UK LETS and Complementary Currencies
Development Agency


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Conference June 25th-27th, 2004
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, USA

Please join us in June at Bard College for a conference dedicated to Understanding Money, Building Local Economies, and Renewing Community.

Why local currencies? In today's global economy our national currencies tend to flow where money is concentrated, rather than where money is scarce. As money is centralized, so is the productive economy–the part of the economy that produces real wealth. Manufacturing locations are chosen based on access to cheap labor and technology rather than out of ecological and humanitarian considerations. This trend has undermined regional economies and created economic, social, and environmental imbalances throughout the world. It is a trend that cannot be reversed by electoral politics or street demonstrations. Change must happen at a local level aided by the implementation of local and complementary currencies.

To create a local currency is not a form of local isolationism; it is not cutting oneself off from the rest of the world; it is simply a movement of citizens taking responsibility for the well being of their own community. Local and community currencies do not seek to replace national currencies, but to supplement them, hence the increasingly popular term "complementary currencies." Ultimately the goals of complementary currencies are to renew and uplift community, to create a sustainable and environmentally beneficial economy, and to empower all people with a new sense of what's possible.

One of the objectives of "Local Currencies in the 21st Century" is to bring the concept of local and complementary currencies to a broader audience. We are very excited about the remarkable group of conference co-sponsors who have agreed to help with this task, featuring such prominent publications as The Nation, Acres USA, Resurgence, Orion, Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures, World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues, E Magazine, In Business, and Dollars & Sense. In addition, a host of prestigious and pioneering organizations are supporting the conference including Co-op America, BALLE, Investor’s Circle, Chelsea Green Publishing, Institute for Local Self Reliance, NOFA Mass, Center for Community Futures, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, New Economics Foundation, and the Hawthorne Valley Association. And lastly, some of the ground breaking practitioners and pioneers of local and complementary currencies will be joining us from the ACCESS Foundation, Community Information Resource Center, Ithaca HOURS, Maine Time Dollar Network, and the Time Dollar Institute. With this team of visionary co-sponsors we are confident of taking the local currency movement into its new role in the twenty-first century. All that is needed is your participation and enthusiasm to bring this transformative tool to your community.

We are pleased to announce that Pete Seeger will be attending as our honorary guest along with Gandhian economist, Dwarko Sundrani. Pete will be performing Sunday evening at the Local Food Fest, a closing cookout with festivities to celebrate and honor local and family farmers. The closing event will be open to the public; so those with family and friends in the region, please welcome guests for a night of home-grown food and entertainment. For conference attendees who plan to stay Sunday night, Bard College is providing the opportunity for you to keep your dorm room an extra night for an additional $20 (less then half-price).

In addition to a stellar cast of keynote speakers, the conference program, still in preparation, will feature workshop presenters from all over the world. Joining us from Sweden is Per Almgren, designer of the interest-free savings and loans system developed in 1973 and used by the Swedish JAK bank (/www.jak.se) that is owned and managed by its 23,000 members. Per will be giving presentations on his experience with interest-free banking and will talk about ways to secure a local currency with conventional money.

Another extraordinary person taking part in the program is Auta Main, executive director of the Maine Time Dollar Network (soon to be the New England Time Dollar Network), who has helped build the MTDN into a model for others throughout the rest of the country and the world. She now serves as the interim Community Revitalization Director for Time Dollars USA, where she and other Time Dollar pioneers from around the country are working with Edgar Cahn (founder of Time Dollars) on organizational development for the new national network.

Coming from Japan are Ikuma Saga and Takanori Yamamoto. Together, they will be representing the Earth Day Money Association, a community currency in Japan that promotes environmentally friendly behavior. They will report on the local and complementary currency movement in Japan and how it is helping many Japanese communities deal with the problems facing the nation today.

Chris Lindstrom
Conference Coordinator
E. F. Schumacher Society
140 Jug End Road
Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230 USA
(413) 528-1737

The JAK MEMBERS BANK is the first interest-free bank in Sweden. The bank is owned and managed by its 23,000 members. The main purpose of JAK is to provide members with interest-free loans. Members are now also able to earmark their savings for selected local enterprises through JAK Local Enterprise Bank accounts (bygdebanker). Another important aspect of JAK is its commitment to spreading information about the ill effects of the prevailing interest-bearing monetary system. There has been international recognition for JAK's contributions to global monetary reform.


The story of money has been obscured from public view. Monetary reform has appeared sporadically throughout our nation’s history as a heated topic of aspiring politicians who championed it as a central platform in their election bid, but whose passion for reform died down once in office. According to Thomas Jefferson, "If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied."

"True economics never militates against the highest ethical standard, just as all true ethics to be worth its name must at the same time be also good economics. An economics that inculcates Mammon worship, and enables the strong to amass wealth at the expense of the weak, is a false and dismal science. It spells death. True economics, on the other hand, stands for social justice, it promotes the good of all equally including the weakest and is indispensable for decent life."
Mahatma Gandhi, Harijan, October 9, 1937

"A way of life that ever more rapidly depletes the power of earth to sustain it and piles up ever more insoluble problems for each succeeding generation can only be called 'violent' … In sort, man’s urgent task is to discover a non-violent way in his economics as well as in his political life … Present day economics, while claiming to be ethically neutral, in fact propagates a philosophy of unlimited expansionism without any regard to the true and genuine needs of man which are limited."
E. F. Schumacher, 1960

"The power of money creation is an indispensable prerequisite of 'sovereignty.' Whoever has the money creation power is sovereign, and the rest is for show."
Richard Kotlartz, 2003

Via : IJCCR <ijccr@yahoogroups.com
From: Todd Boyle <tboyle@rosehill.net

From: Bill Ellis <tranet@rangeley.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 08:09:00 -0500
Subject: Re: [Reg_Coop_Comm_Dev] Local Currences
Reply-To: Reg_Coop_Comm_Dev@yahoogroups.com

From: "E.F. Schumacher Society"
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 00:39:35 -0500
To: <tranet@rangeley.org>
Subject: Why Local Currencies?

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