Glasgow Conference 2017 – Money, Power & People: Reinventing money in the age of austerity.

19-20 October 2017 Partick Burgh Hall, Glasgow

Personally, I came back from Glasgow ‘buzzing’ with renewed purpose! Nothing I write below will do justice to the energy, passion and intelligence in the room, but I hope that if you read the conference handout and my brief synopsis, you’ll get an idea.

We heard from schemes across the country working hard to use ‘alt-money’ to bind together their communities and enrich them. We had a glimpse at the future of money with Brett Scott and learned about the challenger banks and credit unions fighting for a fairer regulatory playing field. We heard about the exciting prospect of a network of regional co-operative banks, and The Finance Innovation Lab ‘lifted the veil’ on blockchain technology and the opportunities it holds for giving people back real control over their money.

Courtesy of Orion Security Print and This Ain’t Rock n Roll, we all got a beautiful, inaugural IMA note to commemorate the conference, reminding us that paper notes are wonderful ambassadors and conversation-starters, and really help connect people to place. We had a glimpse into the idea of ‘QE for People’ from Positive Money and heard about currency options for an independent Scotland. We also heard about new ways of doing crowdfunding with a values-base and research updates from Exeter and Bristol University, both of which have been conducting research on their respective local currencies.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, rounded up day one with a reminder that we’re living in a time where various potentially game-changing ideas, such as universal basic income, are being taking seriously in government. This is the time to experiment, not least with the ideas of mutual credit, time/currency hybrids etc.