Bristol Pound recently hosted a ‘Roundtable’ to explore the future of local currencies with a small group, including people working on future economy issues, academics and representatives from other exchange schemes. We had an inspiring day in Brunel’s Boardroom at the Engine Shed – maybe the great man inspired our thinking as he was always up for new ideas and challenges!
The purpose of the Roundtable was to explore what contribution local currencies have and could make towards a fairer, more resilient and sustainable economic system that serves society and works for all. The Roundtable focused on four issues:
1. Local currencies: the current position
2. Challenges and barriers
3. Exploring the future for local currencies
4. What work needs doing?
Here are some of the conclusions we came to
1. If we are going to remain relevant into the future, we need to be more agile; make better use of technology; respond effectively to users’ needs; have a good understanding of how to drive economic and behavioural change.
2. We have struggled to scale up and become financially sustainable. We haven’t driven consistent behavioural change amongst users and potential users; and our technology lags behind that in the wider economy.
3. Increasing the volume and value of business-to-business spending is essential if local currencies are to have a real impact on a local economy. We need to provide real, measurable and tailored benefits to businesses which engage actively with a local currency.
4. Local currencies have a key role to play in the trend towards city-based economic agendas, as an enabling local currency layer so that cities’ economies can be fairer; more inclusive, diverse & economically resilient; and more sustainable.
After a long hard day thinking and coming up with creative ideas, we all headed over to Yurt Lush to spend our Bristol Pounds on some well-deserved drinks.
If you are interested in reading the full report of the day, click here for the PDF.