2011 Special Issue: Complementary Currencies: State of the Art

IJCCR 15 (2011) Special Issue (Section D)

Edited by Noel Longhurst and Gill Seyfang

Comprising 15 papers from researchers and academics at the cutting edge of complementary currency development, this special issue represents a powerful consolidation of the state of the art in this field.

View the papers individually, using the menu above, or download the whole issue here.

IJCCR 2011 Complete Special Issue

Editorial

Yet another moment of truth? David Boyle D 1-3

Theoretical Issues

Classifying ‘CCs’: Community,complementary and local currencies’ Jérôme Blanc D 4-10

On The Money: Getting the message out John Rogers D 11-16

Regional Reviews

Complementary Currencies in Germany: The Regiogeld System  Christian Thiel D 17-21

What Have Complementary Currencies in Japan Really Achieved? Yasuyuki Hirota D 22-26

Alternative Exchange Systems in Contemporary Greece Irene Sotiropoulou D 27-31

Complementary Currencies for Sustainable Local Economies in Central America Erik Brenes D 32-38

Community Currency Progress in Latin America (Banco Palmas) Christophe Place D 39-46

L’Accorderie and Le Jardin D’Échange Universel (JEU) in Quebec Mathieu Lizotte and Gérard Duhaime D 47-51

Currency Innovations

Kékfrank to boost the resilience of locality Zsuzsanna Eszter Szalay D 52-56

The SOL: A Complementary Currency for the Social Economy and Sustainable Development Maries Fare D 57-60

Building Local Resilience: The Emergence of the UK Transition Currencies Josh Ryan-Collins D 61-67

A Report from Vermont (USA): The VBSR Marketplace Amy M. Kirschner D 68-72

Time Banking in Social Housing Ruth Naughton-Doe D 73-76

The Colours of Money: Artmoney as Community Currency Mark Banks D 77-81

Complementary Currency Open Source Software in 2010 Matthew Slater D 82-87

Complementary Currency Open Source Software in 2010

This report briefly covers the field of non-commercial mutual credit software, discussing the issues and challenges the projects collectively faced in meeting the needs of the movement. There is a clear cultural divide between commercial barter software which helps businesses exchange spare capacity within the law, and free open source projects which help neighbours to exchange under the radar of the tax man. There is almost no cross-fertilisation between nonprofit, idealistic, community projects, and the business barter. The aims of both cultures are very different, though their methods are similar.

Matthew Slater Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D82-87

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 16 Slater

To cite this article: Slater, M. (2011) ‘Complementary Currency Open Source Software in 2010’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 82-87 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.027

The Colours of Money: Artmoney as Community Currency

Artmoney is a community currency based on the production and exchange of original art. Critical of the cold and objective nature of conventional transactions, the Danish artist Lars Kraemmer first devised artmoney as a means to a more humanised and expressive type of monetary exchange, intending to bring people together in affective, rather than impersonal, forms of trade. Artmoney provides a means of stimulating trade amongst artists and non-artists outside of the conventional money economy, and has grown steadily to become a global currency traded in over 70 countries. Drawing from ongoing research, this article asks, what is the meaning and value of art-money in a global cultural economy? What alternative does it present and what economic futures (or pasts) does it anticipate? Presenting preliminary findings from interview research with art-money producers, this article outlines some of the motives for becoming involved in this art/currency project, and some of the contradictions and challenges raised in its production and circulation.

Mark Banks Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D77-81

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 15 Banks

To cite this article: Banks, M. (2011) ‘The Colours of Money: Artmoney as Community Currency’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 77-81 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.026

Time Banking in Social Housing

A social enterprise Spice has pioneered a new method of time banking that works with public services in an innovative way. Spice uses time banking as a ‘means to an end tool’ to promote active citizenship, reduce welfare dependency and ultimately reform public services with co-production. This article briefly examines current time banking practices in the UK to set the scene for a discussion of Spice’s approach when applied in Social Housing. Whilst in its early stages, the approach demonstrates some success in increasing participation and improving both individual and community well-being. This is an exciting new use of community currencies to catalyse public sector reform.

Ruth Naughton-Doe Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D73-76

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 14 Naughton Doe

To cite this article: Naughton-Doe, R. (2011) ‘Time Banking in Social Housing’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 73-76 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.025

A Report from Vermont (USA): The VBSR Marketplace

This paper described and evaluates a  peer to peer mutual credit system now in operation in the State of Vermont. It is called the VBSR Marketplace and is an innovative partnership between a statewide membership association, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) and a currency design and management organization, Vermont Sustainable Exchange (VSE). This project is a significant step forward in the community currency world as it makes participation in a mutual credit system a membership benefit for businesses that belong to an already existing and well-established business association.

