Money could be defined as a medium of exchange that is widely used and accepted in transactions involving the transfer of goods and services. Even if we tend to treat money as a neutral measuring stick, a recent study of the Club of Rome proves this to be wrong. Specifically, concerning the logical sustainability framework, money is anything but neutral.
Monetary research brings another perspective of the nature of money. Most people have begun only after the 2007 economic crisis to understand how our system works. At the same time, multiple and varied forms of money different from the mainstream have been emerging worldwide. On the one hand, this current trend is a return to the past since multiple currencies were common until the late 19th century in the global north and are still normal outside it. On the other hand, the scale, diversity, and technology of the new forms of money today are unique.
Monetary innovation, designed from the bottom up, poses urgent questions about the nature of money. In a critical climatic era where the consequences of our actions could be definitive for our everyday lives, the need for effective appraisal and regulation of economic schemes is urgent.
Fig. 2. iLEU local system. Source: SPIRE Baia Mare: White paper ILEU (2020)
Redesigning money with social or environmental goals could drive a new global mindset and a behavioral shift focused on people and the planet. It could also change the current misconceptions about the idea of growth, bringing to the table the concept of prosperity in relation to development, climate protection, equity, and inclusiveness.