Session Title: The Future of Money Date: 29.01.2001
1. We may expect a time shortly where we have the opportunity to buy things and trade with each other in a multiplicity of different currencies. These will differ from the currency systems we know in that they will be:
- created from many different sources/organisations/people - including groups of which we may ourselves be part
- systems without interest
- of a networked design congruent with other globally-accessible interlinking networks, used for other purposes such as communication
The advances of electronic information systems/Internet facilitate this development.
2. These currencies will, once enjoying increasing acceptance, be complementary to, but also compete with, national currency. [Advantages over national currency: a) No interest cost b) The system design is sustainable in the long run whereas compound interest systems require exponential growth of the economy and the resources of which the economy is part, ad infinitum, and so are not ].
3. The design of the new currency systems is also congruent with the trend to flatten hierarchies in organisations/society. Presently, the money system is centralised/top down both in its creation through central banks and the banking system; and in its distribution where it funnels money automatically up through to the top of a pyramid … smaller and smaller numbers of people owning increasingly more (money) and more and more people finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, i.e. increasingly indebted.
4. This leads, amongst other things, to increasing pressure for increasing numbers of people to do work they don't want to do - in order to "survive/exist" - just at the same time as the awareness/self-development movement encourages them to do the reverse! (Dilemma 1).
5. Meanwhile, in their companies people are encouraged to learn more of the "soft arts", human relations, communication, leadership, team-building etc. - while finding themselves confronted with pressures/financial targets that require them to be increasingly ruthless (with themselves and others) … pressures to act against their better judgement! (Dilemma2, the same as dilemma 1, at the organisational level).
6. The resolution to these dilemmas lies in recontextualising the relation to money both personally and organisationally - uncovering and questioning our own unquestioned assumptions in our relation to money, as a starting point.
7. The advancing awareness this represents is also the identical impulse that will facilitate the creation and vibrant use of the new currencies referred to above.
8. Organisational transformation will not occur (except arbitrarily) without this transformation of the relation to money - along with everything else. It is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect everything else in organisations to transform while the relation to money should remain static! (Being static meaning here that financial results/performance remains the primary drive/bottom line. Where this is so people at all levels of the organisation get the message that financial profit is primary - even in companies which laudably are now producing audits with a triple bottom line).
9. There is logic to believing that organisations/the workplace may turn out to be the main "playing field" where changes in the relation to money and pressure for change in the monetary system as a whole start to be enacted in a larger way. This presents an opportunity for consultants to extend their field into "money process work". This can be seen not just as an additional field of activity, but as an integral design element in the translation of organisational transformation into practical reality.
The starting point for this (again) is researching the underlying principles and assumptions manifested, consciously and unconsciously, through our own relation to money.