Bernard Lietaer was one of the great thinkers about money in our time, who played a role in co-designing various important monetary experiments, and could integrate our current moment in a larger history of value exchange. Many people , including in the P2P Foundation, have learned a lot from his insights. We are very sad to see him go.
The following post by Will Ruddick is republished from Grassroots Economics
Bernard’s vision of diverse monetary eco-systems that support communities and the environment rather than extract from them, as they continue to do now, is the spark that moved me from physics in the US into economics in Kenya and is still the vision that motivates me and countless other community currency developers, researchers and activists. His vision preceded crypto currencies by decades. Back then, the only way we could move toward Bernard’s vision was by trial and error – creating currency after currency using paper bills or centralized databases.
I met Bernard Lietaer for the first time while implementing a small paper-based community currency program in three villages near Mombasa. He understood all the heart-wrenching challenges of fighting poverty and embraced me, knowing that the vision was true and we were doing our best with the sticks and stones we had to use. He spoke of Yin and Yang flows of different currencies for spending and savings and much more. The intricate dance and balance of these currencies working together was so tangible to him that you could feel it flowing through his whole being.
Connecting those early community currencies together into the ecosystem he envisioned wasn’t possible without blockchain. Bernard was convinced that solutions like the Bancor Protocol which allowed currencies to communicate with each other through and across blockchains was the key to scaling and viral growth. With Bernard as President of the Bancor Foundation and his ability to cut through the sensationalism of blockchain to its potential to empower humanity to develop sustainable and healthy monetary ecosystems – there was and is no place I would rather be. When asked to direct the foundation’s efforts on community currencies under his guidance, it was a dream come true. It is a great honor to walk in his footsteps and without him it is a great loss to me personally.
The world has lost a visionary that inspired and united people to fix fundamental flaws in our monetary systems, which are the root causes of poverty and massive human and environmental strife. As we thank him for opening the doors and dedicate our work toward his vision, let us ensure his message continues to flourish and inspire future generations – that we banish the concept of monetary monoculture and embrace the values that are within each of us as the fundamental units of a diverse ecosystem of currencies that connect us all together in love and allow us to heal our planet and ourselves.
Sincerely with Love, Inspiration and Celebration of a life well lived,