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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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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