Irene Cassarino28

Irene Cassarino

Irene is a researcher on open innovation, with a particular focus on collaborative distributed peer production processes within creative industries . At moment she is working at her PhD dissertation. Her findings have been presented in several journals and conferences. She plays the role of community manager within the online collaborative project A Swarm of Angels.

Irene’s blog

Articles

kashklash: the game and the booklet

Get a digital copy of the kashklash booklet. If you need the...

Exchanging the futures at LIFT09

Hello to kasklash fellows and thank you for animating and feeding the discussion...

Tell me a story, I will fix your laptop

Here you go some insights on the future from the kasklash questionnaire! Try it ...

kashklash: the game and the booklet

by Irene Cassarino

Get a digital copy of the kashklash booklet. If you need the high resolution version, just ask, we’ll be happy to send it to you.


Exchanging the futures at LIFT09

by Irene Cassarino

Hello to kasklash fellows and thank you for animating and feeding the discussion about the future of exchanges with such amazing and passionate interventions.
lift It is my pleasure to announce you that kashklash is featured at the LIFT09 conference with a workshop and hopefully a dedicated talk. Enjoy the announcement and please consider to join it: you - the kashklashers - are the most welcome guests and animators!

Join us for a workshop to explore alternative methods of exchange. The focus is on a possible future ecosystem - in a new world where today’s aging, less useful and even dangerous financial systems are replaced by (or mixed with) more disruptive innovations and exchanges. Imagine yourself deprived of all of today’s financial resources. Maybe you’re a refugee or stateless. Yet you still have your handset and laptop and Internet and a broadband cellphone connection….

This is one of the provocations posed on KashKlash , an open forum and web project focusing on alternative economies in a post-money future. What will such a world look like? How will the concept of value be measured? What concepts will shape the formal and informal economies? Bright thinkers from around the world came together to discuss, debate and ideate in this innovative and exciting project.

KashKlash is a collaborative project between Heather Moore of Vodafone, Experientia and a group of independent visionaries. The project started with four bright and innovative provocateurs, Nicolas Nova, Joshua Klein, Bruce Sterling, and Régine Debatty, and as the debate gathered steam, contributions, comments, flickr photos and twitter streams rolled in from more than 50 additional participants to shape and envision possible futures.

Intrigued? We are looking forward to exchanging ideas with you. See you at the workshop!


Tell me a story, I will fix your laptop

by Irene Cassarino

Here you go some insights on the future from the kasklash questionnaire! Try it before uncovering the first aswers! ;-)

1. Please pick the goods and services that might be valuable to manage a post-monetary scenario…

Food and shelter ranked most highly, with its’ importance being placed at number 5 (vital), while cooking, nursing, IT services, storytelling, music and entertainment and transportation all ranked highly. Weapons and protection, cigarettes and alcohol and illegal narcotics all ranked low on the scale.

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Would you exchange them?

IT services, religious and spiritual services, translation, news and gossip, and food and shelter all ranked highly as exchangeable/tradable commodities. Storytelling, games, childcare, blood transfusions and hair, skin and organs, software and hardware were given medium values. Esteem, weapons and protection, legal and illegal drugs, sex, human trafficking, transportation, and virtual reality games were not seen as exchangeable.

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2. How would you persuade people to join your alternative economy?
How would you publicize your system?

Word of mouth seemed to be the most popular response to this question, but it expanded on the traditional definition of word of mouth, including both offline and online methods such as YouTube videos.
Some respondents felt that most important persuasion tool was to enfranchise people, calling them to active and collaborative involvement in a new economic system. Personal happiness, awareness and progress were other concepts respondents felt would appeal to people as motives for joining an alternative economy.

“Word of mouth devise entertaining media pieces to publizice the system (ie. YouTube videos) Physical gatherings prepared for and publiziced online, for local connections to meet personally Create interest groups with shared goals and demonstrate the usefulness of an alternative economy by getting them invilved in collaborative projects.”

“I’d create a society like the Federation of Damanhur has done. (I have Damanhurian Credito in my pocket at this very moment.)”

“I would emphasize the importance of awareness and reaction to be active in the new economy and not passive.”

3. How would you explain its benefits to others and win some political loyalty? How would you deal with cheaters and defectors exploiting your system?

The responses to this question attempted to reintroduce human elements into the alternative economy. Focuses seemed to be happiness, community, friendship, cultural and spiritual values and peer recognition. Cheaters must be reasoned with, the error of their ways pointed out to them, or judgment carried out in a collective manner. In some systems, entrepreneurs and people focused on financial gains were as viewed as ‘cheaters’, and there was a perceived need to keep them in check. There was an overall feel that an alternative economy would return to more natural, simpler ways of doing things.

“I would explain that we are creating a new humanity, new spiritual and cultural paths, and that the new money is a reminder of our bonds with one another, of the sacred value of work and trade, and of our interconnectedness. There would be no cheaters and defectors, because the society would be focused on the development of the soul.”

“I would use collective wisdom and decision making to deal with cheaters etc. but with reference to the group’s collective manifesto and social charter.”

“As for winning people over, and keeping political loyalty, it is a game of evangelism through storytelling, and visioneering. It always starts with believers, and then includes converts and finally includes followers and inheritors.”

4. Help us list potential catastrophes for today’s conventional economy, which might cause it to be junked for radical substitutes.

Environmental collapse and currency hyperinflation were seen as the most likely risks for today’s economy, with major world depression, credit freeze and stock collapse also ranking highly. World war and revolution were seen as the least likely possibilities.

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5. How could sub-national entities like provinces, cities or ethnic minorities start their own currencies? How can large, established economic systems be successfully miniaturized for use by much smaller groups — or virtually networked groups?

People agreed that trust and cooperation became key factors in building up a new common currency in small communities. Some focused on social relations between family and friends, while others broadened this to include whole communities. Some formalised this into a system of regulated exchange, including fulfilling certain ‘civic duties’.

