Alternative Money and Financial Institutions of the Commons: a first laboratory of discussion

This is a workshop to be held in Milan, Italy, on 21 and 22 June 2014.

Here is the announcement with an explanation of what will be discussed and a list of the speakers and their talks.

Today we witness different attempts to create a process of “exodus” and “subtraction” to the world of financial power. The case of Bitcoin is certainly the most striking example. Even with all of Bitcoin’s ambiguities and the risk of it being subsumed by speculation activity, BitCoin has contributed to our understanding of finance by highlighting that a “different” currency is possible.

In recent meetings (the seminar “Algorithms and capital” of 20 January at Goldsmiths College, the workshop of the research project “D-Cent” March 14, also in London, the two-day ‘workshop on the currency’ organized by the Institute for Network Cultures in Amsterdam, 21 and March 22, 2014) talk has repeatedly centered on the establishment of a “Currency of the Commons” and it is from here that we want to start.

Money is now pure significance. This presents an opportunity, since it escapes direct control and discipline of institutional governance. Nevertheless, it cannot break away completely from the engine of wealth which is labour, conceived not so much as paid or unpaid labour, certified by the power relations within the labor market, but as an expression of social cooperation and the General Intellect, which is the “commons” .

And starting from the statement that money, whatever its form, is always a manifestation of a social relationship/power, we are organizing an international conference in Milan on 21 and 22 June, entitled “Alternative Money and Financial Institutions of the Commons: a first laboratory of discussion”

Three in particular are the issues that we intend to address and on which we launch this call, to be distributed over three sessions

1. Discussion on the currency of the commons and the establishment of a “financial institution of the commons”

2 . Discussion of feasibility:
a . legal and economic – financial,
b . technical and algorithmic;
c . socio-communicative – political.

3 . Preference for existing local and complementary currencies and other forms of experimentation or theoretical approach.

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