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Kristofer Dittmer is a PhD student in Ecological Economics at ICTA-UAB. He holds undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Environmental Economics from Gothenburg University, and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. His doctoral research focuses on the usefulness of local currencies in achieving socio-ecological change.
Research interests: local currencies, social and solidarity economy, degrowth.
About local currencies:
Local currencies are often proposed by degrowth advocates as innovations that facilitate the creation of convivial and ecologically sustainable societies. They are alternatives or complements to legal tender money that are mostly created by civil society and sometimes by public authorities, and that circulate in a more limited area than conventional money. Common examples are Local Exchange and Trading Schemes (LETS), time banks, and convertible and non-convertible paper currencies. Over the last few decades, local currencies have been variously viewed as policies for social inclusion, tools for local economic development, and survival mechanisms in times of economic crisis. Our research on local currencies focuses on the feasibility of alternative monetary systems and on their relevance to the socio-ecological transition called for by degrowth proponents. We draw inspiration from the postcapitalist ‘diverse economies’ project in economic geography as an antidote against the pessimism induced by discursive constructions of omnipresent Capitalism, tempered however by a fresh awareness of its frightful sibling; Fossil Energy Civilization. Research on local currencies at an interesting juncture between the two is currently conducted in Venezuela (see introductory article ‘Communal currencies in Venezuela’ by Kristofer Dittmer).
Local currencies for purposive degrowth? A quality check of some proposals for changing money-as-usual. K.Dittmer, forthcoming in the Journal of Cleaner Production.-