Complementary currencies, a new approach to territorial development. Which role for the communities?

Wojtek Kalinowski, Catalina Duque Gómez, November 2017

Institut national spécialisé d’études territoriales de Dunkerque (INSET), L’Institut Veblen pour les réformes économiques (Veblen)

This online course was co-produced by the Veblen Institute and CITEGO in partnership with INSET.

You have probably already heard about these strange little currencies that are being launched here and there, in France and elsewhere, and that raise many questions for public authorities, local elected officials, companies and local residents. For some, they are « gadgets » with no real impact on the economy and society. For others, these currencies announce, on the contrary, a profound change in the approach to territories, in the organization of exchanges and, finally, in the very way we define wealth in our societies. But what is really going on? These currencies are the talk of the town, but in reality they are little known. And if we have created this MOOC, it is precisely to explain what they are about in concrete terms, to allow you to understand the issues behind these currencies, and in particular to situate them in the framework of public action.

We will talk about the functioning of the different types of complementary currencies, the objectives that these currencies pursue, the role they can play in local development, in social cohesion, and in the transition towards sustainable territories.

The course is structured in 4 sessions. We will start by discussing the nature and functioning of money (Session 1(in French)). This will lead us to raise questions about the current monetary system and to understand the challenges behind the creation of complementary currencies. The Session Two (in French) will outline current territorial issues and develop how different types of complementary currencies propose to address them. We will focus on the contribution of complementary currencies to the territorialization of activities, the dynamization of exchanges and the transformation of social practices and representations.

This general framework will allow us to address, in the last two sessions (Session 3 and 4 (in French)), the different types of complementary currencies based on French examples. We will talk about the practical implementation of complementary currencies and give the floor to actors involved in the implementation of these initiatives. We hope that these 4 sessions will contribute to a better understanding of complementary currencies and their potential.

As an extension of the Complementary Currencies MOOC, a conference was organized at the Learning Center in Dunkirk on June 16, 2018 on the theme «  Land Currency Solution  » and is the subject of a fifth session (in French). The purpose of the conference is to address more specifically the issues of the effects and impacts of local complementary currencies, i.e. currencies that are strongly anchored in the territory, involving citizen collectives, local economic actors and, most often, public authorities.

We invite you to read the fact sheets that accompany the videos, which provide more details on the experiences mentioned and resources to help you learn more.


Session 1 : Keys to understanding money, its functions, its role as a social link (in French)

Session 2 : Complementary currencies in territorial dynamics: overview, issues and perspectives (in French)

Sessions 3 and 4 : Complementary currencies in practice (in French)

Session 5 : Effects and impacts of local complementary currencies (in French)


Alternatives Economiques (2016), « Réinventons la monnaie », Dossier d’Alternatives Economiques en partenariat avec l’Institut Veblen. Accès au dossier

Blanc J. (2001), Les monnaies parallèles, Editions l’Harmattan

Blanc J. et Fare M.(2010), Quel rôle pour les collectivités locales dans la mise en œuvre de projets de monnaies sociales ?, Journées de l’Association d’Economie Sociale Charleroi. Accès à l’article

Blanc J. et Fare M. (2012), Les monnaies sociales en tant que dispositifs innovants : une évaluation, Innovations, 2012/2 n°38, p. 67-84. Accès à l’article

Fare M. (2016), Des monnaies pour les territoires, éditions Charles Léopold Mayer

Fourel. C. et Magnen J-Ph (2015), Mission d’étude sur les monnaies locales complémentaires et les systèmes d’échange locaux. Accès au rapport

Fourel. C. et Magnen J-Ph (2015), D’autres monnaies pour une nouvelle prospérité, Edition au fil de l’Eau.

Kalinowski W (2012), Pluralité monétaire et stabilité économique : l’expérience suisse, Note de l’Institut Veblen. Accès à la note

Servet J.M (2012), Les monnaies du lien, éditions PUL

Viveret P.(2012), Reconsidérer la richesse, éditions de l’Aube

To go further

Mapping complementary currencies worldwide:Community Exchange Network Statistics

a( Réseau des Monnaies Locales Complémentaires Citoyennes]

Mission d’étude sur les monnaies locales complémentaires et les systèmes d’échange locaux, « D’autres monnaies pour une nouvelle prospérité », 8 avril 2015. Accès au rapport

MEDDE, « Les monnaies locales complémentaires », Dossier du CRDD, mai 2015. Accès au dossier

Derudder P., Holbecq A-J. Une Monnaie nationale complémentaire, Editions Yves Michel, coll. Economie. 176p.

Derudder P. Les Monnaies locales complémentaires : pourquoi, comment ? (2e édition), Editions Yves Michel, coll Economie. 306p.

RTES, Journée « Collectivités et monnaies locales complémentaires » à Strasbourg le 23 mai 2018. Accès à l’événement

GAILLY P-A., Nouvelles monnaies : les enjeux macro-économiques, financiers et sociétaux, Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental, 2015. Accès au rapport