Amy Kirschner Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D68-72

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 13 Kirschner

To cite this article: Kirschner, A. (2011) ‘A Report from Vermont (USA): The VBSR Marketplace’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 68-72 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.024

Building Local Resilience: The emergence of the UK Transition Currencies

This paper examines the emergence of a new type of local currency – ‘Transition Currencies’ – in the United Kingdom over the past 4 years.  The Transition Currency ‘model’, shared by the initial four schemes, is explained and the theoretical roots of the schemes reviewed. The paper goes on to examine the success and limitations of the currencies and reflects on potential future developments and how the Transition currencies might upscale and deliver additional social, economic and environmental objectives.

Josh Ryan-Collins Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D61-67

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 12 Ryan Collins

To cite this article: Ryan-Collins, J. (2011) ‘Building Local Resilience: The emergence of the UK Transition Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 61-67 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.023

The SOL: A Complementary Currency for the Social Economy and Sustainable Development

This paper reviews experience with The SOL, a very innovative and interesting complementary currency scheme which has been tested in France since 2007. It aims to contribute to the development of the social and solidarity economy, and contribute towards sustainable development. The SOL is the result of an informal working group who in 1998 examined the different models of existing complementary currencies schemes in the world. It aims to both introduce a new concept of wealth not exclusively based on money and to foster the social economy or third sector. Three different types of SOL are described: Co-operation SOL, Commitment SOL, and Dedicated SOL, and the paper reflects on the currency’s strengths and weaknesses, and developmental issues for the future.

Marie Fare Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D57-60

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 11 Fare

To cite this article: Fare, M. (2011) ‘The SOL: A Complementary Currency for the Social Economy and Sustainable Development’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 57-60 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.022

Kékfrank to Boost the Resilience of Locality

A small group of entrepreneurs in Sopron (Hungary), led by Tamás Perkovátz, decided in autumn of 2008, to make the local economy – which was previously famous for its grape and wine – prosper again, and to unite the economies of the area cut into three parts, belonging to three different countries. Thus they created an European Cooperative Society (SCE), that had individuals and legal entities from Hungary, Austria and Croatia as members, and the goal of the Cooperative was defined as to introduce and operate a complementary currency Kékfrank (blue franc, named for a wine variety), to be used within the region. This paper presents the European Union directives and regulations that made the creation of Kékfrank possible and finally it shows the main characteristics and possible further developments of the new currency which was born in spring of 2010 through the first official exchange.

Zsuzsanna Eszter Szalay Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D52-56

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 10 Szalay

To cite this article: Szalay, Z.E. (2011) ‘Kékfrank to Boost the Resilience of Locality’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 52-56 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.021

L’Accorderie and Le Jardin Universel (JEU) in Quebec

This paper compares two of the most successful community currency systems in the province of Quebec, Canada: l’Accorderie and Le Jardin d’Echange Universel (JEU). The paper compares their founding principles and organisational structures, and their mechanisms and mediums of exchange. While the former is quite well-institutionalised and attempts to operate professionally, ‘within the system’, the latter is a volunteer-run initiative with more ambiguous status. The paper attempts to evalute their impacts, where data is available, and concludes that while both exchange systems have their pros and cons, a definite advantage for l’Accorderie is that its legal status gives them better access to funding which ultimately permits them to offer their members the means by which to form an economic strategy in both the informal economy, through exchanges, and in the formal economy, through microcredit and participating in the monthly buyer’s group. This is particularly important to its poorer members where every dollar saved by making local exchanges can be used to improve their material well-being in the formal economy.

Mathieu Lizotte and Gérard Duhaime Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D47-51

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 09 Lizotte

To cite this article: Lizotte, M. and Duhaime, G. (2011) ‘L’Accorderie and Le Jardin Universel (JEU) in Quebec’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 47-51 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.020

Community Currency Progress in Latin America (Banco Palmas)

After losing its lawsuit against a community bank issuing a community currency, the Central Bank of Brazil has just started a cooperation agreement with the National Secretary for Solidarity Economy of the Labour Ministry of Brazil to support and develop the current 51 community banks and their own social currency in order to reach about 300 by 2012, becoming an exemplary model. This world premiere central bank support associated with one of the highest amount of community currency systems of Latin America brought Brazil as a significant site of experimentation in this field. Furthermore, some daring innovations seem to confirm this position in a long-term future unless this normative control of a centralized institution decreases the creativity. Indeed, sustainable economic orientation still needs creative tools, associated to an ethical vision, to decrease material consumption dependence and increase post-materialist values exchange: community currency transformation to an effective grassroots innovation for sustainability, prosperity and democracy seems to be necessary.

