Already over – The sixth AEMS has been a blast!

This year, the already sixth instalment of the Summer School “Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems (AEMS)” took off on July, 24th at BOKU University with a public opening event and an audience of about 200 interested people. Speakers Ann Pettifor, Helga Kromp-Kolb and Clive Spash explained the importance of planetary boundaries and money as a…

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Both of Our Summer Universities Are Ready for Application!

Registration is now open for our pioneering Austrian summer programs! The AEMS summer school offers a new wave of economic thinking for those looking for alternatives to the current ‘boom and bust’ nature of the world order. The GBS summer program provides world-leading insight into sustainable architecture and the built environment. Alternative Economic and Monetary…

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OeAD Student Housing celebrates the rewards of a sustainable approach

The organiser of the world-renowned Green.Building.Solutions (GBS) summer university has had its pioneering work to develop passive house buildings for student communities recognised internationally at two key events. OeAD Student Housing secured the Education and Vocational Training accolade at the European Solar Prize awards, held in Luxembourg, for its ‘mineroom’ development. Across in France, another…

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Record number of participants at the 9th Green.Building.Solutions. 2019

51 students from 29 nations of the world took part in the 9th Green.Building.Solutions. Summer University from August 21st to 10th 2019. Three intensive weeks, the students and young professionals, mainly from architecture and engineering, dealt with the topics of ecological building, sustainable planning, renewable energies and energy efficiency. This is the highest number of…

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The Bright Side of the Coin: Complementary currencies in Perspective

Money has always been at the centre of attention of economists and other social scientists. But even as money is crucial for our societies, our understanding of its power to shape communities remains insufficient. Why do many daily users consider money a neutral instrument of exchange and not an institution with potential for social transformation?…

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The most promising TAPAs you’ll ever have!

In their second lecture at AEMS, Christian Felber, a self-described deep ecologist, challenged us to think about what the goals of our economic system are and should be. Currently, there exists a confusion regarding this question. The term ‘economy’ derives from the ancient Greek ‘oikonomia’, which, following Aristotle, refers to household management that ensures well-being…

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Distributing Democracy / Small prefix, big implications: learnings from the degrowth ideology

Distributing Democracy  Over the last 15 years, I’ve attended public meetings as an advocate and citizen and helped organize them as a civil servant. While these processes were prescribed and predictable, they were never particularly meaningful. The overall impression is that the big decisions had already been made and that the “public participation” part of…

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Potential synergies of communal politics and degrowth

Dirk Holemans presented a talk entitled “Communal politics for alternative businesses and banks”.  In it, he attempted to answer a question that I have had for many years. I have lived in several different cities and seen how most of them cannot break out of their old ways of doing things, and create a vibrant…

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From food coops to democratic banks, what bypass we can take?

At first glance, the two lectures today did not seem to be related to each other. The first one addressed cooperation in organic farming; while the second one focused on democratic banking. However, there are some similarities, which we explore with a few questions in this blog: What are the similar implications that food coops…

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Will the carbon-bubble explode? – An insight into fossil fuel assets as a leverage point of climate change

Armon Rezai is a professor at the WU Vienna University of Economics and Business. They mainly employ a macroeconomic approach on dealing with climate change and connected distribution issues, environmental policy and financialization. At the core of the lecture were the financial implications of climate policy on fossil-fuel assets linked to a carbon budget which…

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Beyond tech: the token economy as a governance tool?

In the afternoon of the 2nd of August, 2019, we had the pleasure to attend a very insightful lecture by Dr. Shermin Voshmgir, the founder and director of the Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics at the WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, on the topic of the Token Economy. Why should we talk about it?…

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Interrelations between Money and Moral

Mr. Bernd Villhauer, director of the institute of the “Weltethos” or Global Ethics Institute at the University of Tübingen, gave us a short introduction into some basic questions concerning freedom, money and ethics. The main part of the session consisted of an interactive group work, activating us to use our minds to gather thoughts about…

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Sustainability Transition

The lecture was delivered by Prof. Armon Rezai who took us through the topic of climate policy and carbon-based assets from a finance perspective. In his opening remarks, they mentioned that in the June of 2015, the United Kingdom pledged to reduce carbon emissions to a net 0% by 2050, which was followed by France…

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Sovereign money – one of many alternatives to the current financial system

In the current financial system, the paradigm of “free” financial markets created an environment lacking a global supervisory authority, thereby fostering unlimited possibilities to grow for banks, free movement of capital, increased inequality as well as opportunities for private money being created ex nihilo (out of nothing). In contrast, Christian Felber proposed an alternative paradigm…

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Climate change needs to be addressed by each of us. Now.

On a sunny summer day that seems to be way too hot for Vienna, in one of the rooms of a stunningly romantic palace formerly deployed by the Habsburg family as a countryside residence, one of the co-authors of the IPCC reports (Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Assessment Reports), Arnulf Grübler, addresses an audience full…

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Money & Moral

Dr Bernd Villhauer focuses on questions about economics & ethics. In their lecture they discussed the relationship between freedom (quantitative – the amount of freedom that we could have and qualitative – the quality of the freedom that we have ) and the economy. They encouraged us to think about the new normal on human…

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From Impossible to Possible

The lecture given by Daniel Hausknost on Friday, July 26, 2019, was titled Systemic Change. This stimulating lecture educated us on how our institutions and politics have coevolved but furthermore the natural world coexists with our institutions , which suggests that nature is a prominent part of our economy. In the first part of the…

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Money and Values

The lecture by Dr. Bernd Villhauer, Money and Moral, provided unconventional conversations and an overview of philosophical, cultural and religious thoughts on how humanity can shape economy. They managed to portray their ideas in a concise manner and illustrated them through visual references. Finally, they recommended further literature, like Money by Christian Felber and The…

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