[Call for Papers] Alternative currencies. Commodities and services as exchange currencies in the monetarized economies of the 13th to 18th centuries.

The results of this call for research papers will be presented at Prato during the 54th Study Week (May 14th-18th, 2023).

[Download Call for Papers 2023]

[Download Format for Abstract Submission]

[Original Post]

Ricc. 2669, FILIPPO CALANDRI, Trattato di aritmetica, Sec. XV, fine; Firenze; bottega di Boccardino il vecchio.
Baratto di lana a panno, c. 66r
© Biblioteca Riccardiana
Ricc. 2669, FILIPPO CALANDRI, Trattato di aritmetica, Sec. XV, fine; Firenze; bottega di Boccardino il vecchio. Baratto di lana a panno, c. 66r. © Biblioteca Riccardiana

According to Adam Smith, the division of labor intensified the scale of barter transactions and ultimately led to the growth of money (1776, Book 1, 81 ff). The transition from barter to money (even commodity money) thus signaled the progression from a natural economic framework to a monetary economy. Yet the “paradigm of the savage devoted to bartering” and the primary use of barter have been strongly challenged by Karl Polanyi for whom “barter, payment in kind, and exchange constitute a principle of economic behavior that depends on the market model to be effective” (Polanyi 1944). Even Fernand Braudel pointed out the existence of barter “at the heart of monetary economies” (1967, 338). More recent scholarship by historians and anthropologists such as David Graeber (2011) has also worked to dismantle this “barter fable”, by acknowledging that practices represented by barter, payment in kind, and exchange were not necessarily “primitive” nor strictly opposed to the use of money in buying and selling.

The whole Study Week will be devoted to the study of the importance and exact place of such alternative trade practices in the economies of the 13th to 18th centuries. If the expression “alternative currencies” has in the past generally referred to monies used as an alternative to national or prevailing multinational monetary systems, we wish here to concentrate attention on payments in kind or commodities and services employed as means of barter in the monetarized economies of the 13th to 18th centuries. Although the monetary theory has focused mainly on credit, the money of account and real money in the form of coins or paper money, a striking feature of the circulation of money is that coins or paper money have not prevented payments in kind, partial or not. While this perspective on barter has been interpreted as evidence of the existence of a world of “scarce money” limited to the countryside and periods of money shortage, or as reflecting the desire of authorities to fix the value of goods, these arguments have been refuted by researchers like Laurence Fontaine (2008), Craig Muldrew (2001), and Jean-Michel Servet (1988; 1994).

Barter has long been considered as a practice adapted to the absence of cash. In this respect, the world of peasants is often seen as the location par excellence for this type of alternative exchange. It would be a mistake, however, to think the practice was limited to rural areas. If we look closely at payment details in many contracts, for example, we can see that bartering or payments in kind were also present in the city. Linking the use of barter-only to the lack of money also overlooks the possibility that bartering may have been a choice since there is no indication that it is always done by default (Humphrey and Hugh-Jones, 1992). The alternative modes of exchange, on which the whole Study Week will focus, go beyond the simple palliative. In each case, we must question the reasons, meanings, and economic consequences in order to understand the specific characteristics of each instance of the use of alternative currencies.

These payments, partly or entirely in kind, are found in all economic activities, whether in production, markets, wages, or consumption.

Production. In contracts, it was not uncommon, for example, for reused raw materials to be included and given a value, whether the materials were the rubble of the previous building or the metal of an old bell that helped to pay for making a new one.
Wages. A part of many salaries could be given in food, lodging, clothing, and even tools. Some occupations were accustomed to this kind of remuneration, such as domestic servants who received clothes from their masters on top of food and lodging. In the textile and coal industries, production residues might be passed on to workers. Administrators were also be expected to pay with – and to receive – gifts, creating tensions between gifts and corruption.
Services. The aristocratic economy could fuel payments in alternative currencies because so many services were remunerated by gifts: for example, in the Grand Tour, aristocrats carried objects with them to pay for most services. In both rural and urban areas, rents could be paid in labor, transport, or by means of some maintenance work.
Exchanges. In the city as in the countryside, a lack of cash could preclude the use of money, but “reciprocal exchanges” (Lambrecht, 2003) could involve partial payments in money, materials, or products.