Others felt that currency was an outdated concept, and that small communities should be trying to develop systems that were currency-free. Some felt that economic systems were a global problem that needed to be solved on a global scale, and not at a community level.

“The essential thing is the people’s bonds with one another. People who are very close reject money (taboo, even!), people who are very far apart do not trust one another enough. So there must be distance between the people, but also a significant degree of trust and interest in one another.”

“Currency is no more than a promissory note. I am not sure that we need currency because it requires placement of differential or comparative value of entities that cannot be valued or compared.”

“That [common currencies in small communities] is unlikely to work as the solutions to global problems can only be solved at a large planetary scale.”

6. If there were no agreed-upon global currency (such as yen-dollar-euro) how would nations trade goods and services with one another? Lacking the impersonal value of money, how can different communities/economies trade their goods and services?

Answers to this question ranged from the simple to the complex. One respondent suggested that everyone do everything for free, thereby removing the need to ever pay for anything. Others advanced this idea to the next level, by suggesting that in close-knit communities, people would altruistically contribute to the group, to improve the quality of life for all, perhaps creating an exchange process of favours, common goals and aims. Responses acknowledged that while trust is important and valuable at a small community level, this becomes more difficult on an international level. One respondent envisioned a global scale of exchange, with predefined worths given to various goods and services, and an understanding that these would be altered to offer greater aid in needier times, such as natural disasters.

“If communities were self-sufficient (materially and spiritually) as well as close-knit and supportive at the local level … the operative value would be sharing rather than selling, and helping rather than buying.”

“Trust is a powerful brokered commodity that works in small units but difficult in larger units. All I have is my word.”

“A global scale of exchange could be created, with a predefined nº of points attributed to each service/ material. This scale would be modified in light of bad harvests, medical pandemics, natural disasters, amount on offer, etc.”

7. Please help us rank the potential power-players in the scenario you created. We are trying to judge their degree of possible influence on future events.

The four main power players emerged as energy networks and utilities, transport and logistics services, political parties and leader sand police and law enforcement. Interestingly, traditional ‘losers’ in a conventional economy, such as the underclass/impoverished, and unbanked people also ranked quite highly in people’s alternative economies. Black market dealers, stock exchanges and international regulators ranked amongst the lowest power players.

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8. So, that was about power… Is power and influence in your informal economy somehow related to richness? Is richness related, as in today’s economy, to accumulation?

People see a change in the meaning of richness in alternative economies. Some see the emphasis changing from extrinsic to intrinsic power, so that power and influence over other people becomes less economically important than spiritual wealth. Others define power as someone who is an influential decision maker, with a rightful place within the new economy. Alternatively, power and wealth becomes collective, something that can be gained by a community, but not at an individual level.
Respondents seemed to widely believe that accumulation of unnecessary goods is a danger to a healthy economy.

“If a diamond is worthless, then accumulating a ton of stones will not make me the richer but instead, if a measure of richness is ones tranquillity level, amount of peacefulness and quiet moments achieved per week, then the accumulation of these will lead to an enormous sense of worth and empowerment.”

“I think wealth or richness is one of the primary problems we are facing today. Few horde creating fabricated limitations of resources. This has to end. Power is also a myth that needs to end. Power only exists through false and inflated control of resources.”

“It has far more to do with dreams and what people want to do. Accumulations must have a purpose, a significance.”

9. Think of the future’s future: how will ‘growth’ and ‘development’ apply in your new economic system?

Also in this question, there was a redefinition of the words growth and development in an economic sense, shifting the focus to the human elements: “development of the heart” and “development at the personal and collective level”. Others see it as important to limit growth so that it is not an environmental or social threat. Growth is healthy only insofar as it helps to equalise standards of living.

“Based on the needs and possibilities, not on monkey business and profits.”

“There will be no ‘growth’ in the sense we discuss it today. There will be only ‘development’ at the personal and collective level. This development will not be equated with growth, but self-limitation and self-sufficiency.”

“Growth needs to cease outside of areas that are needed for equalizing the standards of living of everyone on the planet. So long as one person is sub-standard to others, we have failed in our goals.”

10. What part of today’s financial systems would make your revered ancestors turn in their graves? What do you think your child will dislike most about the way you handled money?

There was a strong sense that the “ancestors” would have disliked the current focus on accumulation of goods, and the updating of goods a few years old. Others commented on the social injustice that arises from the current economic system, including such ethically “grey” areas as investing in companies who may support practices that people dislike on a personal level. The lack of responsibility and accountability was also discussed.
A future vision of our children’s world seemed to be a world where money is no longer a physical object, but has become virtual. Others suggested that the concept of possession itself would need to be adjusted in the future, to reflect the growing changes to intellectual rights and information sharing.

“That I was so insecure about it, that I was not free and generous with it, that I did not have the courage to go without it.”

“[…] There’s a serious miscalculation of responsibility and accountability when 0,001% of the world’s population runs 99% of the global economy and can affect the financial system so dramatically that they must be ‘bailed’ out for fear of the consequences their errors will have on the universal stability. […]”

“My child will see possession as a limitation of growth. Patenting will be seen as a limitation of human rights.”

Go to the questionnaire results page

Please help us rank the potential power-players in the scenario you created. We are trying to judge their degree of possible influence on future events…

by Irene Cassarino

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Help us list potential catastrophes for today’s conventional economy, which might cause it to be junked for radical substitutes.

by Irene Cassarino

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Please pick the goods and services that might be valuable to manage a post-monetary scenario…

by Irene Cassarino

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Would you exchange them?


Welcome on board :-) Some tips to make your 'first time' easier

by Irene Cassarino

Hello David, Juan, Marguerite, Robert, Adam, Paolo, Ulrike, Lara, Bill, Ethan, Ronaldo…. and YOU!

