We'd love to say we came up with the idea of local currencies, but that would be a big fat lie. There are hundreds of local currencies globally - some old, some new. Examples in the UK include Bristol, Cardiff, Cornwall, Exeter, Kingston, Lewes, Liverpool, Plymouth, Stroud, Totnes, and Worcester. We know that many more have been discussed and will likely launch in the near future.
The following organisations and publications are a great place to start if you want to learn more:
New Economics Foundation is the UK's leading think tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice. NEF's website is full of useful reports and articles. NEF's 'Community Currencies' group has produced some extremely relevant reports, see below for a selection of these reports.
Community Currencies Knowledge Gateway is a new and essential information source for all things community currencies. It has been developed by the Community Currencies In Action project and contains online resources, literature, and general knowledge on community currencies.
The Bank of England (BoE) is the central bank of the United Kingdom. BoE outlined the legal status of paper local currencies in an article entitled 'Banknotes, local currencies and central bank objectives'. A response to the article, entitled 'The Bank of England Takes Note of Local Money' can be found on The Bristol Pound's blog.
Transition Network is a charitable organisation whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support, and train communities as they self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.
Qoin introduces, implements, and manages professional Community Currencies throughout Europe. Qoin built our B£e system, used by Brixton Pound members to make electronic payments in Brixton Pounds. What is a community currency? Read Qoin's explanation here.
Other Useful Organisations
We receive many messages from students, undergraduate to PhD, who express an interest in basing their research on the Brixton Pound. We are very grateful for this interest and aim to be as helpful as possible, while at the same time ensuring that your research is relevant and not damaging to the Brixton Pound.
It is always preferable to contact us before setting out to do research. The likelihood is that your proposal has been done before, in which case we could try and give it an original angle. Contacting businesses directly without having spoken with us first is not recommended. We ask this not to exert control, but rather to maintain our good relationship with local businesses, who are often asked by students and journalists to comment on the Brixton Pound. By contacting us first we can see which businesses have recently taken part in research, and attempt to point you in the direction of others which may not have research fatigue.
Our friends at NEF have set up a community currencies research group, within which there is a Brixton Pound subgroup. Your best start when considering researching the Brixton Pound is to join both groups, the application for which can be made by sending an email to leander (at) criterical (dot) net.
Published in 2015
It is no coincidence that community currencies have rapidly risen to prominence in the years following the financial crisis. When the conventional monetary system foundered, alternative means of exchanging time and goods were created to plug the gaps.
These new currencies provide an important supplement to conventional money. A growing body of global evidence supports the idea that they can meet the needs of local areas and economies in ways that euros and pound sterling cannot.
Community Currencies in Action (CCIA) is a groundbreaking transnational project, looking at examples of community currencies in several states across Europe. Since 2011, it has pooled knowledge and expertise to strengthen its network of new currency initiatives.
Published in 2015
Money holds many mysteries. Where does it come from? How did it evolve? Who creates it and controls it? Why do we never seem to have enough?
People Powered Money helps to unravel the mysteries behind our every-day understanding of money to provide practitioners and policy-makers alike with the currency innovation advice and tools needed to successfully re-engineer money.
Drawing on a wealth of historical experience and breadth of present day practice from six pilot currencies across North West Europe, People Powered Money reveals how currency innovation has the potential to make the world a better place - and explains how communities can create their own.
Published in 2014
Myfanwy Taylor: 'Being useful’ after the Ivory Tower: combining research and activism with the Brixton Pound
This article draws on research and activism with the Brixton Pound in order to extend discussions of scholar-activism to encompass broad and inclusive notions of activism. As broad and inclusive notions of activism dislodge the boundaries between academia and activism, they have enabled scholars to challenge the idea that it is necessary to keep activism separate from research and to explore why and how activism and research might be combined. Despite this, however, the academic literature on scholar-activism is presently dominated by ‘capital A’ activism and activists, suggesting there is more to do to embed inclusive notions of activism within it. This article makes a contribution to such efforts, positioning involvement in the Brixton Pound as combining activism with research, in order to provide motivation and resources to a more diverse audience, particularly those who may not have previously combined research with activism or who may be ‘put off’ by narrow notions of ‘capital A’ activism.
Published in 2013
The world is facing an ecological crisis. Our economic system fails to properly account for the natural resources on which human prosperity depends. But attempts to remedy the problem, for example through environmental taxation, fail to address an elephant lurking in the room: the monetary system.
Energy-related money offers a means to improve the qualities of the monetary system, while also stimulating the low-carbon energy transition we urgently need.
Published in 2012
"Communities are full of underused resources: individuals with time and talents; businesses, voluntary associations and local authorities with spare capacity (hire cars, restaurant tables, printing services, theatre seats, underused buildings). Regional Currencies mobilize these resources without burdening taxpayers at the national or regional level."
People Money is a comprehensive guide to the principles and practice of regional currencies.
Published in 2011
"Local currencies are, in effect, 'mindful money'." - Rob Hopkins, from the Foreword
An inspiring yet practical new Transition Book, Local Money helps you understand what money is and what makes good and bad money, and reviews how people around the world and in the past have experimented with new forms of money that they create themselves.
Published in 2002
LM3 has been tried and tested across the UK, from agriculture to social enterprise to local government procurement, to determine how money coming into your community is then spent and re-spent.
The Money Trail shows you how to use LM3 to find out what’s really happening in your local economy, and how you can make it better. You can find supplementary materials and downloads on NEF‘s Plugging the Leaks website.
Published in 2002
This handbook is a guide to a new approach to revitalising local econonomies. It can be used as a basic introduction to economics, as well as the starting point for a new involvement with your local area.
Since there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ community, this handbook has been written in a way to be applicable to almost any location. We’ve also tried to make it appropriate to a very wide range of community organisations, including public sector bodies, voluntary organisations, business networks, regeneration bodies, religious groups and so on.
"The way money is created and administered in a given society makes a deep impression on values and relationships within that society. More specifically, the TYPE of currency used in a society encourages - or discourages - specific emotions and behaviour patterns."
A brilliantly clear-sighted analysis of how on-going money innovations in dozens of countries around the world are proving that they can resolve key societal problems such as: jobless growth, community breakdown, the economic consequences of an aging society, the conflict between short-term financial thinking and long-term sustainability, and monetary instability itself. This book provides pragmatic solutions to each one of these issues.