Complementary currencies can effect social change

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A long but interesting interview with economist Bernard Lietaer who discusses complementary currency systems around the world. Everything from being able to buy food with Air Miles to the Japanese time bank system of caring for the elderly. I've been aware of LETS schemes for years but Lietaer certainly makes it sound like non-monetary currencies are more widespread than I imagined. He also discusses the different "flavour" such currencies have and how they can help alter society for the better.

Practically all Balinese participate in a dual currency system. The first is the conventional national currency (the Indonesian Rupiah); the second is a time currency where the unit of account is a block of time of approximately three hours. This second currency is created and used within the "banjar." This is a community entity consisting of between 50 and 500 families. It is in each banjar that the decisions are made democratically to launch any big community project. It could be to put on a festival or build a school. For each project, they always make two complementary budgets: one in the national currency, and one in time. That second currency-called "narayan banjar" (meaning work for the common good of the community) is created by the people themselves. They don't have to compete in the outside world to obtain that second currency, and it fosters cooperation between the members of the community.

(via Oblomovka)

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a world in balance

chapter 1 from the future of money
summer in 2020, pp. 24-27
by bernard lietaer

***
It's 1 p.m. For Anna, head of customer service in the largest telecommunications company based in Munich, the day is over. Using the high-speed underground, she returns to her other community, the village nestled in the foothills of the Alps, 15 minutes away.

She really enjoys her job, but she can't wait to get back to her studio and continue her work with stained glass. She has just started her most ambitious project to date