This post is to welcome you on board to debate the future of cultural and economic exchange (have a first look at the ABOUT page).

Some tips to make your ‘first time’ easier: KashKlash is a public domain project, which has been instigated and led by Heather Moore, designed and boosted collaboratively by Bruce Sterling, Nicolas Nova, Régine Debatty, Josh Klein and coordinated by Mark and me from the Experientia team.

Bruce, Nicolas, Régine and Josh have already been sharing their thoughts about some intriguing issues. Look at their pages (click on their names or pictures) to read a collection of their essays. Michele and Mark Cobbold also took their stab in the discussion!

You are more than welcome to do the same!! If you feel interested enough, comment on their contributions or write and share your own post (video, picture, essay, whatever!!). Ask us to create a user account for you in case you don’t have one yet.

In order to provoke and enrich the discussion we also collaboratively created a questionnare. The creation process of the questionnaire has also been public and trasparent: get a taste here.

Do you feel like sharing with our (and your) community a more thoughtful essay related to KashKlash topics? Please do so! We have already been doing the same. Look at the ..LETS and The Days of Capitalism are Numbered

By the way, if you wanna take a really comprehensive look of topics we are interested in, let’s go to our huge and constantly updated Delicoius repository! Follow it and it will follow you ;-)

Last but not least: don’t forget to follow KK Twitter account and to TAG your Flickr pictures as “kashklash”, we want to create a pool and show them in our Flickr channel! Thanks :-)


Survey results

by Irene Cassarino

Home


Click here to have real time direct access to answers received so far.

This is a regurarly updated summary:

1. Please pick the goods and services that might be valuable to manage a post-monetary scenario…

2. How would you persuade people to join your alternative economy?
How would you publicize your system?

1. Yes. My network in a lot of brasilian big cities
2. I’d create a society like the Federation of Damanhur has done. (I have Damanhurian Credito in my pocket at this very moment.)
3. I would situate myself in the commons - online as well as offline - and use myself as an advertising billboard.
4. Word of mouth devise entertaining media pieces to publizice the system (ie. YouTube videos) Physical gatherings prepared for and publiziced online, for local connections to meet personally Create interest groups with shared goals and demonstrate the usefulness of an alternative economy by getting them invilved in collaborative projects.
5. I would show how people can have a happy life in the new system
6. by conversation with them. I would emphasize the importance of awareness and reaction to be active in the new economy and not passive
7. Systems need to start small, be wholly off the grid, but have ties to the grid (a la the Kibbutz movement) but then create cooperative ties that make the connections to the grid (economic grid in this case, btw) more and more scalable through controlling more and more resources that are required for sustaining the new economy.
8. my system is the one that brings progress
9. solar adhoc wifi systems, cheap computer connection
10. Here in Hawaii, one might appeal to the necessity of the HUI. A hui is when people gather to complete a task for the good of the community group.
11. By word of mouth. Emphasising the benefits of belonging. Recruiting through example of what actually happens. Sharing products of our economy with potential recruits
12. I would use social networks
13. Figure out a good way to keep track of who got what and who has “credit” - (a proper post-money currency system). Try and attract a wide variety of goods/services offered. List the available services on any communication means available. Pass word of mouth.
14. Environment tops every other consideration. Humankind can survive every kind of -ism, but never the destruction of their biological fundamentals of survival. Zero growth in quantity - major growth in quality. Rational decision making. Only real value - no brokerage that gets paid in percent of goods and services provided.
15. dont know
16. Military enforcement
17. The best way to persuade is to engage them in small trades, so they become comfortable with the system and realize they can profit by using it. I would publicize the system by flyers… word of mouth, any sort of communication, all at once.
18. reasoning with them… if they dont have money either but still posses skills that earned them money previously, then the currency can be replaced. Nothing is lost except the original financial framework…. which was overly complex - so complex that it was not transparent and that people couldnt tell when it stopped working until it was too late. :)
19. It’s the future and is not dangerous

3. How would you explain its benefits to others and win some political loyalty? How would you deal with cheaters and defectors exploiting your system?

