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

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

First Cycle Course. 7.5 credits

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.


Subcourses in FEKG95, Business Administration: From Barter to Bitcoin and Beyond: Re-imagining Money for a Sustainable Future.

2001 Our present monetary system – Written exam, 2,0 hp Grading scale: Fail, Pass

2002 Designing a monetary system – Take home assignment, 5,5 hp Grading scale: Fail, Pass


Source: https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/lubas/i-uoh-lu-FEKG95#description

Syllabus 

[Course] Digital Monies for a Sustainable Future

Digital Monies for a Sustainable Future

PHD COURSE (7.5 ECTS) AT LUND UNIVERSITY, AUTUMN 2020

Open for applications

Time: 1 September – 13 October 2020
Course code: EHFE016
Points: 7.5 ECTS
Level: PhD Program
Last day to apply: 14 August 2020
Location: The course is held mostly online by the School of Economics and Management, Lund, Sweden.

Course syllabus & literature (PDF, 141 kB)

Main category of the course

The course is taught under the Agenda 2030 Graduate School at Lund University, Sweden. It is the result of a collaboration between the School of Engineering and the School of Economics and Management.

Course coordinator 
Ester Barinaga (ester.barinaga@fek.lu.se), Dept. of Business Administration, LUSEM

Course Faculty 

Course content

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 interdisciplinary PhD course examines the technological developments that are facilitating monetary innovation and the role of monetary entrepreneurs in re-organising the production and circulation of money. The course provides students with the tools to explore opportunities for addressing big societal challenges and asks in particular how new forms of money can contribute to developing more just and equal societies. To understand these new digital monies, the course uses theories from the subfields of organisation studies, innovation and entrepreneurship, and STS (science and technology studies).

Course design

The course is structured in 3 modules as follows:

  1. Setting the Stage (online)

The purpose of this module is to provide the student with an introduction to the discourse on the role digital monies can play in organising a sustainable future. The key points of focus will be: an overview of contemporary money; and the digital technologies that are enabling the re-imagination of currency. This module is in two sessions:

1.1. Money, its production and management today – Where does money come from? And how is it organised? Although we use money everyday, few stop to wonder where the money they use comes from and how it is managed. And yet, the traits of the creation and management process shape the form of our economies and societies. In this session, we will learn the process through which today’s money is created and managed today. In this doing, we will look at how our ideas on money are shaped by monetary theories that may have little to do with the actual management of money and monetary systems.

1.2. Crypto-technology – Today’s discussion on money is as much driven by a frustration with the current financial system as it is by excitement about new technological developments. Among others, much hope is placed on blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies that use it. In this session we will discuss the technology behind digital and cryptocurrencies, the principles that guide the development of these novel technologies and the ideals that stimulate organisational innovation for the management of these currencies. What are the possibilities they open? And what are their limitations for efforts to re-organize our economy?
2. Monetary innovations past and present (online)

This module looks at past and present efforts to change the monetary system (both their production and management). Some of the key questions that will be discussed are: How are past monetary ideas being adapted into today’s tech and monetary innovations? And how do they contribute (or not) to create more resilient communities, more equal societies, and a more sustainable environment? We will discuss such questions in four sessions, each focusing on one particular type of monetary organisation:

2.1. Sovereign Money: Banque Générale (John Law) & Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC)
2.2. Global cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin & FairCoin
2.3. Citizens Monies: Wörgl & Kenyan Community Cryptocurrencies
2.4. Corporate Monies

3. Money Co-Design Workshop (1,5 days physical offline workshop)

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 organise it to make it more conducive to just, equal and sustainable societies? This session puts that question to work in the design of a monetary system for a particular social challenge of your choice. We will work in groups
to apply the theories seen throughout the course to the co-design of a monetary system that you will be presenting in class.

Learning objectives

A passing grade will be given to students that:

Knowledge and understanding: 
•    Demonstrate an ability to use relevant theories to understand how our national and international monetary systems are organised and managed.
•    Demonstrate an ability to apply theories from various fields to understand how new digital technologies are contributing to re-organise the monetary system.

