The Call of Our Times

Humanity is now at a critical juncture. As Paul Hawken succinctly put it in his inspiring address to Portland University’s graduate class in May of 2009, “civilization needs a new operating system,” and fast. Many of the socio-economic rules under which we operate were created under a worldview that failed to recognize that the earth is a living system and that every form of life has its unique and valuable place and purpose in sustaining the larger web of life.

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What can governments do to address the banking crisis, remedy unemployment, poverty and ecological threats, and create conditions for sustainable abundance?


How can time-tested currency innovations such as mutual credit systems help businesses of all sizes deal with cash flow shortages and monetary instability?


What can communities do to leverage their untapped wealth and connect resources that would otherwise remain unused with needs that would otherwise remain unmet?


What can scientific and academic research tell us about how to design and implement more effective and resilient monetary systems?

Currency Proposals

What types of complementary currencies could help us overcome current obstacles to the flourishing of our educational, energy, commercial, and other systems?

The WAT System in Japan

May 21, 2010 – 1:01 pm |

This introduction to the WAT system is an excerpt from a longer paper by Mitra Ardron and Bernard Lietaer in which they offer ways of addressing some of the shortcomings of “peer-to-peer” currencies like the …

Sustainability and Money Systems

May 20, 2010 – 2:36 am |

What is the relationship between our money systems and sustainability?   In this video interview, Bernard Lietaer explains that our current money system programs us into short-term thinking, and is consequently a systemic cause of unsustainability.
“NB: …

Community Currencies: The Story of Banco Palmas in Brazil

May 19, 2010 – 11:53 pm |

The story of Banco Palmas in Brazil is a great example of how local currencies can stimulate the local economy.  With the help of NGOs, people in Palmeiras, an impoverished district in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil …

Beyond Greed and Scarcity: an Interview with Yes! Magazine

May 18, 2010 – 8:54 am | 2 Comments

In a 1997 interview with Yes Magazine, Bernard explains that the condition of scarcity which plagues many of our societies is actually a product of the kinds of money systems we adopt.   He also …

Money Should Work for Us, Not the Other Way Around: An Interview with Ode Magazine

March 28, 2010 – 1:35 am |

Interview with Bernard Lietaer
Jurriaan Kamp | Ode Magazine, September 2005 issue
What is money? Do we need more of it to solve some of the world’s problems? Or is money the cause of them? Ex-banker Bernard …

The Wörgl Experiment: Austria (1932-1933)

March 27, 2010 – 7:34 am |

In 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, the small town of Wörgl in Austria successfully experimented with its own local currency (in the form of a stamp scrip).   Based on the thinking of …

Community Solutions: An Overview

March 17, 2010 – 8:44 pm |

To understand why the introduction of complementary local currencies is essential to community revitalization and sustainable development, it is critical to first understand the monetary underpinnings of pervasive community challenges such as unemployment, lack of …

Examples and Case Studies

March 15, 2010 – 9:02 am |

There are numerous examples of successful community currencies.

Time Dollars whose purpose is to “reweave community” is a currency which is now applied in several hundred communities in the United States and around the world.   Time …

Learn More: Community Links and Resources

March 13, 2010 – 9:46 am | Comments Off on Learn More: Community Links and Resources

Implementing Community Currencies
If you are considering introducing complementary currencies in your community, take a look at the Community Currency Guide. This is a workbook co-authored by Bernard Lietaer and Gwendolyn Hallsmith from Global Community Initiatives.  …

Business Solutions: An Overview

March 11, 2010 – 6:02 am | Comments Off on Business Solutions: An Overview

Although we have witnessed the biggest bailout in human history, the real economy—the one in which businesses manufacture and sell goods and services—is turning out to be the next victim of the banking crisis of …