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A Study Retreat for Activists and Scholars

The Villarceaux Monetary Forum 2014 : The challenge of “scaling-up”

27-29th of June, 2014, Domaine de Villarceaux (France)

[English] [français]

The Villarceaux Monetary Forums are conceived as a space for dialogue between researchers and practitioners in the realm of community and complementary currencies, who study and/or implement these mechanisms, and promote currency’s role as a tool for social transformation.

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The Villarceaux Monetary Forum 2014 : Project Presentations

Some 35 participants gather to discuss the significance and viability of the monetary projects that will be presented, as well as practical approaches, obstacles to be avoid, difficulties encountered, and the transformative potential of these mechanisms.

The 2014 Forum was devoted to the question of scaling up, which can be posed in two ways: in relation to a specific currency project, with all the practical issues this implies, such as the projects’ development, its internal dynamic, and its recognition by authority; but also, more generally, in relation to the community and complementary currency movement as a whole.

Many of the project’s practitioners, as well as the scholars who support them, seek profound social and economic transformation—whether this be defined as a shift to a territorial economy, the ecological transition, social inclusion, or the fight against poverty—and see currency as a lever of change. Along the way, these actors encounter practical and political difficulties, relating to the mechanism’s viability, public confidence, recognition, and so on.

Discussions with the actors and scholars interested in these issues have made it possible to identify three of the main stakes:

1) Building and expanding the sphere of exchange: What kinds of resources can enter the exchange circuit, and how? How are they to be identified, integrated, and valued? What practical difficulties are encountered? Is the current sphere of exchange viable?

2) Explaining the project to users and encouraging use: community and complementary currencies depend heavily on the personal involvement of project activists. How can the circle of users be expanded? How are conflicts related to the managing of the mechanism handled?

3) Negotiating recognition with the authorities: project practitioners must “negotiate” their projects with a wide range of actors: local government, public institutions, local associations, social and solidarity economics networks—and as high up as monetary authorities, who are increasingly interested in these mechanisms. What arguments can be used to “justify” these currencies at each level? As a response to the economic crisis? As a tool for local development and prosperity? And how is one to speak of monetary creation, given official skepticism about this matter?

PARTICIPANTS

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Burton, Mark

Bristol Pound

UK

Caro, Andréa

SOL Violette

France

Cerfontaine,
Elodie

Financité

Belgium

Dombret, Laurent

Le Minuto

Belgium

Doré,
Dominique

SEL

France

Chaput, Olivier

ECO-IRIS

Belgium

Xabi, Camino

EUSKO

France

Gomez, Georgina

ISS Erasmus
University - The Hague/Rotterdam -Netherlands

Netherlands

Kaabi, Lotfi

Special advisor
for Tunisia Presidence on social innovation - Project Time Banking
- Tunisia

Tunisia

Kazbekow, Kirill

Sustainable
Money Research Group (Berlin)

Germany

Longhurst, Noel

University of
East Anglia - UK

UK

Ould-Ahmed,
Pépita

Institut
Recherche et Développement (IRD) - France

France

Pratella, Grazia

Associazione
Nazionale Banche del Tempo)

Italy

Renaut-Revoyre,
Zoé

déléguée
générale du réseau Accorderie France Currency
Accorderie - France (Paris)

France

Servet,
Jean-Michel

IHEID Genève

Switzerland

Shakhli, Tom

Brixton Pound -
UK

UK

Sotiropoulou,
Irini

Independant
researcher

Greece

van der Wekken,
Ruby

TimeBank
Helsinki

Finland

Vital, Annie

Currency Mesure
- France (Romans sur Isère)

France

Warnier
Jean-Pierre

anthropologue,
Centre d’études africaines, EHESS

France

Blanc, Jérome

University Lyon
2 - France

France

Bruno Théret

CNRS, université
Paris Dauphine

France

Kalinowski,
Wojtek

Veblen Institute

France

Whitaker, Celina

CEDAL/Monnaies
en débat

France

de Freitas,
Carlos

Palmas Institute
Europe/FMDV/Monnaies en Débat

France

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