Registration is open!

Registration for our two pioneering Austrian summer programs is now open. The unique summer universities provide an exciting opportunity to  learn, debate and understand a different approach to “think for the future”. The AEMS summer university introduces students to innovative and alternative ideas to the current ‘boom and bust’ nature of the world order. The…

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Multiple Award-Winner: the OeAD-Housing Office

The OeAD-Housing Office has recently won several prices for our outstanding commitment to sustainability. In two days, on November 30, the OeAD-Housing Office will receive the SDG-Award from the Austrian Senate of Economy. This prize is awarded to companies which specifically include the UN Development Goals in their corporate strategies. Our Guesthouse, “mineroom” in Leoben,…

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The Theory of Change

Nina Thüllen and Karin Küblböck introduced us to an approach to develop change projects. Nina and Karin who have decades of experience of NGO engagement guided us together through an interactive process, embedded in sharing their knowledge. The focus was on on ways to challenge the harsh situation in the fashion industry while bearing in…

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Changing the system by changing system thinking: Reflections on the Overshoot Day

On Wednesday we went to the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg. While the setting with the Castle of Laxenburg was already quite spectacular, Arnulf Gruebler and Brian Faith provided us with two presentations that let us gain insight in unconventional interdisciplinary research approaches about global environmental, economic, technological, and social change….

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Money – the inconspicuous designer of our lives?

“Money and moral” was the title of Bernd Villhauer’s lecture and one question immediately came to our mind: is money even related to moral? Does it have its own morality? Or is it rather a neutral medium of exchange facilitating our everyday life? Before Bernd Villhauer could turn to talk about the morality of money,…

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Crypto Coins – Money without banks?

Dr. Beat Weber’s started his lecture with describing crypto currencies by defining crypto coins and their creating process with the example of Bitcoin. Bitcoin and similar crypto coins are digital currencies with a  limited supply. Miners keep track of all the transactions which are made within the anonymous users. The first miner that finds the…

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Alternative Food Networks for an agro-ecological evolution

Our current way of feeding the world is not sustainable. Most of us still have a romantic picture of agriculture; a picture of healthy animals on a wide fertile landscape; a lovely farmer who’s best friend is a little piglet. Unfortunately, however, this image only exists in the advertisement and does not reflect the reality…

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Rules for a “deadly weapon”

Money is considered a goal in our current financial system. The mechanisms of the “free” financial market make it easy for banks to accumulate a lot of it, due to the absence of an international supervisory authority, no size for the limit of banks, the free movement of capital as well as private money creation….

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IIASA day trip

Our AEMS class on August 1st(at a IIASA institute in Laxenburg) included two lectures on sustainable development, in addition to a world climate change simulation game. All of our activities throughout the day were about providing insights into how to achieve valuable socio-economic goals in an environmentally sustainable way. Valuable background information is needed to…

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Searching for the Common Good

Most citizens long for an alternative to the current economic system. Next to the many options such as Circular Economy, Community Economies and many more, one of them is the Economy for the Common Good. The current system disregards societal values such as human rights, trust, dignity but also prioritizes efficiency, money and egoism. With…

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Banking – Field of Application for new types of democracy

What was the session about? Christian Felber presented the flaws and challenges that the political and especially financial system experience in terms of being democratic. Thereafter, Oskar von Homeyer introduced the GLS bank’s views on ethical banking. Felber presented several flaws in the current democratic system. A crucial one being the binary option that is…

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Complementary and alternative currencies

In his lecture Tobias Plettenbacher talked about complementary and alternative currencies. He understands those as really complementary, which means that they are not replacing the national currency, but exist next to it and fulfill social needs. For example, he mentioned Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS), Barter Exchange Circles, Time Banks and Energy or Resource…

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Transitioning to a low carbon economy from a financial perspective

In contrast to prior lectures, Emanuele Campiglio’s does not promote radical changes to our economic system, but his aim is to increase the integration between the financial sector and sustainable investments to achieve a sustainable and prosperous society. The main tools to achieve this goal is to adapt the current financial system to modify the…

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Can Cryptocurrencies replace money?

Issuance of the money, setting the monetary policies and interest rates in a country is handled by the centralized body called “the central bank”. Uncontrolled issuance of money by these centralized bodies (central banks) and the banks has been the root cause of the financial crisis in 2008. The policy decisions taken by the banks…

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Small scale alternatives to the current monetary system

There are currently about 4,000 alternative currencies in use worldwide and  only less than 200 are acknowledged as conventional by the UN. Same time, the impact of this vast number of alternatives is only marginal. The lecture delivered by Tobias Plettenbacher investigated the reasons for their existence and gave a broad overview how those are…

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From an Egyptian-Swedish perspective

Have you ever thought of money and ethics? Can we apply ethics to money transactions? An interesting philosophical discussion about how money is perceived in different cultural contexts took place in Alternative Economics and Monetary Systems (AEMS) summer school at BOKU university in Vienna. This discussion motivated us to think of how money and ethics…

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Tax and other financial mechanisms towards a Low-carbon economy

The lecturer Emanuele Campiglio presented the topic of sustainable finance with the objective of providing policies for a smooth and low carbon transition through sustainable financing. For that, he emphasized the necessity to develop a strategy to move financial resources to low-carbon and sustainable activities, avoiding economic and financial disruptions in the process. He indicated…

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Is the neoclassical belief on financial system still valid?

During this session we have learned about the role of finance, money and debt in the economy. According to Mr. Wahl, finance is a kind of “neural” system of the economy, because without it the modern economy would not function. Mr Wahl also showed us how we could carry out a speculation opportunity if we…

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