1. Friendship and trust in close friends (even if they live far away).
2. I would explain that we are creating a new humanity, new spiritual and cultural paths, and that the new money is a reminder of our bonds with one another, of the sacred value of work and trade, and of our interconnectedness. There would be no cheaters and defectors, because the society would be focused on the development of the soul. This is not unrealistic, because I have seen it first-hand at the Federation of Damanhur. Money is only part of a larger whole, and points to the spiritual, divine, the human.
3. I would not try to persuade or sell anyone my idea, but inspire them about its values and ideals. I would make it as simple and effortless as possible for them to join and participate, and rewarding for every participant. I would also design a system that allows for diversity of expression and modality. I would use collective wisdom and decision making to deal with cheaters etc. but with reference to the group’s collective manifesto and social charter.
4. Cheaters: demonstrate how they loose out in the long term, show the consequences of their acts and the negative impact it has on their own well being and their loved ones, besides the civic order of society. Empower the cheaters to a sense of responsibility for the community they have affected. Defectors: each has a will to do as they wish, no consequences forcibly inflicted, but only their own sense of loss once they realize what they’ve rejected. The Goodness factor of sharing, giving, building and collaborating with friends and other like minded individuals. Benefits to others: simplify life, less to worry about, more time to devote to nature and family/ friends; T’would be difficult to convert the serial entrepreneurs, motivated by their financial gains and the status this affords them, nonetheless if we are able to transform the sense of value to other non-material currency, then these entrepreneurs would strive to gain worth in the new ‘legal’ tender. As peer recognition is sought both by politicians and ambitious individuals alike, the new model of worth has to be recognized as being more valuable than the old financial system, substituted by a non-material currency, a currency represented by time, devotion, happiness, smiles, learning, fun … and all myriad of life’s more intangible riches. Less variety of food throughout the year, we would eat what the season brings and try to reduce dependency on meat. This would improve health, reduce the cost of medical prevention and intervention and give humans once more the richeness of tasty tomatoes and natural ingredients.
5. I would point out the weaknesses of the old system and show how the new system is solving them. I do not expect cheaters and defectors to be very influencial in the very first part of the new system’s life. However dealing with them very much depends on what their strategies are.
6. I would try to understand and to prevent them from maximizing the profit of their participation in the new economical system
7. There are always community boundaries and enforcement of those boundaries through community enforcement organizations. As for winning people over, and keeping political loyalty, it is a game of evangelism through storytelling, and visioneering. It always starts with believers, and then includes converts and finally includes followers and inheritors.
8. there is no cheater cause in my system cheating is the most positive activity.
9. hm i dunno. transparency helps. i guess.
10. The tale of the Little Red Hen “who will help me bake the bread?”
11. Explain benefits by promoting honest dialogue between people and preventing men from monopolising powerful positions. Deal with cheaters by exposing them to the community and its direct feedback, and by confronting them with the direct consequences of their actions. Expel them if necessary.
12. I would advertise my approach on my profile and ask contacts to express their comments and rate it. Cheaters: it depends on the type of “attack” they do, difficult to say on a general basis. I think reputation and trust will play a main role to maintain order and identify trouble makers.
13. Political loyalty - show it actually works and makes people survive better. Cheaters and defectors - do everything possible when setting up the system to make cheating and defecting not worthwhile, i.e. build a counter right into the system.
14. No need to explain. Just be successful and lead good lives. Cheaters and defectors are criminals and will be dealt with as such.
15. I would create graphs and visual conceptions to show the benefits of my system, and I would keep statistics. This way I can show scientifically what the benefits of using the system are. Cheaters and defectors will not be able to trade with anyone in the system anymore. If I was part of a sovereign political entity in a survival situation, I believe the manipulation of currency should be punishable by death or exile. Smaller offenses could be punishable by limiting the ability to trade in the system. I think it should be a top priority for any society operating in an alternative currency system to have a decentralized wiki-like database to track and expose cheaters and defectors.
16. second part: your currency (skills, goods, credit, etc) is tied to your reputation. It is as good as your word and your word is created by trust, and the communities collective experience in dealing with you. This meta data is tagged to every transaction you make and either increases or decreases the value of your ‘money’. On a small community level, this system is better than the ‘old’ money system which depended on trust in non-local conglomorates (governments, corporations, etc.) which were not held accountable for their actions as directly as individuals in a small community.
17. I don’t know speak to poltiticians

4. Help us list potential catastrophes for today’s conventional economy, which might cause it to be junked for radical substitutes.

5. How could sub-national entities like provinces, cities or ethnic minorities start their own currencies? How can large, established economic systems be successfully miniaturized for use by much smaller groups — or virtually networked groups?

1. Smaller trade systems between social relations like family and a special place for friendship
2. The essential thing is the people’s bonds with one another. People who are very close reject money (taboo, even!), people who are very far apart do not trust one another enough. So there must be distance between the people, but also a significant degree of trust and interest in one another. If a society develops a spiritual path amongst themselves, a common framework about who they are, what they are doing, how they are transcending themselves, what they are working towards — then this can open up pathways for exchange with who-was-formerly-a-stranger.
3. Currency is no more than a promissory note. I am not sure that we need currency because it requires placement of differential or comparative value of entities that cannot be valued or compared. Hence my emphasis would be on caring for and empowering every individual in every way possible by the collective, without getting into valuing input and output. The default code would be trust and cooperation, and collective wisdom would define and review the limits of the system.
4. Gain credits by time devoted to community projects, with an online exchange regulated by elected community members. Users must register online for a minimum of civic duty per month, as per their qualifications and training, or else face not having their rubbish collected/ sewage working/ etc. Faulty residents are charged with negligence and sent to live in ‘financially active’ communities, which must exist to begin with as the new barter system is introduced.
5. The smaller the group is the easier is to start their own currency. Usually before the currency, though, there is a strong need for trust. Only when a trust chain is established a new currency can be adopted.
6. that is unlikely to work as the solutions to global problems can only be solved at a large planetary scale
7. Through electronic mechanisms. Take the Tokyo subware fare system. if that payment system can be used across multiple organizations, it becomes its own economy within its boundaries. Another example is the EasyPass. It is regional in nature and goes across payment areas greater than its original intent (tolls) to include parking at the airport. Expand it from car to public transit to fuel payment to grocery payment, etc.
9. they shouldn’t start their own currency. The concept of currency is outdated, the new communities have to get familiar with the concept of non-owning, not even temporarily. If nobody has nothing, than everybody has everything. It’s a system based on the concept of unlimited potential, everything is a potential benefit.
10. I have no idea. I suspect that all this is going on already and will continue to grow, such as the LETS schemes, FreeCycle, babysitting tokens etc. Women and children have always used informal, non-money, economic systems, because of their systematic exclusion and control by men.
11. I think only immaterial value can be exchanged in minorities and the currency of large economic systems will remain and go thorugh up and downs phases
12. Provinces, cities or ethnic monorities could easily start their own currency. It is a question of necessity. It will happen when the available currency becomes unworkable for the exchange to be mediated. I do not believe miniaturization to be a problem. The only stop would be if the information on how to set up a certain system was not readily available.
13. By developing a strong us-against-them feeling.
14. If the currency is virtually based, then it needs to be maintained by a decentralized infrastructure that might first operate to the side of the official currency, and then once an online community is created, gradually bring it into being.
15. multi community entities would use a similar system: the value of each unit of currency or credit is tied to the average reliability of the individuals within them. Averaging of individual meta-data yeilds a collective value of reputation for that sub-national entity compared with other entities of the same scale.
16. I am too stupid for the good answers

6. If there were no agreed-upon global currency (such as yen-dollar-euro) how would nations trade goods and services with one another? Lacking the impersonal value of money, how can different communities/economies trade their goods and services?

