This free online course by the University of Cumbria will enable you to understand the past, present and future role of money in society. The 4th cohort starts 21st August 2016 and lasts 4 weeks. This course runs in English only.

More information and registration here.

Are you concerned with the banking system? Bemused or fascinated by bitcoin? Starting a local currency? Whereas most courses on money are intended for people with an economics background or banking future, this course is for people who are interested in understanding money from a social innovation perspective – it prepares the ground for answering how to create a better future by reshaping money and currency.

The course is therefore highly interdisciplinary, drawing upon anthropology, sociology, history and heterodox economics. It is designed by Professor Jem Bendell PhD (IFLAS) and Matthew Slater BD (Community Forge), with additional tutoring by Leander Bindewald MA (IFLAS).

The first iteration in March 2015 saw around 100 people complete the full 4 lessons over one month, and many now interact in the Alumni Forum. Five progressed to attended the full certificate course in London.
The next offering of the MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) starts online on Aug 21st 2016 and runs for one month, with four lessons:

Lesson One: An introduction to money: functions, forms, and fallacies

Lesson Two: The history of money and its discontents

Lesson Three: The problems with mainstream monetary systems

Lesson Four: Alternatives

Each lesson begins on a Sunday, consisting of an audio Powerpoint of less than two hours (which you can listen to when you want within the following days), followed by two hours of personal reading and one hour to prepare a written assignment of around 500 words, which must be submitted by the Thursday of that week.

Participants can view and comment on each other’s assignments in the forum, and can interact as they wish, with tutors commenting on assignments in the forum.

Lessons Two and Four are followed by one hour webinars with the tutors, which occur on Saturday mornings at 10am. You need access to a decent broadband connection but do not need any special software to engage in the course. If without a powerpoint viewer, participants can view lessons on youtube. Participants cannot start the MOOC late.

Sign up at The next offering of the MOOC after this August will be in February 2017.

At the end of this MOOC you will be able to:

  • Critically assess views on the form and function of money and currency by drawing from monetary theories
  • Explain theories on how social, economic and environmental problems arise from mainstream monetary systems
  • Explain alternative forms of money and currency and the theories on how they can support better social, economic and environmental outcomes.

The full schedule follows below. On the MOOC you will be joined by participants on the Certificate of Achievement in Sustainable Exchange, which is a credit-bearing module offered by the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability at the University of Cumbria. Four days of classes in person at the Docklands Campus in London begin in April 2017, featuring Professor Bendell, Leander Bindewald and a range of guest lecturers. These classes explore the wider issues of currency innovation and the collaborative economy. There is a fee for the certificate, not the MOOC. You must have started the MOOC in order to enrol.

The Tutors 

Matthew Slater is a software engineer who specialises in open source software for community currencies. Co-founder of Community Forge, which produces software for and hosts over 100 local currencies, he is a regular commentator on grassroots initiatives for community control of currency and credit.

Leander Bindewald is the coordinator of the EU funded project Complementary Currencies in Action, and a regular commentator on currency innovation.
Professor Jem Bendell is the founder of IFLAS and is a commentator on currency innovation and society.


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