First European Conference on Complementary Currencies

The town of Bad Honnef, in Germany, hosted 155 people from all over Europe, New Zealand, Argentina, Japan and Canada who spent five days talking about EKOs, Time Dollars, E-cards, Bartercards, LETS and voucher systems ñ in some 22 different complementary currency schemes.

Complementary currencies, often called local or community currencies, are evolving. Professor Margrit Kennedy, author of Interest and Inflation Free Money and a key conference speaker, says: ‘Few people understand how money functions. If they did, we would have a quite different monetary system immediately ñ one which would bring more social justice, better opportunities for a healthy environment and higher stability of currencies.’

One of the most exciting developments is the new regional currencies starting in Germany and France which should encourage people to choose to buy products and services from their own regions.

Professor Bernard Lietaer, author of The Future of Money made his presentation from America via the internet, projected onto a screen from a laptop. He says: ‘It is important to realise that money is not a thing, it only appears to be. Rather, money is an agreement, a social contract and, as such, is subject to amendment and evolvement.’

Earlier in the summer, the first American Local Currencies in the 21st Century conference was held in New England. John Rogers, Co-ordinator of the Wales Institute for Community Currencies, who attended both events said there was a real buzz. Along with the International Time Dollars Congress in Toronto, there is a feeling that this movement is really taking off.

A CD, Complementary Currencies in Europe, with descriptions of 22 conference projects, web links to currency projects worldwide, books and other resources, will be on sale for 10 Euros in October. To order: [email protected]
FURTHER INFORMATION : Agnieszka Komoch, Ginsterweg 1 D-31595 Steyerberg. Tel: +49 5764 93040
WEB SITE : EMAIL: [email protected]
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