Christophe Place Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D39-46

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 08 Place

To cite this article: Place, C. (2011) ‘Community Currency Progress in Latin America (Banco Palmas)’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 39-46 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.019

Complementary Currencies for Sustainable Local Economies in Central America

After more than a decade of researching, implementing and supervising complementary currencies projects in the region, the Social Trade Organisation Central America (STRO-CA) has accumulated many lessons learnt and developed complementary currency methods along with strategies to stimulate its circulation, but most of all to create stable, diversified and resilient local economies in the cities where projects are in research, execution and/or supervision. This report introduces the STRO-CA approach to complementary currency development, and reflects on ten years of currency innovation and development in Central America.

Erik Brenes Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D32-38

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 07 Brenes

To cite this article: Brenes, E. (2011) ‘Complementary Currencies for Sustainable Local Economies in Central America’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 32-38 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.018

Alternative Exchange Systems in Contemporary Greece

This paper is a brief report of several schemes that exist today, September 2010, in Greece and permit their members to perform transactions without any official currency. The report covers parallel currency schemes, exchange networks and several related initiatives that could be characterised as alternative exchange or non-mainstream modes of economic activity.

Irene Sotiropoulou Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D27-31

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 06 Sotiropoulou

To cite this article: Sotiropoulou, I. (2011) ‘Alternative Exchange Systems in Contemporary Greece’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 27-31 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.017

What Have Complementary Currencies in Japan Really Achieved?

Japan has been regarded from abroad as one of the most developed countries in terms of CC systems, depicted by Kennedy and Lietaer (2004) as “the country in the world with the most systems in operation today, but also the nation with the greatest diversity of such experiments.” However, this paper argues that the lack of literature about initiatives in languages other than Japanese has been a hurdle that has not allowed Western researchers to grasp the real picture.  This article’s goal is to show the historical development of CC initiatives in this East-Asian country, revealing how the very concept of having another means of exchange for communities has been transformed over years by the unique interpretations and the conceptual manipulation of Japanese promoters and practitioners.

Yasuyuki Hirota Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D22-26

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 05 Hirota

To cite this article: Hirota, Y. (2011) ‘What Have Complementary Currencies in Japan Really Achieved?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 22-26 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.016

Complementary Currencies in Germany: The Regiogeld System

In several places in Germany colourful slips of paper replace the Euro as a medium of exchange. These unofficial tenders German Regiogeld, a phenomenon which occurred around 2001 and spread rapidly all over Germany. It appears not only with different names but also in various forms. The article introduces this special complementary currency. It describes briefly – and from a sociological point of view – what it is, how it has originated, the actual status quo and possible future developments. It is based on my 4 year ethnographic research which was done in the context of a sociological dissertation. For this article one of my results is particular important: Regiogeld is a phenomenon which originated in the fusing of different movements, a money-reform-oriented, an esoteric and several regionalization-oriented.

Christian Thiel Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D17-21

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 04 Thiel

To cite this article: Thiel, C. (2011) ‘Complementary Currencies in Germany: The Regiogeld System’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 17-21 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.015

On The Money: Getting the message out

Complementary and community currency systems have been started all over the world. There are a number of critical success factors, one of which is education. There are many important reasons for educating people about community currencies, including practical, economic, social, ecological, political and psychological ones. Key audiences for messages about community currencies are participants, designers, administrators and public decision makers. Promoters have adopted a range of strategies to educate people who design, use or support these systems: books & articles, design guides, research summaries, general advice & information, videos, conferences, webinars (internet seminars), internet discussion groups and training. More coordinated and strategic support of these efforts would enhance their effectiveness.

John Rogers Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D11-16

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 03 Rogers

To cite this article: Rogers, J. (2011) ‘On The Money: Getting the message out’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 11-16 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.014

Classifying ‘CCs’: Community, Complementary and Local Currencies

Since the emergence of “CCs” thirty years ago, attempts to build typologies and to name things properly have always been disappointing, as if the very object of the analysis escaped from any rigid classification. Even the terms “complementary currency”, “community currency” and many others are not considered similarly; as a result, there is no common typology shared by scholars, activists and observers, beyond a series of general considerations clearly distinguishing specific items between CC schemes. This paper presents a novel attempt to classify and categorise CCs in a way which looks to future developments, while capturing the diversity of historical origins. The ideal types of community, complementary and local currencies let the possibility of combinations able to analyze concrete forms of non-national and not-for-profit currencies. The teleological exclusion of sovereignty and, more important, profit motives must be emphasized.  The present typology states that for-profit currencies are of another nature than CCs, and it draws up an ideal-type of CCs built around a democratic participation principle organized around non-profit organizations, grassroots organizations or informal groupings of persons.

Jérôme Blanc Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D4-10

IJCCR 2011 Special Issue 02 Blanc

To cite this article: Blanc, J. (2011) ‘Classifying ‘CCs’: Community, Complementary and Local Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 4-10 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.013