In conversation with currency expert Prof. Bernard Lietaer

What is money? And how successful is it in solving society’s ills and meeting its needs? 

Currency expert Bernard Lietaer states that the fundamental problem with our present-day monetary system is that it is not sufficiently diverse. It dams and bottlenecks our creative energies, and keeps us trapped in a world of scarcity and suffering. But we actually have the capacity to create a very different reality by enabling our energies to move more freely where they are most needed, including towards cleaning up our environment, building adequate housing and providing good quality healthcare, etc.

Prof. Lietaer argues that we need an upgrade of our monetary systems as a systemic solution to our global economic, financial and sustainability crisis. He pleads for the circulation of different types of currencies for different types of purposes.

About Prof. Bernard Lietaer:

Following his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Professor Lietaer held various positions in the Netherlands and abroad. For instance, he worked for the National Bank of Belgium, where he was involved in developing the system that facilitated the convergence of the different currencies into the Euro. Lietaer was also the managing director of the Gaia Hedge Fund and he was responsible for the success of GaiaCorp, an investment vehicle for financing green start- ups.

In the academic world, he worked as a professor at KU Leuven and as a guest lecturer at Sonoma State University and Naropa University. He has also done research for the University of California (Berkeley). Currently, his main line of work is in advising governments and multinationals about monetary systems.

Last January, he appeared in the VPRO television programme Tegenlicht, in the episode ‘De biecht van de bankier’ (The banker’s confession).

Lietaer has written several books about complementary currencies and how they can contribute to a sustainable world: The Future of Money, Money and Sustainability — the Missing Link and Rethinking Money.


Interview – full version


Short extracts

On Bitcoin

On the philosophy behind mutual credit systems

Advice to people interested in the future of money

On becoming a money expert

On becoming interested in money

On teaching

On why we need to find a way of living in a world without money

On social trade organisation

On systemic causes and symptoms

On the difference between barter and gifting

On the difference between a complementary currency and mutual credit


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