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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AEMS and GBS Summer Universities 2020 kicked off with great succes!

Fighting climate change in times of health and economic crisis The academic summer programs Green.Building.Solutions. and Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems started with a public opening event. While there were 100 guests listening to the speeches of Austrian Federal Minister L. Gewessler, S. Schulmeister, H. Kromp-Kolb and K. Stieldorf in the charming environment of the…

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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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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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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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