RTES article, France

On 10 November, the 6th “Collectivities & Local Currencies” meeting was held in Lyon, co-organised by the SOL Movement, the local currency La Gonette and the RTES, with the support of the Metropolis of Lyon. More than 120 people from all over the country, elected representatives of local authorities and local currency holders, met to better understand the territorial impact of local currencies, the ways in which they are used by local authorities and the prospects for new cooperation on several issues.

In just 10 years, more than 80 local currencies have been created in France. These currencies are real tools for economic resilience, but they are also a lever for ecological and social transition. A growing number of local authorities are encouraging their development, even accepting them as payment for local public services and not hesitating to integrate them into the implementation of public policies.

This meeting took place in several stages:

  • Opening with an introduction
  • Plenary 1 “Social and territorial impact of local currencies”: This first plenary was an opportunity to present the study conducted by the Sol Movement on the social impact of local currencies and their full contribution to the general interest. The study can be downloaded here (.pdf in French), and shows how local currencies appear as a transversal lever of transitions :
  • Plenary 2 “Legal framework and modalities of use of local currencies by local authorities”.

  • 4 thematic workshops:

Local currencies and social action: At the crossroads of SSE actors and local authorities, what actions can be implemented via local currencies?

How to inject local currencies into the territory while trying to reach a new target group, in particular people who are far from local currencies? How can the use of local currencies in shops be de-stigmatised?

Local currencies and ecology: Promoting eco-gestures, circular economy loops or supporting professionals in their transition…

How can local currency be a lever for the ecological transition of territories? Should eco-gestures be rewarded with local currency to perpetuate both the use of this currency & these new ecological habits?

Local currencies and sustainable tourism: Highlighting the value of one’s territory and local actors through the use of local currency and encouraging new cooperation in the service of a local economy.

Can tourism be considered as the first entry point for installing a local currency in a territory? Should we break the membership barrier & offer temporary membership to tourists to promote sustainable & social tourism?

Strengthen the economic impact of local currencies on my territory: Exchange rate bonus in LC, payment of subsidies in LC… Experiments already exist and are just waiting to be scaled up.

How can we find the right balance between the values of a territory, the desire to promote local development and openness to the economic world? Can LCs work in conjunction with large franchised companies & to what extent?