1. For free. If everyone does everything for free nobody has to pay for anything.
2. Through favors, recognition of one another’s needs and gifts, through meeting each other, through reflection, through goals and aims.
3. If communities were self-sufficient (materially and spiritually) as well as close-knit and supportive at the local level, there would be no need for a system of currency that’s based on attribution of value to quality of life. The operative value would be sharing rather than selling, and helping rather than buying.
4. A global scale of exchange could be created, with a predefined nº of points attributed to each service/ material. This scale would be modified in light of bad harvests, medical pandemics, natural disasters, amount on offer, etc. All online, but the difficulty will be securing the exchange against malignant hackers and users. These individuals could be discouraged by the lack of personal gain achieved in tampering with sensitive goods & services data.
5. Well there is always the gold standard, but I think the point here is to get away from that, right? But what did pre-currency organizations do? I mean the name of the site says a lot about what it is thinking in terms of gift giving. But there are other examples, such as “ones word” and the history of their word. Trust is a powerful brokered commodity that works in small units but difficult in larger units. All I have is my word.
6. Initially they won’t trade. Which is great cause this will allow different community to start and develop different platforms, different ways of thinking. After that phase, they will start bartering information, and after that force will be joined to create a better universal system.
7. i’d accept local currencies. descentralization brings power to communities. centralization brings action-at-distance harm.
8. Very easily, but there’ll always be men who want to gamble with the goods and services and so they will create currencies. They’ll find a way, believe me.
9. There schould be an agrrement on another quantifiable value, probably social rating(raking could be one of those
10. As a matter of fact, there is currently no such a global currency. Nations use another nation’s currency for international exchanges as they trust each other. The dollar is much used today, but is losing consensus. The euro is gaining. It would not be difficult for countries to get together and agree on an international accounting unit (currency) to do international exchanges in. But it would have to be neutral. (Widespread use of the dollar is giving an unfair advantage to the US economy, which by the fact of the dollar being used for international exchange gets something for nothing as other countries have to “buy” dollars for their international exchange needs, while the US simply has to produce these dollars - at practically no cost).
11. In the absence of an overarching system of currency, barter would take over in international and foreign trade, which means that precious metals would probably be the dominant form of wealth transfer. But it could also be done with a sufficiently advanced virtual marketplace, which converts all transactions to the bartering level and needs to reduce complicated exchanges into simple physical moves?
12. I think countries would use a credit system which would evolve back into a similar, but simplified version of what exists today.
13. no money no problem

7. Please help us rank the potential power-players in the scenario you created. We are trying to judge their degree of possible influence on future events…

8. So, that was about power… Is power and influence in your informal economy somehow related to richness? Is richness related, as in today’s economy, to accumulation?

1. No. The context of richness will change.
2. It has far more to do with dreams and what people want to do. Accumulations must have a purpose, a significance.
3. The emphasis is not on extrinsic power, rather it’s on intrinsic (spiritual) power, wealth and influence. If that were to be pursued, the need for extrinsic power & influence would considerably diminish, reducing it to a mild social aberration.
4. Richness will be in the personal gain in ones own set of desires, in a new status of value definition. If a diamond is worthless, then accumulating a ton of stones will not make me the richer but instead, if a measure of richness is ones tranquillity level, amount of peacefulness and quiet moments achieved per week, then the accumulation of these will lead to an enormous sense of worth and empowerment. There is then a motivation and reason to dedicate our efforts towards achieving life’s true pleasures and each one to their own taste and interests: walking or sitting, sports, lively conversation, reading, writing, painting, .. the arts, science, competition, family, invention, .. a never-ending variety of new richness values that makes the informal economy supremely superior to the current nonsensical cash culture.
5. Yes, it is still related to richness, but this time the richness is networked, no one can accentrate richness without the help of a relatively large group around him/her, therefore no one can accumulate power.
6. Not at all. In the scenario I am envisaging the power and influence are closely connected to the real state of economy and to its capability to offer useful goods and services. The produced value is based on a sustainable development and on a green economy.
7. I think wealth or richness is one of the primary problems we are facing today. Few horde creating fabricated limitations of resources. This has to end. Power is also a myth that needs to end. Power only exists through false and inflated control of resources.
8. sure. Richness is being influential in my economy, which means being able to take decisions.
9. power as reputation, non-material, good. accumulation prevents mobility. it’s no good.
10. Social capital is the way we recognise power and influence as richness, rather than material goods. however this will always be checked and balanced by our productivity.
11. I think richness is related to power, but richness might be related to values other than money. social rating for example might become the value on which people base their system, in other words a new convention (which is more explicitely based on social values abd what a society agrees upon) might become the nbew backbone of such a system
12. Richness is in physical goods. Power is in controlling the parameters of the monetary system and should be distributed.
13. Ideally, power and influence would be directly related to value added to the society, and richness could be partially related to accumulation but more powerfully related to information and services added to the economy and ecosystem. There may also be a cutoff point or natural limit built into the system to prevent obscene disparities of wealth or power (preferably not in the form of law, but a natural result of the way the system works, and enforced by negative and positive feedback)
14. I hate all power
15. Power would be earned through wisdom. Richness through connection, not accumulation.

