A two-pager about the role of monetary design in the climate and ecological crisis.
Een interview door Matthijs van Rumpt over de rol van geld in maatschappelijke vraagstukken.
Natural solutions and technologies for a more sustainable society are available, yet the reality of a global climate breakdown is only becoming more pressing each day. In failing to act on the climate crisis, lack of money plays a significant role.
Today money appears like rain: whether you like the way it works or not, it’s a fact of life that you can’t do anything about it. It’s just there. In reality, money resembles bikes more than it resembles rain. Money is technology instead of nature. Like bikes, money is designed by humans. And it’s design affects how it works. Just like a racing bike makes it more likely you’ll speed up, a design of money foregrounds a specific value system. One of the most fundamental assumptions of economics is that money is neutral. But it’s not. The material conditions under which money is created affect our economies and shape our society.
Today’s dominant design of money complicates sustainability transitions. We are told to employ our money in different ways, to vote with our money. But conventional money can’t be used differently enough to transition to a sustainable society. It’s like trying to use a racing bike on a mountain bike route. Fortunately, we can change our monetary system such that it supports the sustainability transitions we work for everyday.
I felt honoured to participate in the 31st EAEPE conference in Warsaw. This years theme was ‘breaking walls’. Money is surrounded by walls as well. Due to the many implicit assumptions we have about money, we can’t have a real discussion. In my presentation I made a case for breaking down these walls, because unless it’s acknowledged that design of money has to become part of sustainability transitions, we’re headed for extinction.