A better understanding of these practices will help craft a more nuanced economic history in which the essential role of money is balanced by a consideration of “quasi-currencies” (Lopez 1981).

Papers should consider one or more of these questions:

  1. Mechanisms for using alternative currencies
  1. Did barter, payment in kind or in service, reciprocal exchange, etc… entail contemporary, complementary, or competing uses of alternative currencies?
  2. Was the use of an alternative currency linked to a particular economic situation, such as an episode of growth, decline, or economic crisis?
  3. What links did quasi-money have with money? Did these links change according to place, period, or economic conditions?

2. The diffusion of alternative currencies

  1. If we consider the use of quasi-currencies as linked to more than the agricultural world, how can we appreciate their diffusion in the economy of the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries?
  2. Were barter, payment in kind or in service, and reciprocal exchange more widely used in some production sectors than in others?
  3. To what extent were quasi-currencies reserved or limited – generally or depending on the circumstances – to particular types of transactions, such as paying for certain wages, services, real estate, etc…?

3. The nature of alternative currencies

  1. What were quasi-currencies? Beyond the broad categories under which we can classify them, did certain goods, services, debts or claims appear as privileged quasi-currencies?
  2. What were the qualities required by a good or a service to become a quasi-currency?
  3. Were there any differences and changes in the nature of quasi-currencies according to geographical area, types of transactions, times or periods of the year?

4. Uses of alternative currencies
a) As a means of exchange, could certain quasi-currencies, like land, also serve as a store of value? Could alternative currencies be used to measure the value or be used as instruments of economic policy?
b) Did European penetration in Africa, America, and Asia make the use of alternative currencies more frequent to facilitate the exchange of goods?
c) While recent work highlights the link between the share of in-kind compensation and the length of employment, the question of the usefulness of alternative currencies remains open.

Boone, Marc, and Howell, Martha, (eds.), In But Not of the Market. Exchanging Movables in Late Medieval Society and Early Modern Economy, Bruxelles 2007.
Braudel, Fernand, Civilisation matérielle, économie et capitalisme XVe-XVIIIe siècle, t. I., Paris, Armand Colin, 1967.
Fontaine, Laurence, L’économie morale, pauvreté, crédit et confiance dans l’Europe préindustrielle, Paris, Gallimard, 2008.
Graeber, David, Debt: The First 5000 Years, New-York, Melville House, 2011.
Humphrey, Caroline, et Hugh-Jones, Stephen, Barter, Exchange, and Value. An Anthropological Approach, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Lambrecht, Thijs, « Reciprocal Exchange, Credit, and Cash: Agricultural Labour Markets and Local In the Southern Low Countries during the Eighteenth Century », Continuity and Change, vol. 18, no 2, 2003, p. 237-261.
Lopez, Roberto S., « Discorso introduttivo », in La moneta nell’economia europea. Secoli XIII-XVIII, a cura di Vera Barbagli Bagnoli, Firenze, Le Monnier, 1981, p. 3 (Atti delle « Settimane di studio » e altri convegni 7).
Muldrew, Craig, « ‘Hard Food for Midas’. Cash and its Social Value in Early Modern England », Past & Present, no. 170, Febr. 2001, p. 78-120.
Polanyi, Karl, The Great Transformation, New York, Farad & Rinehart, 1944.
Servet, Jean-Michel, « La fable du troc », Dix-huitième Siècle, n°26, 1994, p. 103-115.
Servet, Jean-Michel, « La monnaie contre l’État ou la fable du troc », Droit et monnaie, 1988, p. 49-62.
Smith, Adam, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, London, W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1776.
Spufford, Peter, Money and Its Use in Medieval Europe, New York, Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 382-384.

Expected Results

The selected papers will be presented and discussed at Prato in the course of Study Week 2023. After the discussion at the Study Week sessions, scholars should complete and revise their texts by 30 June 2023. All contributions received by the Institute will be subject to anonymous adjudication before publication.