Competence and skills: 
•    Demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge from business administration, engineering and innovation studies to analyse the organisational opportunities and challenges associated to various forms of monies.
•    Demonstrate an ability to assess the potentials and limitations both of particular monetary systems and of digital monetary technologies and clearly present conceptual arguments for their organisational strengths and weaknesses.

Judgement and approach: 
•    Demonstrate an ability to identify relevant research topics at the intersection between the fields of business administration, engineering and innovation studies.
•    Demonstrate an ability to critically discuss central issues in the organization of digital monies in an informed way and covey this knowledge to others interested in the topic.

Examination

Examination in this course includes several moments:

  1. Mandatory participation in all course seminars. Students are expected to attend all seminars having read all texts relevant for each seminar, and actively take part in course discussions. Students who are unable to attend any seminar are required to contact the course co-ordinator with a view to undertaking a compensatory assignment.
  2. Group work – Students will be grouped in interdisciplinary teams. Each group will be asked to design a monetary system for a particular sustainability challenge and present it for the rest of the class. In this presentation, student groups will be asked to use theories from the subfields of organisation studies, innovation and entrepreneurship, and STS seen in the course to argue for the particular monetary and organisational design. Their presentation will be the basis for class discussion in the course’s last session.
  3. Individual written essay; max. length 3,500 words. After the course, students will be asked to choose one case of digital currencies and apply the business administration, engineering and grassroots innovation theories treated in the course to discuss how it re-thinks money.

The course in graded on a Pass or Fail basis.

Teaching methods

The course is designed as a blended course, that is with online and offline moments. It combines a variety of teaching methods, ranging from mini-lectures, webinars, case studies, reading groups, student debates, and group work. Students are expected to participate actively in class.

Course schedule

The online sessions will be given on September 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, as well as October 6. The course ends with a one-and-a-half physical money co-design workshop on October 12 and 13.

Entry requirements and selection

The course is open to PhD students from all faculties. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available places in the course, students from the Agenda 2030 Graduate School at Lund University, will be given priority.


Source: https://entrepreneur.lu.se/en/courses-and-programmes/phd_courses/digital-monies-for-a-sustainable-future

Transforming or reproducing an unequal economy? Solidarity and inequality in a community currency

Ester Barinaga

Lund University, Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Dept. of Business Administration, School of Economics and Management; Sweden; ester.barinaga@fek.lu.se

Abstract

Building on empirical material from 6 months ethnographically inspired fieldwork in Málaga Común, a mutual credit community currency in Southern Spain, the paper uses Ostrom’s (1991) theoretical framework on common-pool resources to look deeper into the provision and appropriation dynamics in the currency scheme. Particular attention is put into the sources of inequality in members’ provision and appropriation capacities. Findings suggest that, embedded as community currencies are in the conventional economy, the sources of inequality from the conventional economy are also brought into the community currency. More particularly, private ownership and specialised complex skills lie behind members’ unequal capacity to earn community currency in relation to their spending needs. The paper ends by outlining some elements that would need attention when designing the governance institutions of community currency schemes that aim to overcome the inequality brought in by these currencies’ embeddedness in the conventional economy.

Keywords

Mutual credit currency, inequality, Ostrom, resource system vs. flow of resource units; provision/appropriation ratio, common-pool resource.

Article Barinaga

To cite this article: Barinaga, E (2019) ‘Transforming or reproducing an unequal economy? Solidarity and inequality in a community currency’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 23 Issue 2 (Summer 2019) 2-16; http://www.ijccr.net; ISSN 1325-9547; DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2019.010

[Conference] Complementary currencies and societal challenges – Call for Papers

Call for Papers

International conference on complementary currencies

Complementary currencies and societal challenges:

Crossing academic and practitioners knowledge/perspectives

Time: 21-22 November, 2019 

Venue: Brussels, Belgium

Institutional organizers of the research seminar: the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi) and the Research Association on Monetary Innovation and Community and Complementary Currency Systems (RAMICS)

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.

