In the Times, Ed Conway, economics editor of Sky News, describes problems arising from the complexity of globalisation, ‘the hallmark of 21st-century life’ and the International Alliance for Localization records examples of new modes of development and progress. He concludes: “Globalisation, once a means of boosting everyone’s income, has instead evolved into an excellent vehicle to help the rich get richer”.
The International Alliance for Localization sees that the building of more resilient economies will require a rethinking of the financial system, and its Planet Local series has been turning the spotlight on some inspiring examples of ethical banking:
* In Maine, USA, a local resident with money to invest is providing nearby small farmers with loans whose interest is paid exclusively in the form of farm products.
* Brazil’s Banco Palmas, governed and managed by residents of the impoverished Palmeiras neighborhood in the city of Fortaleza, has issued a local currency, dramatically shifted spending patterns to keep money circulating locally, and extended basic financial services to people shut out of the mainstream banking system.
* In Croatia, the democratically-owned Ebanka functions as a non-profit bank, in stark contrast to most financial institutions worldwide. Their loans are given without interest, and every member has an equal voice when it comes to voting on big decisions, regardless of the value of their deposit.?
LWM is a member of IAL, a cross-cultural network of thinkers, activists and NGOs from 58 different countries.