Call for Papers

Scholars are invited to send their proposals by compiling an abstract that will be reviewed by the Executive Committee.

The paper should represent an original contribution and be either generally comparative or a specific case study that speaks to the larger questions set out here. Participants who are pursuing a PhD, should have completed it before the start of the conference.

Papers proposed by projects or collaborative groups that link scholars from different countries and institutions will be assessed with particular interest if they offer a comparative analysis in geographical or diachronic terms across two or more related research themes. We will also consider innovative session formats for these type of proposals.

The completed format must be received by 15 April 2022 to the following e-mail address: datini@istitutodatini.it

The Executive Committee will only take fully completed formats into consideration and will decide by 2022 whether they have been accepted when authors of the selected proposals will be notified. Depending on the Institute’s financial resources, at least 25 scholars will be provided with hospitality at Prato for the Study Week. The Council may also invite up to 20 additional scholars to participate in the project without any right to hospitality or reimbursement.

The Fondazione Datini will award for the Prato conference up to 10 Travel Bursaries to cover travel costs for the conference to the maximum of 250 euros per grant for postdoctoral scholars who do not hold a full-time academic position. Applicants must send the travel bursaries form to the Fondazione Datini with their paper by 10 April 2023. The grant will be paid during the conference on the presentation of travel receipts.

The members of the Executive Committee are: Erik Aerts (Leuven, President), Michael North (Greifswald, Vice-President), Paolo Malanima (Catanzaro, Vice-President), Giampiero Nigro (Florence, Scientific Director), Philippe Bernardi (Paris), Hilario Casado Alonso (Valladolid), Olga Katsiardi-Hering (Athens), Maryanne Kowaleski (New York), Giuseppe Petralia (Pisa), Gaetano Sabatini (Rome Tre).

All submitted contributions must be original and not previously published or translated from previous publications.

The provisional texts of the selected contributions or at least a detailed synthesis must reach the Fondazione Datini (Datini Foundation) by 10 April 2023. They will be made available (with protected access reserved for the participants of the project and members of the Scientific Committee) before the Study Week in order to allow a deeper discussion of their contents.
Authors who fail to send their provisional texts to the Fondazione that day, can not be included in the final program. In absence of the author, the synthesis will be read during the conference.

During the week, participants will offer a summary presentation of their contribution lasting 20 minutes.
Simultaneous translation from and to Italian and English will be available.

The definitive texts of the paper, revised by the authors following the discussion (maximum 60,000 characters) must be sent to the Institute by 30 June 2023.
They will be subject to anonymous adjudication. Texts that pass the assessment stage will be published in a special volume within a year.

For the purpose of publication, texts will be accepted in Italian, French, English, Spanish, and German.
Authors who are not writing in their native language are advised to have the language of their text vetted and corrected before submitting their paper for the assessment stage since one of the requirements for publication is that the grammar and writing style meet high academic standards.

[ Conference ] 2nd Italian National Meeting on Eco-Solidarity and Alternative Currencies – 16-17 October 2021 (Milan, Italy)

As part of the Monete Laboratory project, the meeting is supported by researchers and activists from RetiCS, Lombard Coordination of Time Banks, Co-Energia, Ephemeral, ForumCt, Mi Fido di Noi, RIES (Network Italian Solidarity Economy), School of Political Activation. The objectives pursued are the following:

– spread the knowledge about complementary currency systems, and use them to solve issues related to the environmental sustainability, and governance of public and common goods;

– consider those community and complementary currency systems most suitable to sustain eco-solidarity practices;

– stimulate communication and interaction between the different projects of community and complementary currency systems, local governments, and policymakers.

How to participate

The event can be attended online. Please send an email to laboratoriomonete [at] gmail.com. For info and updates, please check the Facebook page and the RETICS website.

