Web check | The Future Of Money: Stowe Boyd talks to Christian Nold about The Bijlmer Euro

Stowe Boyd has launched a new interview series examining the future of money. He’s planning to talk with all sorts of people including artists (like Christian Nold), futurists (like Jamais Cascio), writers (like Bruce Sterling and Steven Berlin Johnson), economists, philanthropists, and all sorts of other people interested in where this is headed.

Here’s the second interview in this series with Christian Nold. Christian talks with Stowe about a recent project called The Bijlmer Euro, based in the Bijlmer District in South East Amsterdam. Commissioned by Imagine IC, The Bijlmer Euro examines how cash transfer and trust networks function in the Bijlmer area. The aim of the project is to develop a prototype system for an alternative local currency that could support local development and work in conjunction with the Euro.

    I couldn't embed for some reason - click here to view Stowe's interview with Christian on blip.tv

I couldn't embed for some reason - click here to view Stowe's interview with Christian on blip.tv

In terms of how it works, Christian reprograms RFID tags stripped from local transport tickets and sticks them on to legitimate Euro currency in circulation within the Bijlmer District. As well as being able to track where and how money is spent across the Bijlmar, local shop keepers can also use the the Bijlmar Euro to offer discounts (and possible other added value local services) to people spending with ‘this currency.’  The idea is to encourage the local community to support their economy and spend locally.

From a research perspective and being a ‘fan of the local,’ Christian is also using this project to examine the cultural, social and economic viability of an alternative currency for the Bijlmer area. I’ve listed some of the more specific research questions below, but if you’re interested you can find out more about Christians broader aims, methods and ambitions for the project here:

  • How would a local currency affect the relationship between the local residents and the different types of local economies?
  • What relationships could be formed between the residents, local manufacturing, local shops, international chains and the black market?
  • How reproducable is this model for other targeted communities in other contexts?

After listening to the interview in full, as well as getting a closer feel for the project itself it sounds like there’s some interesting stuff starting to happen around the sustainability of the Bijlmer Euro as a longer term project. This includes growing support from national arts and culture institutions in Holland (including the museum of money) and a follow up project in Surinam, a country in South America closely connected to the Buljmer District community and the districts migrant history.

I can recommend listening to this interview as you potter round the house on a Sunday – I found it enlightening but needed time for stuff to sink in. For those of you that are short of time, the lovely Stowe Boyd has also posted a quick summary of the interview here.


~ by claire_w on July 1, 2009.

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