Economy for the common good and strategies for degrowth

The economy for the common good was positioned as an alternative to the current neoliberal capitalistic model, one where money it to be used as a means to an end and not an end in and of itself. In other words, money is to serve the common good. There seems to be a contradiction when…

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The Sardine and the Whale

What happens when a group of innovative Italians find their communities short of nothing but cash after the financial crash in 2008? Well, in the case of Giuseppe Littera and his community in Sardinia, it leads to the introduction of a mutual credit system – the Sardex. Sizewise, it may compare to the overall amount…

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Utopias, local value creation and the Inner Yes

On the last lecture day of the AEMS summer school 2020, the first topics that we dealt with surrounded utopias for the future, localism in a globalized world and the importance of an “inner yes”. These were topics we had not really touched before, and they required and promoted a very interesting shift of perspective….

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The Future of Food Systems in a Changing World

Following the exchanges in the first session of the day with Gwendolin Hallsmith and Alexandra Strickner where we discussed the importance of localizing economies and transforming them in a way that serves the interest of the many over the few, we started this second session of our last week with a discussion with Thomas Liedenthal…

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Insights on Economic Democray and Communal Politics

In recent times, money has become a powerful leverage point even though not just neutral means of exchange (it is private, debt-based, has positive interests and is part of a monoculture, it is an operating system whose functioning parts remain invisible) and controls most of the transactions, key values or unit of measure for the…

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Reduction of Work

Finishing off the second week of the AEMS Summer University, the overarching topic of the Friday’s lectures was waged work today and its implications for society. The main common message of the lectures was to significantly reduce working time as well as the dependency on waged labour. Stefania Barca, who is a senior researcher at…

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Deglobalisation and Deep Adaptation

The session started with the discussion with Andreas Novy, concerning his lecture about deglobalisation. According to Novy, the neoliberal globalisation process that started in the 1980s is based on liberal globalism or illiberal cosmopolitanism: deep integration based on eroded territorial integrity, free trade and global financial markets. There are many signs that this order is…

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UBI & UBS – advantages, disadvantages and potential synergies

Ian Gough started his lecture on Universal Basic Services by addressing the climate and social crisis we are currently facing, which he called the “twin dilemma”. He pointed out that the world’s richest 10% are responsible for 50% of consumption emissions, yet the worst consequences of emissions have to be borne by the poor countries,…

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The role of alternative currencies to enhance sustainability – Discussions on a regional basic income and purpose driven tokens

Alternative currencies can either be thought of as substituting or complementing current official currency systems. As the government in most countries has a monopoly on issuing the legal tender, alternative currencies are mostly thought of as complementing it to achieve alternative collective goals. Alf Hornborg, who is professor for human ecology at the faculty of…

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Central Banks, Money and Morality

Today in the Wednesday Session, we had a few minutes to discuss the lectures of Bernd Villhauer and Beat Weber, separated into groups. The live discussion with Bernd Villhauer and Beat Weber started with an overview about money. It was interesting to follow the explication how and who creates money, about local money, the influence of markets,…

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Higher political legitimacy via citizen assemblies

Nowadays, the political discourse is often dominated by thinking within the vantage point of its own political party, not accepting good ideas by one’s opponents just because they come form another political party. As citizen one would expect that striving for the best ideas that benefit the most would be the main agenda and thus…

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Thomas Kubo – Compound Interest and International Debts

Thomas Kubo, a writer and activist from Germany, spoke with the students of AEMS regarding the role interest rates play as a driver of economic growth. Many of the ideas Mr. Kubo used in his lecture originated from Helmuth Creutz, a German architect and author who analyzed the economic system. The overarching point of the…

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Transform The Norm Before the Storm

This week we are diving into more specifics about the structures of the systems that run our markets, influence policy, and shape the way the world interacts with money. Monday’s Session Two started out with a discussion from Thierry Philipponnat, who was the founder of Finance Watch in 2011 in reaction to the 2008 financial…

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Understanding the Money, the Financial System and its Institutions

Explaining money, banking and financial markets in about half an hour is ambitious, yet Peter Wahl made the attempt to fulfill the task in order to lay a foundation for the second week of AEMS, which will deal with “Society, Money and the Environment”. To begin with, Peter Wahl explained the basic meaning and functions…

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From different perspectives, common ground is found

Today we heard Prof. Karl Steininger, Climate Economics and Sustainable Transition at Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change (WEGC) and Department of Economics, University of Graz, and Prof. Christian Zeller, from the Research Group of Economic Geography at the University of Salzburg. The two lecturers take very different approaches to the common problem of…

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2020, when the 21st century started!

After an overwhelming day full of Economics terminology, we were happy to start Wednesday with a focus on biophysical topics. Both of us have a background in natural science, so we expected numbers, statistics and concrete steps to make the economy more sustainable. But, to our surprise, we realized that we cannot disentangle the natural…

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