Resource website of social and solidarity economy

Solidarity economy between a focus on the local and a global view Regional currencies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

International Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies 2011: “Thirty years of community and complementary currencies – what next?”,February 16 – February 17, 2011, Lyon, France

Krister Volkmann, February 2011

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Summary :

In the first decade of the 21st century, many initiatives for regional currencies have sprung up in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Compared to previous local currencies, these new regional currencies aspire to reach farther and to create a larger momentum. In a comparative survey, the supplier structures of 16 regional currencies in the German-speaking countries were analyzed with respect to differences due to their design and the characteristics of their region. The chiemgauer in Southern Germany has proved that a large spectrum of consumer products and services can be supplied in the frame of a regional currency.

However, from a narrow economic view, regional currencies are still in an initial phase. For assessing them, it is worth exploring their broader significance as a means of communication that facilitates the integration of different perspectives, linking problem-solving within in the region to a consideration of global issues. Learning from pre-modern local currencies may help sharpen the characteristics of complementary currencies even in a modern context. Placing them in a larger frame of “solidarity economy” may increase their impact. This would include a re-definition of the notion of “work” and the development of an accompanying infrastructure of social institutions.

Sources :

Site web du Colloque international sur les monnaies sociales et complémentaires : CC-CONF 2011, février 16, 2011 – février 17, 2011.Organisé par les laboratoires LEFI et Triangle, Université de Lyon:

« Trente années de monnaies sociales et complémentaires – et après ? »