The Complementary Currencies and Societal Challenges conference will be held in Brussels, Belgium. 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

Authors who wish to present their papers at the research seminar should submit electronically a three-page abstract by 01 September 2019 to the following mail address cermi@ulb.ac.be (with mhudon@ulb.ac.be in Cc), specifying to which of the 5 themes they wish to bring their contribution. Abstracts will be selected and authors will be notified and invited by 15 September 2019. A full paper will be due on 01 November 2019.

For questions, please contact Marek Hudon (mhudon@ulb.ac.be) and Tristan Dissaux (tristan.dissaux@ulb.ac.be).

We are looking forward to welcoming you on this Complementary Currencies and Societal Challenges event!

Scientific committee

Jérôme Blanc (Science-Po Lyon; Université Lumière-Lyon 2)

Tristan Dissaux (ULB) – Local Organizer

Marie Fare (Université Lumière-Lyon 2)

Georgina Gomez (Erasmus University)

Marek Hudon (ULB) – Local Organizer

Hélène Joachain (ULB) – Local Organizer

Marc Labie (UMONS)

Camille Meyer (Universiy of Victoria)

Ariane Szafarz (ULB)

References

Blanc, J., Fare, M. 2013. Understanding the role of governments and administrations in the implementation of community and complementary currencies. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 84(1), 63-81.

Blanc, J. 2016. Unpacking monetary complementarity and competition: a conceptual framework. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 41(1), 239-257.

Brière, M., Oosterlinck, K., Szafarz, A. 2015. Virtual currency, tangible return: Portfolio diversification with Bitcoin. Journal of Asset Management, 16(6), 365-373.

Collom, E. 2007. The motivations, engagement, satisfaction, outcomes and demographics of time bank participants: Survey findings from a U.S. system. International Journal of Community Currency Research, 11, 36-83

Dissaux, T, Fare, M. 2017. A collective redefinition of money: The case of the local currency “La Gonette” in Lyon, France. 29th annual SASE conference, Lyon.

Fraňková, E., Fousek, J., Kala, L., Labohý, J. 2014. Transaction network analysis for studying Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS): Research potentials and limitations. Ecological Economics, 107, 266-275.

Gómez, G.M., Dini, P., 2016. Making sense of a crank case: monetary diversity in Argentina (1999–2003). Cambridge Journal of Economics 40, 1421–1437.

Graugaard, J. D. 2012. A tool for building community resilience? A case study of the Lewes Pound. Local Environment, 17(2), 243-260.

Gregory, L. 2014. Resilience or resistance? Time banking in the age of austerity. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 22(2), 171-183.

Guéorguieva-Bringuier, L., Ottaviani, F. 2018. Opposition and isomorphism with the neoliberal logic in community exchange systems. Ecological Economics, 149, 88-97.

Gomez, G.M, Helmsing, A.H.J. 2008. Selective spatial closure and local economic development: What do we learn from the argentine local currency systems? World Development, 36(11), 2489-2511

Joachain, H., Klopfert, F. 2014. Smarter than metering? Coupling smart meters and complementary currencies to reinforce the motivation of households for energy savings. Ecological Economics 105, 89-96.

Meyer, C., Hudon, M. (forthcoming). Money and the commons: An investigation of complementary currencies and their ethical implications. Journal of Business Ethics.

Meyer, C., Hudon, M. 2017. Alternative organizations in finance: Commoning in complementary currencies. Organization, 24(5), 629-647.

Michel, A., Hudon, M. 2015. Community currencies and sustainable development: A systematic review. Ecological Economics, 116, pp. 160–171.

Marshall, A. P., O’Neill, D. W. 2018. The Bristol Pound: A tool for localisation?. Ecological Economics, 146, 273-281.

Sanz, E. O. 2016. Community currency (CCs) in Spain: An empirical study of their social effects. Ecological Economics, 121, 20-27.

Stodder, J. 2009. Complementary credit networks and macro-economic stability: Switzerland’s Wirtschaftsring. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 72, 79–95.

Ulanowicz, R. E., Goerner, S. J., Lietaer, B., Gomez, R. 2009. Quantifying sustainability: Resilience, efficiency and the return of information theory. Ecological complexity, 6(1), 27-36.