9. Think of the future’s future: how will ‘growth’ and ‘development’ apply in your new economic system?

1. Based on the needs and possibilities, not on monkey business and profits.
2. It is oriented towards the development of the heart.
3. They will both be related to the concept of networks, there is no development of individuals without the development of the network surrounding them.
4. There will be no ‘growth’ in the sense we discuss it today. There will be only ‘development’ at the personal and collective level. This development will not be equated with growth, but self-limitation and self-sufficiency.
5. By combining the free trades and markets with a care for the social balance and the respect of the physical environment, so that there will neither be distorsion of the social life nor threats to the environmental health.
6. Growth needs to cease outside of areas that are needed for equalizing the standards of living of everyone on the planet. So long as one person is sub-standard to others, we have failed in our goals. So growth or development is only a process of maintenance and equalization. Once equalized we can then expand development back into science and other avenues of exploration to begin advancements/innovations. But now we need to manage the overgrown feature creep of the last 500 years.
7. reputation is the new currency: computers don’t forget, so we can use our reputation more than locally.
8. Growth and development will be an alien concept. Things will happen because the community wills it into existence. Ways will be found to reap natural resources, without spoiling the sources. Values for everything will be quantified by process, desirability and scarcity.
9. It is already understood by many as a sustainable cycle rather than an individual trajectory.
10. Communication capabilities: more people will be able to express their opinion to a broader audience. Life standards will be mroe homogeneous
11. Growth should be equitable - something for everyone. Not an accumulation in a few hands. It should also respect the environment and whatever other values we hold.
12. Growth and development will switch to a model where information and complexity is the prime form of growth. Growth of the economy will consist mostly of novel ways of rearranging, organizing and extending the resources available, for instance increasing interconnectedness, efficiency, ephemeralization. Exploration of new natural resources may occur, but at a reduced rate because the system will not give as much rewards or may in some cases actually prevent that form of growth. The system might even progress to the point that material expansion is irrelevant (in a system where most material can be approximated by a cheaper (or free) purely informational or energy-based alternative).
13. no! undevelopment is a way bact to the future is better
14. “Growth” must be paired with “Sustainability.” We need to implement feed back cycles into our development that mirrors the Native American idea of how our lifestyles today will impact 7 generations out.

10. What part of today’s financial systems would make your revered ancestors turn in their graves? What do you think your child will dislike most about the way you handled money?

1. They will not unsderstend why people have so much more than they need just to show up to other people.
2. The utter chaos of it all, the lack of tracking with regards to life’s ebbs and flows, the frivolousness of things bought and sold, the insanity of disproportion, the lack of concrete aims and goals that money went towards, the inability to observe flows in anything other than a line item form.
3. That I was so insecure about it, that I was not free and generous with it, that I did not have the courage to go without it.
4. Easy spending and lending without a realistic sense of sustainable growth or true need needs to be readressed. Why do we need a different mobile phone every couple of years or need to drive cars everywhere? Why do we need to travel 10 hours by plane to go on holiday? When the hypothetical value of future services and goods are traded when in reality they’re a “known unknown”, when trading in future derivatives and creating hedge funds with no logical founding is acceptable, then we have to know we’re creating a disaster for our children. There’s a serious miscalculation of responsibility and accountability when 0,001% of the world’s population runs 99% of the global economy and can affect the financial system so dramatically that they must be ‘bailed’ out for fear of the consequences their errors will have on the universal stability. In turn come the next lot of precocious financial geniuses, to create an improved version of the previous financial system, yet another incomprehensible and unlogical number of leverading is born and supported by national pride (and neglect) and a gamblers hope that all will be resolved in the hands of these sharp minds who fear no penalty if their acts of folly collapse the financial order or turn to famine entire comunities.
5. Investing money in business i don’t know, that may in fact support war, exploitment of populations and environmental deployment
6. The ancestors would really be astonished by the current supremacy of financial power on the real economy and of the consequential social injustice. The future generation will distrust us because we have not been able to think properly to their individual and social life conditions.
7. What an odd 1st question. It assumes I know anything about my “ancestors”. I think though what comes to mind is the total lack of trust and humanity around services. My new boss was telling me about his small town bank in North Carolina. The President of the bank balanced his grand father’s checkbook. Neat, eh? congromerates have ruined this concept of “friendship” services b/c they have created policies of homogenization where NYC and Wasilia’s citibanks get the same service. Why? As for my child … I think the concept of money as individual units of paper will surprise him. It is a waste of resources to actually use paper and coin. Virtualization of currency is practically at our finger tips today. We just need to sell “privacy” issues better and currency as we know it will be done.
8. my child will see possession as a limitation of growth. Patenting will be seen as a limitation of human rights.
9. money is mammon, huh? it’s a trick.
10. The ridiculous borrowing (not me personally), credit cards (what is the point?), the failure to recognise that all debts have to be paid one day and the person collecting the debt is the winner, not you. The failure to challenge and protest against the deregulation of the financial sector. the failure to articulate clearly how health and education systems were systematically and ruthlessly exploited and infiltrated by capitalism. The failure to promote the idea of occupational justice beyond my own profession.
11. Saving for future personal security, instead of investing now so as to increas more people’s life standard
12. The fact that accumulation of riches is favored by a mechanism that we cannot escape (interest on money)
13. The creation of fiat currency using legal tender laws, interest, and extreme disparities in power are surely causing our ancestors to turn in their graves. I think that if things were to change in the future, then undoubtedly these things will be what our children dislike the most.
14. no comment
15. Our ancestors would be shocked by how disconnected people have become from one another — family, neighbors, community — and how we have substituted “stuff” for those connections. Also by how “easy” our lives have become in regards to our basic needs being met, but how complicated our psyches have become and how our lives are driven by manufactored dis-ease. Our children? Consumerism as addiction. Mindless marketing-driven consumption. Short term profits with absolutely no connection to sustainability. Two generations from now people will be rightfully outraged at how we burned through resources with so little regard to environmental impacts.

Home

Thank you guys!

by Irene Cassarino

Ciao Gang!

At this point I’d like to thank you a lot for your participation and your interesting contributions to our discussion.
I can hardly believe that one month has passed since the beginning of our contemplations about the history of money, future bartering systems, and the absence of online communism. KashKlash has become a lively platform of opinion exchange through which some major key questions were created. This was only possible with your help and enabled us to create our questionnaire in order to address these points, and to design possible future scenarios.