[Conference] 7th MRC Conference on 21-22 September 2021 (Sofia,Bulgaria)

Dear RAMICS subscribers,

It is our great honor to kindly invite you to the 7th Annual Monetary and Economic Scientific Conference – THE NEW NORMALITY AFTER THE PANDEMIC – AN ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE  
which will be hosted by the Monetary and Economic Research Center jointly with the Department of Finance of UNWE and the Economic and Politics Institute on 21 – 22 September 2021 at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia and online. MRC Annual Conference provides an opportunity for fellows and non-fellows of MRC to exchange ideas and to discuss results from economic research. The main panels of the conference will be:

1. Monetary and Financial Economics 

2. International Economics and International Political Economy 

3. Economic and monetary History and History of Economic Thought 

4. Environmental, social, and solidarity economy

5. Management and Marketing 

The conference is open to anybody involved in these research areas, including both young and experienced researchers, Ph.D. students, post-doctoral researchers, and professionals from business, government, and non-governmental institutions. Conference papers will be published on the website of MRC and selected papers will be published in a special issue of Economic Alternatives Journal.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us: mrc@unwe.bg.

Stay safe,

RAMICS Communication Staff

[ Workshop ] Who rules the money: the legal challenge of complementary currencies as a social innovation

Sander Van Parijs (Muntuit vzw), Diana Kretschmann (Possible Today), Nicolas Franka (Financite), Christian Gelleri (Chiemgauer), and Marek Hudon (ULB) will host a dedicated interactive session on complementary currencies at the European Social Economy Summit 2021.

On the program at 26th of May 10:00 – 13:00:

Who rules the money: the legal challenge of complementary currencies as a social innovation

Complementary currencies are rising in Europe. As many social innovations, they struggle with the legal framework provided by the EU – e.g. E-money directive, public procurement, etc., the variety of translations by its member states, and policies of their own state – e.g. fiscal policy. Through the interactive Open Space Methodology, it will be possible to explore creative solutions and formulate a joint agenda.

There will be break-out rooms on Governance, E-money, Public procurement, and Digital currencies. For inspiration, it will be possible to work with concrete tensions and solutions from the field, while also encouraging reflection on the topics.

Attendance is free, but participants have to register.

[ RAMICS Online Roundtable ] Follow-up

Dear RAMICS members

Dear IJCCR readers,

Thank you so much for taking part in our first online roundtable! It was a great success with more than 50 participants from all over the world. Your pro-active involvement raised a lot of fruitful discussions!

You can find the the recorded video (YouTube, TubEdu), the text file of the chat (click here), and the speakers’ presentations (click here).

See you at the next RAMICS event!

[Conference] Liquidity-Saving through Obligation-Clearing and Mutual Credit

Friday, 5 March 2021 – 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm GMT. Please register at the Meetup event by clicking here.

Tomaž Fleischman will present his paper, ‘Liquidity-Saving through Obligation-Clearing and Mutual Credit: An Effective Monetary Innovation for SMEs in Times of Crisis’, followed by questions and a general discussion.

Published late last year, this paper demonstrates the remarkable potential for liquidity saving (in straight terms, cashflow improvements) in the context of an SME trading network from two mechanisms – obligation-clearing (continuous multilateral invoice offsetting) and mutual credit (pooled trade credit).

In crude terms, each mechanism alone reduces the need for hard cash to settle invoices by around 25% for a typical participant in the network – and further, they can operate in tandem without diminishing this impact, for a typical 50% reduction in the quantity of cash needed within the network to finance internal trade.

This is not a theoretical result – Tomaž (who works for Slovenian company BE Solutions [http://www.be-solutions.si/]) and his co-authors, Paolo Dini and Giuseppe Littera used Tetris software to analyse a real dataset of over 138,000 transactions from 3199 firms, with a total value of >€31M, to produce these results.

The mechanisms analysed are not theoretical either – the Slovenian state has been operating a continuous clearing system for decades, which have helped that country weather several financial crises. And the Sardex network in Sardinia (from which the data originates) operates a Mutual Credit system that powers ~€50M per year in trade, with no bank-money involved.

We will discuss how these tools – which are well known and routinely used by banks and large corporations – can now be made available for use by SME networks and local community wealth-building initiatives.

