Money is a social construct, a human invention. We can redesign it to fulfil our needs.
What is conventional money?
Money is not a given. Although we are often not aware of it, the dollar, euro and other currencies we use are essentially a choice of governments. Money is created by commercial banks through debt, and this system relies on interest to repay the issued money in the first place.
What are community currencies?
Since money is man made, it can be reinvented to positively influence relations in the social, environmental and economic domain, to better serve our individual and collective needs. A community currency is therefore a currency that sits between a loyalty point on one side and a currency like the euro on the other side. The key characteristics are that:
- it exists next to dollar, euro and other currencies,
- it connects goals of public institutions, the people and businesses,
- it can be paper or electronic or both.
A community currency has four main purposes:
- Build a resilient local economy and strengthen businesses,
- Raise liveability of neighbourhoods,
- Better delivery of social and informal care services,
- Reduce carbon footprint.
Of course, it can also have a combination of these purposes.
An ecosystem of community currencies
Community currencies can be designed and executed in many different ways. They can take the form of reward programmes, investment schemes, card systems and many others. Depending on their scope, community currencies can assume various denominations. Here we categorise a few:
Contact us to see how community currencies can help make a difference in your area!