Dawn Barrett
David Birch
David Bollier
James Boyle
Cory Doctorow
Juan Freire
Adam Greenfield
Vinay Gupta
Joi Ito
Eva Jablonka
Younghee Jung
Ronaldo Lemos
Isaac Mao
Bill Maurer
Ulla Maaria Mutanen
Giovanni Padula
Robert Paterson
Tim Pritlove
Ulrike Reinhard
Lara Srivastava
John Thackara
Douglas Rushkoff
David Weinberger
Xavier Comtesse
Yochai Benkler
Mushon Zer-Aviv
Ethan Zuckerman
Marguerite Kahrl
Otje Oxenaar
Paolo Legrenzi

Press release: share it!

by Irene Cassarino
KashKlash “How can you rob a bank in a world without money?” wonders science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, one of the collaborators of the new foresight project KashKlash.

KashKlash is a lively platform where you can debate future scenarios for economic and cultural exchange. Beyond today’s financial turmoil, what new systems might appear? Global/local, tangible/intangible, digital/physical? On the KashKlash site, you can explore potential worlds where traditional financial transactions have disappeared, blended, or mutated into unexpected forms. Understand the near future, and help shape it!

Imagine yourself deprived of all of today’s conventional financial resources. Maybe you’re a refugee or stateless — or maybe it’s the systems themselves that have gone astray. Yet you still have your laptop, the Internet, and a broadband mobile connection. What would you do to create a new informal economy that would help you get by? What would you live on? E-barter? Rationing? Gadgets? Google juice? Cellphone minutes? Imagine a whole world approaching that condition. Which of today’s major power-players would win and lose, thrive or fail? What strange new roles would tomorrow’s technology fill?

Besides Bruce Sterling, the initial collaborators are Régine Debatty (of we-make-money-not-art), Nicolas Nova (LIFT) and Joshua Klein (author and hacker), who have been collaborating on initiating the discussion.

KashKlash is now opening up to you. You can join and follow the debate of our experts or contribute yourself by leaving a comment on the different matters or fill out our KashKlash questionnaire.

This public domain project is conceived and led by Heather Moore of Vodafone’s Global User Experience Team and run by Experientia, an international forward-looking user experience design company based in Turin, Italy.

Check the project description for more info.

Wanna add this press release to your blog/facebook/whatever? click on the share button below or copy and paste this script.

Areas of possible interest in designing new scenarios - my stab

by Irene Cassarino

Thank you Nicolas for your proposal!!

As I promised, this is my stab: I tried to include some of Nicolas’ hints, althought something is different. I do hope differences will feed the discussion!

1. Drivers for potential change

Is there any? which one? in which direction will it/they likely lead us?

What about reactionary forces that could hamper the change/ run against it?

Are some of us, in a sense, already in the future?

Do we really have to care about the change trajectory from now to them or should we be bolder and assume that the money will disappear and everything will be totally different from now, like starting from scratch?

2. Parameters of the 2015 model

What will people exchange with what?
What will the relationship/ exchange rate be between physical and non physical goods? How will the pattern of them change our perception / usage?

Will there be any difference on how we will relate with that model due to gender/age/political view/geography/previous economical path…

Will there by a global currency or a multitude of local ones? In the second case how will the multiplicity/liquidity of them be managed among communities?

Will we have a ‘cost of labour’ in 2015?

Will current distortions in the accumulation mechanism be solved, normalized, humanized… whatsoever?

Will there be actually a new form of value accumulation into capital? Through what? How will we keep it? What will be the dynamic of it over time?

Will accumulation be collective or individual?

What about devaluation? And scarcity?

What will be the new drivers of humanity growth/innovation?

3. Macro implications

How will political/social/financial powers find a new balance (if any, if sustainable…)?

Regulation / Control / Justice : who/what will control the new values and in what terms?

4. Micro implications

Try to imagine the 2015 man/woman/child/retired/wrongdoer… in their day life

5. Technology

Which is the role/weight of technology in all that? And of technology providers (link to area 3)

Hot issues / tweet list:

Accumulation
Liquidity
Reputation
Community
Scarcity
Devaluation
Demand
Offer
Information
Technology
Physical vs digital goods
Regulation
Single - global vs Multiple - local
Technology / Communication
Power
Knowledge

Shall we refine the questions? You first

by Irene Cassarino

Hi guys,

wow, I’m amazed by the brainstorming here. You wrote such brillant pieces!!!

I can already see some common questions emerge, but I don’t want to move faster than you and I wish you to take your stab first in the refinement step.

You can decide either to refine your own list of questions/areas of interest, or try to do the same with the all bunch of contributions.

If you prefer us to do a first and rough attempt in this direction (please tell us), so we will do. But only tomorrow evening. Hurry up!;)

Cheers:)


So let's start: seriously!! :)

by Irene Cassarino

You know how the economic and cultural exchanges are organized to date. Of course you can see pros and cos. So focus on cos and try to imagine a better future - let’s say on 2015 - and the development trajectory toward it as well.

Think about things that will remain stable, changes (desirable, less desirable), drivers for change, … and draw a possible scenario (by wed 22/thrd 23: it’s not an essay, just a draft). You can upload it straight on this web plat. You can even do it already as a list of basic questions + answers.

Try to be as imaginative as you can. Be bold, we definetly trust your boldness.

We are going to collect 4 scenarios, one for each one of the four of you.

From these scenarios we are deriving 4 to 5 main ‘research questions’ about the 2015, and offering people (secondary contributors) a set of choices for each question, so that they can help us collaboratively design the most desirable scenario(s) for the future.

We do hope that they won’t only place their vote, but leave a comment on it (whatever, even by audio/video content).

From answers and the debate that will hopefully raise around them, we’ll refine the emerging scenario (or maybe the scenarioS) and we’ll deliver it as the result of the project (also to address the party 2015 event..)