The full paper is here: https://www.mdpi.com/1911-8074/13/12/295/htm

RAMICS Online Roundtable on March 5, 2021

At a time of uncertainty about the future and increased precarity in the present, we at RAMICS believe that complementary and community currencies have become and even more relevant tool to build community resilience and hopefully help us transition towards a more sustainable future. So, while the pandemic has forced the bi-annual RAMICS conference to be postponed, we see the need to keep the conversation alive. For this reason, we are organizing an online Round-table on March 5.

The round-table will focus on the question: What ideas, technologies and practices are conducive to the development and institutionalization of complementary currencies?
Presenters will be Chikako Nakayama, Manabu Kuwata, Fabienne Pinos, Rolf Schroeder and Marcus Petz.
They will help us advance the conversation on ideas, technologies and practices advancing efforts to implement complementary currencies.

Mark the date in your calendar, stay tuned, and join the conversation on March 5, 17.00-19.00 Japan time, or 09.00-11.00 Central European time.

Click on the link to join the round-table https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/63626993784

RAMICS Conference 2019 awarded by JNTO

Dear RAMICS members,

We are glad to announce that our last RAMICS Conference, which took place in Japan (Hida-Takayama) in 2019 (RAMICS 2019), won the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Award for Contribution to the Attraction and Hosting of International Conferences in the category of hosting international conferences (small-to-medium size).

RAMICS 2019 is one of the eight winners (four for the large size events and four small-to-medium ones) in the category of international conferences in 2020. It seems that the initiative to issue community currency in Takayama during the conference was highly evaluated. This initiative was based on the community currency markets at previous conferences in Brazil and Spain.

This award recognises not only RAMICS 2019, but also the way RAMICS conferences have been organised in the past. The people of Sarubobo coin and Enepo are also very happy about this award.

The press release can be found here in Japanese only.

Thank you for reading and for your support,

Best wishes

[Course] Business Administration. From Barter to Bitcoin and Beyond: Re-imagining Money for a Sustainable Future

Business Administration. From Barter to Bitcoin and Beyond: Re-imagining Money for a Sustainable Future

First Cycle Course. 7.5 credits

Learning outcomes

Growing inequality, apocalyptic environmental damage, and the protracted effects of a global financial crisis have resulted in a discussion on the role of our monetary system for the organization of society. At the same time, new technological and financial developments are giving rise to much experimentation on new forms of money. This course looks at various attempts to “re-imagine money.” It explores opportunities for addressing big societal challenges and asks in particular how new forms of money can contribute to developing more just and equal societies. A passing grade on the course will be awarded to students who:


1. Knowledge and understanding

– Demonstrate an understanding of how our national and international monetary systems work.

– Demonstrate an ability to identify relevant research topics within the are of international strategic management of trade and monetary exchange.

2. Competence and skills

– Demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge on international management, monetary theory, and digital technologies to analyse, assess and deal with issues related to various forms of local, national and international monies.

– Demonstrate an ability to independently identify a social / environmental challenge and formulate a design for a monetary system addressing that challenge,

– Demonstrate an ability to assess the potentials and limitations of particular monetary system and clearly present arguments of its strengths and weaknesses.

– Demonstrate an understanding of the future challenges and main issues related to international strategic management of glocal monetary systems.

3. Judgement and approach

– Demonstrate an ability to assess the boundaries of the current monetary system and discuss the opportunities and limitations for change agents to impact it.

– Demonstrate an ability to identify their need of further knowledge concerning monetary systems and technologies and to take responsibility for developing their knowledge.

