Can’t buy me love: This month’s Brainy Brunch on money
What do you truly value? And does our monetary system value it too? Is money really as neutral as it’s supposed to be?
Originally posted by Anna Levy on Pioneer Pitstop
The fundamental flaws at the heart of our financial system – which relies on debt to succeed (it is “loaned into existence”, says Mick) and that has created growing inequality, were brought to the surface, sparking impassioned discussion amongst our brunchers.
From the interesting notion of interest, to the injustice of the cushioning afforded to the very richest in our society (“Ironically, you can be rich enough to get a free ride”, says Mick) the conversation eventually moved to a focus on solutions and some of the alternative, complementary currencies being developed by organisations such as Goodmoney.
Many of the myths and presumptions we have about our finance system were challenged through the discussion, opening up the space for new perspectives and ideas. For example, do we have to accept the fact that only the central and commercial banks can create money? As Mick pointed out, in any ecosystem, plurality leads to greater resilience – so would our society not therefore benefit from more diversity in the currencies available to us?
Perhaps in the future rather than asking “how can I find the money to pay for this?”, we might ask, “what kind of money would be best used on this occasion?”
Towards the end, we were invited to devise our own currencies, taking a social problem, such as unemployment or community breakdown as the starting point and looking into how a currency might provide a solution.
This was such a fascinating topic to kickstart the Brainy Brunch for 2015, and I’m really looking forward to more inspiring conversation over bagels and coffee throughout the year.
Next Brainy Brunch
Have you got a burning issue that you’d love to discuss with a friendly bunch of brunchers? Perhaps you’ve seen a TED talk that really caught your imagination, or you’re working around a social issue that you’d love to get a bit of relaxed debate going on?
Do get in touch if so! The Brainy Brunch topics are crowdsourced, and pretty much anything goes as long as it’s interesting enough to get our brains whirring on a Sunday morning. In the past, we’ve covered all kinds of issues, from the social construction of gender, to the effect of technology on our social connections, to kindness and authenticity.
In the meantime, here is Dr Mick Taylor’s own TEDx talk for inspiration:
The Dynamics of Modern Money – TEDx Brighton
You can follow him on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/drmicktaylor and Goodmoney: www.twitter.com/goodmoneyUK
And finally, here are some more links Mick has shared, including the video we didn’t have time to watch yesterday:
- Bernard Lietaer: Money diversity – http://poptech.org/popcasts/bernard_lietaer_money_diversity
- A short document explaining the complementary currency he was talking about – http://www.lietaer.com/images/C3_BAL_diagram.pdf
- Some links from the same guy – http://www.lietaer.com/tag/complementary-currencies/
- Some exercises for understanding money – http://suitpossum.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/understand-money.html
- Positive Money – http://www.positivemoney.org/
- Occupy Tours – http://occupytours.org/