On line

by Irene Cassarino

The KashKlash is now online. The debate over a proper name is still underway…although we have been discussing it quite a bit ! If you want to contribute to choosing the name of the ‘baby’, let us know your thoughts. You’re more than welcome - we’re exhausted!:) So far, we are quite fascinated by Bruce’s proposal KashKlash , but Josh is fond of Fungible and Mark recently fell in love with Cellularity…

But anyway, what’s in a name? What really matters here are views , visions , ideas , opinions …whether they clash or harmonise among each other.

Have a taste…

Bruce Sterling is drifting on a wire connecting feudal economies, the gold farmers of World of Warcraft and the Jesuits preachers.

Joshua Klein is wondering how far the tension in digital economies between sociological versus geopolitical forces, which are squaring off over the battle for fungibility and integration, will bring us.

Nicolas Novas considerations explore the near future of online bartering.

Regine Debatty reflects on the future of currency and economy in a time when credit crunch is expected to bloom into a full-scale recession.

…and enter the debate - we invite you to use your account to share your opinion, comment on other posts or add any kind of multimedia content you find pertinent.

p.s. Please have a look also at the firts articles: LETS , an overview of local exchange trading systems, and The Days of Capitalism are Numbered , by Giorgio Ruffolo, which is wondering what is money for..

Kash Klash project - the vision

by Irene Cassarino

We create our future as much as our past creates us. The relatively new digital world of the internet has offered us new methods of communicating, of discovering and of interacting. We have learned that we don’t have to simply copy familiar physical forms and adapt them to this new environment, but that we can use our collective imagination to invent new forms and tools, as dynamic and holistic as we are.

Friedrich Kiesler in 1939 defined this as co-realism: ‘an exchange of interacting forces’ and situates the idea of expanding human capacities within it. Here is an opportunity to transform our recent past as consumers and producers to that of active co-creators of our collective future— to create something new with all that we have learned from farming culture, academic enlightenment, master craftsmanship and industrial efficiency and use the essential elements to light a path through our new integrated physical/digital world.

Are we prescribing or determining form and behavior? Are we making means for a specific experience, or are we creating conditions for what has been called the experimental exercise of freedom? - Mies van der Rohe

KashKlash is a space to share thoughts on, and to shape, the future; a playground for visionary people like you, who, in a sense, are already living a few years ahead. One particular aspect of the future we are particularly keen to explore is related to exchanges in our culture. Let’s start from the basic consideration that people have always shared and exchanged things. Sure, it comes to us naturally. But today’s digital communication systems are changing and expanding this age-old behaviour: not only are there new things to share — pictures, music, ratings, writings, videos, data and information — but there are now also many more platforms and opportunities for sharing and exchanging to take place.

Can we consider such exchanges to be ‘economical’? Sure we can, as in the original Greek  meaning of “one who manages a household”: although these exchanges often don’t involve money, they are rapidly growing in importance. Yet, our current capitalist economy is based on the assumption that everything has a monetary value, and ought to be traded according to that value. What is challenging our imagination is that the uptake of digital technology is starting to undermine this assumption.

Consider a person uploading a picture on Flickr, with an open license.  She is making a ‘gift’ to the Flickr community in the sense that she does not expect to have any financial compensation in return, but she does get other things instead: e.g. the feeling of belonging to a community of peers, a great potential visibility for her picture, the recognition of the beauty of it, the happiness of having her friends and relatives virtually gathered around that picture, and so on. The exchange has become non-financial and is definitely shaping a different, or if you want, alternative, ecosystem. An alternative to the mainstream.

Of course we know that alternative economies are nothing new: Local communities worldwide have always practised sharing and trading things (both material and immaterial, like time) without the support of money. Even now in 2008 this local practice is still very widely diffused, yet it sits at the margin of the dominant economic model and has a reputation of being naïve. What is new, with respect to a few years ago, is the increased interaction between digital/global and physical/local sharing through digital, especially mobile, communication tools.

Personal/Shared Values vs. Monetary Value

The current world of physical currency offers a degree of anonymity that allows individuals and groups to disassociate what they produce with what they consume. What have we lost in blurring the association between the two? Does the web, rich with connections and openness, offer an opportunity to reclaim this lost territory? What are the implications of this? Can both forms co-exist? In the merging physical/digital world, will other types of compensation - time, skills, services, a sense of belonging, visibility, public recognition, identity and so on - be increasingly important?

What might replace money as it exists now? What could be sharable and what cannot? What impact could this have on people and communities? How could a post-money economy best be organised, especially given the failures of the current economic model? How do communities of sharing shape and maintain themselves? How do they build their values? Do they have explicit or implicit values? What are the differences between global/online and local/physical communities of sharing? To what extent can digital/mobile communication tools help people in both online and physical communities manage their sharing and exchanging practices? What would the rules, rituals and habits of this future world be?

To address these questions, we created KashKlash, a forum to debate, imagine and co-create this future.
It is worth noting here that the focus of this understanding is on a possible future ecosystem, rather than on the technological tools underpinning it. We want the technology to adapt to the landscape we are trying to sketch out, not to be pulled in a certain direction by technology.

We want you to feel free to express your view, even if you feel that it is loosely related to the subject of the discussion: this platform is a simply a playground for ideas coming from people who are in love with the future and we are looking forward to seeing the amazing jigsaw puzzle of insights that results!
Please experiment with your thoughts and transfer them to us through words, images, sounds, videos, whatever medium you prefer.
We know how powerful ideas can be when a suitable space is created for a diverse community of people to express them.

KashKlash is a public domain project, set up by Heather Moore of Vodafone’s User Experience group, where all the content is public and open for all to use, allowing everyone to gain from everyone else’s contributions.
Such an open and spirited climate should not be hampered by Vodafone’s involvement, and it should be clear to everybody that opinions presented within this project are not somehow attached/attachable to Vodafone but are opinions from individuals, belonging to them and to the public domain.