Course content

Imagine you have the possibility to re-imagine our monetary system: Where would you start? How would you build it on the new monetary technologies? How would you work to make it more conducive to just and equal societies? The global financial crisis of 2008 marked the beginning of an intense discussion on the consequences of our monetary system on the organization of our societies. The concentration of wealth in “the one percent” in parallel to austerity policies, the increase of prices of financial assets parallel to a retrenchment of the welfare state have resulted in a generalised realisation that the monetary system has not been serving the interests of the population as a whole. The discussion on the organization of our monetary system is however as much driven by frustration towards the financial system as it is by excitement about new monetary developments. New payment systems (such as Swish or Apple Pay), the decline of cash, the emergence of digital currencies (such as Bitcoin and Ethereum) as well as local currencies (such as Time Dollars, Regiogeld or Transition Town currencies) and the development of new financial practices (such as P2P lending, crowdfunding or ICOs) are opening up our thinking on money and our possibilities to re-imagine, re-organize and re-claim money. That is, the changing nature of money is giving rise to a wave of experimentation on new forms of money. These experiments see money not as an obstruction but as a vehicle for constructing more sustainable economies, more resilient communities and more fair societies. While these new monetary ideas and real-life efforts may seem contradictory, money scholars, practitioners and activists agree that money needs to be re-organized, that this can be done from the bottom-up, and that we can indeed imaginatively engage with the future of money. This course is addressed to students who want to explore the idea that money can be re-designed. Students will be exposed to the theoretical and practical realities that come with “re-imagining money”. The course does not require previous knowledge in neither finance nor economics or technology. It however does ask students to be open to actively engage in re-thinking the monetary landscape. We will do this through a monetary workshop at the end of the course, in which student groups will be designing a monetary system for a particular social purpose.

Course design

The course combines a variety of methods, ranging from traditional lectures, case studies, interaction-based pedagogy, reading groups, student debates, group work, and money co-creation workshops. Students are expected to participate actively in class.


Examination in this course is a two-step process:

– Mid-course written exam; max. 2 pages. In a short written essay, students will be asked to describe an aspect of the current monetary system.

– Final written take-home assignment; max. 5 pages. Students will be asked to design a monetary system to address a particular social / environmental challenge. In a written essay, students will be asked to present the monetary system they have designed and discuss its potential and limitations. This exam needs to engage the literature discussed throughout the course. The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability. Sub-courses that are part of this course can be found in an appendix at the end of this document.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are that the student has taken courses in Business Administration corresponding to 30 credits.

Subcourses in FEKG95, Business Administration: From Barter to Bitcoin and Beyond: Re-imagining Money for a Sustainable Future.

2001 Our present monetary system – Written exam, 2,0 hp Grading scale: Fail, Pass

2002 Designing a monetary system – Take home assignment, 5,5 hp Grading scale: Fail, Pass

Source: https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/lubas/i-uoh-lu-FEKG95#description






[Course] Digital Monies for a Sustainable Future

Digital Monies for a Sustainable Future


Open for applications

Time: 1 September – 13 October 2020
Course code: EHFE016
Points: 7.5 ECTS
Level: PhD Program
Last day to apply: 14 August 2020
Location: The course is held mostly online by the School of Economics and Management, Lund, Sweden.

Course syllabus & literature (PDF, 141 kB)

Main category of the course

The course is taught under the Agenda 2030 Graduate School at Lund University, Sweden. It is the result of a collaboration between the School of Engineering and the School of Economics and Management.

Course coordinator 
Ester Barinaga (ester.barinaga@fek.lu.se), Dept. of Business Administration, LUSEM

Course Faculty 

Course content

Growing inequality, apocalyptic environmental damage, and the protracted effects of a global financial crisis have resulted in a discussion on the role of our monetary system for the organization of society. At the same time, new technological and financial developments are giving rise to much experimentation on new forms of money. This interdisciplinary PhD course examines the technological developments that are facilitating monetary innovation and the role of monetary entrepreneurs in re-organising the production and circulation of money. The course provides students with the tools to explore opportunities for addressing big societal challenges and asks in particular how new forms of money can contribute to developing more just and equal societies. To understand these new digital monies, the course uses theories from the subfields of organisation studies, innovation and entrepreneurship, and STS (science and technology studies).

Course design

The course is structured in 3 modules as follows:

  1. Setting the Stage (online)

The purpose of this module is to provide the student with an introduction to the discourse on the role digital monies can play in organising a sustainable future. The key points of focus will be: an overview of contemporary money; and the digital technologies that are enabling the re-imagination of currency. This module is in two sessions:

1.1. Money, its production and management today – Where does money come from? And how is it organised? Although we use money everyday, few stop to wonder where the money they use comes from and how it is managed. And yet, the traits of the creation and management process shape the form of our economies and societies. In this session, we will learn the process through which today’s money is created and managed today. In this doing, we will look at how our ideas on money are shaped by monetary theories that may have little to do with the actual management of money and monetary systems.

