Means of Exchange
Sharing approaches to reconnect communities
Means of Exchange
Using emerging technologies to build a resilience economy
Means of Exchange
Promoting a return to local resource use
Papers and Reports
In addition to hand-picking a great selection of books, we’ve taken the liberty of scouring the web and picked out some of the best (and most interesting) free papers and reports.
This is the #Citizenshift
New Citizenship Project
To what extent does a consumer identity shape the way we interact with others around us? This report will challenge you to think about alternative ways that businesses, community groups, membership organisations can relate to the people they engage with.
Pushing Boundaries: The 2015 UK Alternative Finance Industry Report
Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Nesta
If you want to understand the impact that alternative finance (in this context includes models such as peer-to-peer business lending, invoice trading and debt-based securities) then take a look through the latest report from the ongoing research collaboration between innovation charity Nesta and the University of Cambridge.
One of the headline stats for us: equity based crowdfunding is one of this year’s fastest growing models, from £84 million raised in 2014 to £332 million in 2015. Some of these models are not looking so ‘alternative’ after all…
From the Digital Divide to Inclusive Innovation
Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
In this 2013 report, the RSA investigates one of the radical and rapid transformations in the commercial world – the rise of digital money. As well as highlighting the profound changes already wrought, their analysis paves the way for a future in which digital money could be used to address some of the most severe marginalisation and deprivation that exists within the global economy.Download PDF
Andrew Jackson and Ben Dyson
Modernising Money explains why the current monetary system is broken, and explains, in more detail than ever before, exactly how it can be fixed. The product of three years of research and development, these proposals offer one of the few hopes of escaping from our current dysfunctional monetary system. The book is detailed but accessible to non-economists. This preview PDF contains the book’s foreword, summary of key points, the full introduction and the first page of each chapter.Download PDF
Currencies of Transition: Transforming Money to Unleash Sustainability
Jem Bendell and Thomas Greco
This chapter, taken from the book “The Necessary Transition” and made available for free online, aims to help relevant professionals understand the monetary origins of our current malaise, the practical steps being taken by communities to manage their own economies and exchange systems, and to map out some emerging issues for research, practice and policy. It explains how a focus on monetary systems can re-frame how we understand the sustainability challenge, away from being a matter of exhorting each-other to behave ‘better’ and/or impose more restrictions on our behaviours, towards a step by-step liberation of communities’ innate ability to thrive in the ways that they themselves determine.Download PDF
The Resiliency Report: Pathways Out of the Economic Storm
United Way of Calgary
The United Way of Calgary in Canada decided that, with increasing global economic distress, they needed to complete a community assessment to find out how their citizens were faring. They discovered that the people were not getting the help they needed when they needed it and were becoming increasing vulnerable. Five themes emerged from their research. First, an increasing demand and limited resources. Second, increasing complexity of demand. Third, lack of information and awareness of existing support. Fourth, increased anxiety, fear and stress. And fifth, a realisation that Calgarians were resilient people.
This report is a frank case study of the pressures on service delivery organisations and the people of Calgary. It empirically shows the sharp rise in demand and the decline in support capacity. The themes addressed and the community responses clearly indicate the changing nature of the economy and the tough challanges people are facing to meet their basic needs.Download PDF
Reinventing Money: A Community Exchange System from South Africa Conquers the World
The recent financial decline has many wondering about the stability of the global currency system, and how we might create new alternatives. This paper discusses a group of money activists from South Africa who created an interest free electronic tender for exchange. It begins with a discussion about capitalism and the need for continual growth and details the “new money” movement and the implementation of a Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) in Cape Town, South Africa in 2002. In 2003, the LETS system was modified into the Community Exchange System (CES) and began an online shopping platform for participants.
As the economy turns increasingly volatile, this paper reports on the growth of LETS and CES internationally. The openness and transparency of the system returns economic power to the people. This new-found economic power has the ability to shield the community from external fluctuations as the global system tumbles. The end results are resiliency and stability for participting communities.Download PDF
Bitcoin: An Innovative Alternative Digital Currency
All over the world people are talking about Bitcoin. Bitcoins are a non-monetary backed, anonymous electric means of exchange that can be traded globally. In Part I, this paper details the history of Bitcoin and its benefits versus criticisms. Part II, describes how it works, and Part III explains the ecosystems of websites and services involved. Part IV compares Bitcoin with its digital competitors. Part V explores its sustainability as a means of exchange. Lastly, Part VI investigates Bitcoin’s legal ramifications given the government’s monopoly on issuing currency.
This thoroughly researched academic peer-reviewed November 2011 paper is useful for those wanting to learn more about digital currency. The strengths and weakness of the means of exchange are carefully reviewed and presented in a clear format. It is additionally valuable as an analysis of the legal implications of the Bitcoin and similar forms of currency.Download PDF
Local Economic Blueprint: A Proposal from a Partnership of Local Organisations
Transition Towns Totnes
Many communities facing the prospect of large employers disappearing because of economic decline and recession are choosing to pin their futures on small business growth. This report is a sample plan for the Totnes and District, and is the result of collaboration between local government, universities, and small/ medium local businesses. The focal points for change are food, energy efficiency, renewable energies, local health, and care for the young and elderly. By localising these four industries the community hopes to be able to increase trade in the local economy by several million pounds.Download PDF