In this paper we take Do it Together! (DiT), a social complementary currency (CC) project in two Dutch municipalities, as an interesting example to show how action research with actual projects in the field can add greatly to the development and proliferation of CCs. We argue that action research, collaborative learning and actively sharing the lessons learned from the experiences can help CCs become sustainable and attractive models for use as valuable social (policy) tools in the future. We first describe how the participating organisations and businesses in DiT design and implement a social currency that binds the efforts of their different policies and strategies into a unified framework. Through this co-creative design process, the partners support one another in achieving their own objectives through rewarding desired behaviours of citizens and customers. Secondly, we identify challenges at different levels – micro, meso, and macro – to which the project partners have found several creative solutions. These strategies stem from a broad range of disciplines, bringing psychological, organisational, and institutional theories together in the design process and the resulting currency program. Finally, we assert that reflection on the dynamics and underlying mechanisms of these experiences and processes through action research can enrich a comprehensive understanding and improvement of CCs.
Lydwien A. Batterink*, Edgar A.D. Kampers**, Judith C.V. van der Veer***
* Radboud University, Master student and Qoin, The Netherlands (firstname.lastname@example.org)
** Qoin, co-founder and director, The Netherlands (email@example.com)
*** VU University Amsterdam, PhD, The Netherlands (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To cite this article: Batterink, L., Kampers, E. and Van der Veer, J. (2017) ‘Doing it together. Studying the implementation of new social currency in the Netherlands’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 21 (Winter) 22-35 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2017.003