Graham Barnes is a Currency Innovation Strategist. He is a Director of Feasta and co-organiser of the Feasta Currency Group. He holds a PhD in Computer Science and worked at a senior level in IT and online marketing in a previous life. His current projects include the design and delivery of currencies to be sponsored by a local authority; by a social entrepreneur to complement and enhance a well established sustainability methodology; and by a restaurant chain. https://twitter.com/GrahamJBarnes https://www.linkedin.com/in/grahamjbarnesGraham Barnes has written 47 articles so far, you can find them below.
About Graham Barnes
This paper was prepared by Graham Barnes for the International Social Transformation Conference in Split, Croatia, He argues that "once we realise that currency - nay, money in general - can be designed to fulfill or support specific objectives, it sets us free. Free from the constraints of the broken pseudo-science that is mainstream economics; free to recognise that not all transactions are of equal importance; and potentially free to redesign ourselves away from our existing pervasive elite monetary hegemony and reclaim the monetary commons."
Published by Green Books, The Future of Money by James Robertson restates much of his thinking around monetary reform and brings it bang up to date in the context of the Euro crisis. It focuses a great deal on the arguments for governments reclaiming their right to issue money from the banks, and the enormous potential benefits to society of so doing. Highly recommended.
I attended the recent Transition Networks one day conversation in London on 'Peak Money and Economic Resilience'. Prompted by the event, I have contributed some thoughts on the fundamental objectives of a local exchange currency - increasing both the proportion of trade that is locally-based, and overall liquidity - and on how these might best be achieved.
Reading The Affluent Society is a revitalising and empowering shot in the arm for anyone questioning in any way what JK calls the 'conventional wisdom'. The book, first written in 1958 and then reissued as a new edition in 1998 is an astonishing tour de force, debunking and deconstructing the tenets of the 'central tradition' of economics.
Feasta's particular approach to sustainability economics is to focus attention on the inadequacies of underlying systems. The development of local economies suffers from two particular adverse systemic effects - the in-built transfer of wealth from those that need money to those that already have money via the servicing of debt; and the transfer of wealth from the locality to the centre as globalisation progressively centralises economies. Local currency developers need to develop strategies that mitigate these two effects or they will remain limited in size and influence.
Tend to agree with that. It probably springs from Dmitry's strong focus on self-sufficient 'lifeboat' responses to the crises. This can be a problem with many of the doom and gloom analyses - they seem implicitly or explicitly to rubbish many of the grass roots initiatives that try to work (for the time being at least) with the world as it is. This 'carelessness' can offend people doing great work in those communities. The real impact of local currency initiatives to date is, though, an issue worth discussion. While they have often done well in terms of local identity and local networking, the impact on local economic health and liquidity has been limited; and the scalability of these initiatives to regional or national level has been elusive. All issues being confrionted by the Liquidity Network projects.