From September 7 to 11 in the town of Giovinazzo, near Bari in Italy, the Summer University of Degrowth took place. The University organized by the association for Degrowth and by the Italian Solidarity Economy network (RES – Rete di economia solidale), was an opportunity to deepen the themes of social solidarity economy in a convivial atmosphere, promoting exchanges between stakeholders and participants. Solidarius Italia participated in the person of Stefano Caffari, author of this article.
The central theme of this edition was about alternative currencies and LETs – Local Exchange Trading Systems, fundamental instruments for the construction of ecological and solidarity communities capable of overcoming the multiple systemic crises we are going through.
Local, complementary, social or dedicated currencies, cryptocurrencies: as Bernard Lietaer, among the most important experts of the monetary system, says: many of our problems derive from the currency monoculture, to solve which we must enrich the monetary ecosystem, increasing its biodiversity…
With the contribution of researchers and activists who support the project Retics, we got to a general overview of the Italian reality and of the most interesting initiatives: there is not only the Sardex in our country, but also the Susino (local currency of Val Susa by Etinomia),
Avec la contribution de chercheurs et d’activistes qui soutiennent le projet Retics, nous avons eu droit à un aperçu général de la réalité italienne des plus intéressants: il n’y a pas que le Sardex dans notre pays mais aussi le Susino (monnaie locale de Val Susa portée par Etinomia), the Bus (issued by Mag ReggioEmilia) as well as the Mutual Credit Network(born in the Rimini area to support individuals and businesses) and MiFidodiNoi (complementary currency by the Solidarity Economy District of Brianza). A series of experience which are very different from a technical point of view, but which have in common the desire to turn the crisis into an opportunity of transition and resilience.
To know more about the theme of Local Exchange Trading Systems and alternative currencies, see:
www.retics.org et www.lietaer.com
[Translation of the article in Italian: Per uno scambio comunitario, by Stefano Caffari, Solidarius Italia]