1.2. Crypto-technology – Today’s discussion on money is as much driven by a frustration with the current financial system as it is by excitement about new technological developments. Among others, much hope is placed on blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies that use it. In this session we will discuss the technology behind digital and cryptocurrencies, the principles that guide the development of these novel technologies and the ideals that stimulate organisational innovation for the management of these currencies. What are the possibilities they open? And what are their limitations for efforts to re-organize our economy?
2. Monetary innovations past and present (online)

This module looks at past and present efforts to change the monetary system (both their production and management). Some of the key questions that will be discussed are: How are past monetary ideas being adapted into today’s tech and monetary innovations? And how do they contribute (or not) to create more resilient communities, more equal societies, and a more sustainable environment? We will discuss such questions in four sessions, each focusing on one particular type of monetary organisation:

2.1. Sovereign Money: Banque Générale (John Law) & Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC)
2.2. Global cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin & FairCoin
2.3. Citizens Monies: Wörgl & Kenyan Community Cryptocurrencies
2.4. Corporate Monies

3. Money Co-Design Workshop (1,5 days physical offline workshop)

Imagine you have the possibility to re-imagine our monetary system: Where would you start? How would you build it on the new monetary technologies? How would you organise it to make it more conducive to just, equal and sustainable societies? This session puts that question to work in the design of a monetary system for a particular social challenge of your choice. We will work in groups
to apply the theories seen throughout the course to the co-design of a monetary system that you will be presenting in class.

Learning objectives

A passing grade will be given to students that:

Knowledge and understanding: 
•    Demonstrate an ability to use relevant theories to understand how our national and international monetary systems are organised and managed.
•    Demonstrate an ability to apply theories from various fields to understand how new digital technologies are contributing to re-organise the monetary system.

Competence and skills: 
•    Demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge from business administration, engineering and innovation studies to analyse the organisational opportunities and challenges associated to various forms of monies.
•    Demonstrate an ability to assess the potentials and limitations both of particular monetary systems and of digital monetary technologies and clearly present conceptual arguments for their organisational strengths and weaknesses.

Judgement and approach: 
•    Demonstrate an ability to identify relevant research topics at the intersection between the fields of business administration, engineering and innovation studies.
•    Demonstrate an ability to critically discuss central issues in the organization of digital monies in an informed way and covey this knowledge to others interested in the topic.


Examination in this course includes several moments:

  1. Mandatory participation in all course seminars. Students are expected to attend all seminars having read all texts relevant for each seminar, and actively take part in course discussions. Students who are unable to attend any seminar are required to contact the course co-ordinator with a view to undertaking a compensatory assignment.
  2. Group work – Students will be grouped in interdisciplinary teams. Each group will be asked to design a monetary system for a particular sustainability challenge and present it for the rest of the class. In this presentation, student groups will be asked to use theories from the subfields of organisation studies, innovation and entrepreneurship, and STS seen in the course to argue for the particular monetary and organisational design. Their presentation will be the basis for class discussion in the course’s last session.
  3. Individual written essay; max. length 3,500 words. After the course, students will be asked to choose one case of digital currencies and apply the business administration, engineering and grassroots innovation theories treated in the course to discuss how it re-thinks money.

The course in graded on a Pass or Fail basis.

Teaching methods

The course is designed as a blended course, that is with online and offline moments. It combines a variety of teaching methods, ranging from mini-lectures, webinars, case studies, reading groups, student debates, and group work. Students are expected to participate actively in class.

Course schedule

The online sessions will be given on September 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, as well as October 6. The course ends with a one-and-a-half physical money co-design workshop on October 12 and 13.

Entry requirements and selection

The course is open to PhD students from all faculties. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available places in the course, students from the Agenda 2030 Graduate School at Lund University, will be given priority.

Source: https://entrepreneur.lu.se/en/courses-and-programmes/phd_courses/digital-monies-for-a-sustainable-future