Money, debt, and postgrowth

Many of the societal challenges we face today find their roots in our current monetary and financial system. Debt-based monetary governance heightens inequalities, both on the local and global level, and government spending rules prevent us from investing public money where it is most needed. Are the politics of money and debt fundamentally at odds with the realisation of social and climate justice? 

As unbridled economic growth threatens planetary boundaries, Commons Network is committed to advancing the post-growth agenda through both political organising and research. Post-growth economies strive for socio-ecological wellbeing, they are based around the principles of autonomy, sufficiency and sovereignty. Further research is needed to establish the socio-ecological challenges caused by our current monetary system, as well as to determine its possible role in building a new global economic order.

Therefore, Commons Network is investigating the relation between debt, money and growth, as well as practices and strategies to transform our monetary system, from debt cancellation to community currencies. 


Blog series: Debt in a Postgrowth World

How do we achieve a state of affairs where sovereign countries can democratically address the provision of  basic necessities for their populations? How is debt intertwined with a growth-based economy? What is the postgrowth perspective on this? These are some of the questions we will be addressing in the blog series on  Debt in a Postgrowth World by our postgrowth researcher Alba Garcia. 

Blog 1: The Second Enclosure: Debt Traps

Blog series: Community currencies

In this series of articles, Diane Golenvaux investigated different experiments with neighborhood currencies in Amsterdam. What do they teach us about reorganizing money from the bottom-up? From digital currency cooperatives to time-banking, could some of the monetary tools and governance models developed in Amsterdam inspire proposals for finance to advance greater social and climate justice?  

In the coming period, Commons Network will develop a position paper on the role of community currencies in post-growth cities, using cases from Amsterdam and elsewhere.

Blog 1: Democratizing public capital: Community Currencies

Blog 2: Case study: A new strategy to keep money local

Blog 3: Makkie: Timebanking in the East of Amsterdam

For more info: contact and/or 

Run time: 2023 – ongoing

Other resources:

Our work on Building a Postgrowth Pan-European Network

Our article series on Responding to Degrowth Critics

Manifesto for a Caring Economy

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