Imagine you have the possibility to re-imagine our monetary system: Where would you start? How would you build it on the new monetary technologies? How would you work to make it more conducive to just and equal societies? The global financial crisis of 2008 marked the beginning of an intense discussion on the consequences of our monetary system on the organization of our societies. The concentration of wealth in “the one percent” in parallel to austerity policies, the increase of prices of financial assets parallel to a retrenchment of the welfare state have resulted in a generalised realisation that the monetary system has not been serving the interests of the population as a whole. The discussion on the organization of our monetary system is however as much driven by frustration towards the financial system as it is by excitement about new monetary developments. New payment systems (such as Swish or Apple Pay), the decline of cash, the emergence of digital currencies (such as Bitcoin and Ethereum) as well as local currencies (such as Time Dollars, Regiogeld or Transition Town currencies) and the development of new financial practices (such as P2P lending, crowdfunding or ICOs) are opening up our thinking on money and our possibilities to re-imagine, re-organize and re-claim money. That is, the changing nature of money is giving rise to a wave of experimentation on new forms of money. These experiments see money not as an obstruction but as a vehicle for constructing more sustainable economies, more resilient communities and more fair societies. While these new monetary ideas and real-life efforts may seem contradictory, money scholars, practitioners and activists agree that money needs to be re-organized, that this can be done from the bottom-up, and that we can indeed imaginatively engage with the future of money. This course is addressed to students who want to explore the idea that money can be re-designed. Students will be exposed to the theoretical and practical realities that come with “re-imagining money”. The course does not require previous knowledge in neither finance nor economics or technology. It however does ask students to be open to actively engage in re-thinking the monetary landscape. We will do this through a monetary workshop at the end of the course, in which student groups will be designing a monetary system for a particular social purpose.

Course design

The course combines a variety of methods, ranging from traditional lectures, case studies, interaction-based pedagogy, reading groups, student debates, group work, and money co-creation workshops. Students are expected to participate actively in class.

Assessment

Examination in this course is a two-step process:

  • Mid-course written exam; max. 2 pages. In a short written essay, students will be asked to describe an aspect of the current monetary system.
  • Final written take-home assignment; max. 5 pages. Students will be asked to design a monetary system to address a particular social / environmental challenge. In a written essay, students will be asked to present the monetary system they have designed and discuss its potential and limitations. This exam needs to engage the literature discussed throughout the course. The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability. Sub-courses that are part of this course can be found in an appendix at the end of this document.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are that the student has taken courses in Business Administration corresponding to 30 credits

 

Further information can be found on:

www.lunduniversity.lu.se/Business-Administration-course

www.ijccr.net/Business-Administration-course

 

The online-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 get to 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 digital lectures and discussions with experts from different fields, as well as in the final project work. This year, the AEMS will also feature ideas for solutions to the financial crisis triggered by COVID-19.

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

(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

Since most events were cancelled in March 2020, very few have been scheduled, most online. We hope this situation will change soon.
If you know of an event related to our topics that should appear here, let us know.

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.

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)

 

“Going Digital? New Possibilities of Digital-Community Currency Systems”

Only in the past few years, crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and other altcoins/ tokens have rapidly spread all over the world, expanded its scale, and increased its number. However, we have witnessed in the recent bubble burst of crypto currencies that they have become quite volatile, speculative financial instruments to the extent that they can no longer be called ‘currency’ or ‘money’ to facilitate steady transactions. On the other hand, various social or community-oriented digital coins for promoting local consumption and social investments in the same spirit of community currencies have already been implemented or are currently planned not only in Japan but also in the world.

We are currently approaching a cashless economy where electronic representations of money replace such traditional currency as coin or bank note and the transaction can be done through transfer of digital information. Sweden is close to a perfect model of cashless economy since 99% of payments are conducted without cash. In East Asia, Korea and China are well known as highly cashless economies, where electronic payment systems and digital coins are widely accepted.

Do digital technologies such as blockchain, mining, proof of work and QR code settlement that are used in digital/crypto currencies open up a wide range of non-fiat, private decentralized money systems and create new possibilities for community/complementary currencies? Do they change the basic concepts of geographical ‘community’ or ‘local’ to more ‘community of interest’ or ‘abstractly local’ in value space? Or do they have any positive/ negative effects on natural, ecological and cultural environments surrounding us?

It would be necessary to ask these questions when seeking a better way for integrating/ hybridizing good genes of both crypto currencies and community currencies. We would like to invite a wide range of academicians, researchers and practitioners to join us and give answers to the questions affirmatively or negatively.

More generally, proposals on any topics covered by the scope of RAMICS will be positively considered, that is, on diverse monetary and social exchange systems, such as schemes that contribute to economic diversity, social cohesion, democratic participation and environmental sustainability, like complementary and community currencies.

More information, contact and registration on the organiser’s website

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.