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Monday, May 4, 2009

Strategic CSR - Trust

The article in the url link below reports on an experiment in “social radicalism” by a town (Lewes) in the South of England that introduced its own currency last September:

“Two years ago Lewes joined a growing international movement of "transition towns" in countries as diverse as the US, Japan, Australia and Italy where residents believe that the best way to preserve the values of their communities and combat climate change is to favour local produce and business over the standardised offerings of the global economy.”

The residents of Lewes believe that introducing their own currency encourages an ethos of barter, better integrates people with the local economy, and preserves the town’s social values. The article reports “12 local currency schemers” in the U.S. and two in the UK (with a third announcing its intention to follow suit this September).

Overall, the scheme is helping make Lewes a more attractive place to live. This attraction is reflected in the town’s property prices, which have remained relatively robust in the face of the economic downturn. More specifically, the currency appears to be having the desired effect of strengthening the bond among individuals that is the foundation is a functioning society:

“Legal tender is made acceptable by law [but] the Lewes pound is not, so each act of acceptance by a customer or business is an act of trust, of buying into the deal.”

Take care

Bill Werther & David Chandler
Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility
© Sage Publications, 2006

Noted for trust; Towns around the world are fostering community spirit with alternative currencies
Leney, Fiona
1632 words
28 February 2009
Financial Times
Surveys RES1