News >> Alumni project boosts local economy

Alumni project boosts local economy

Students from Brazil
Thursday, 6 September, 2018

A PROJECT in Brazil, to explore the viability of creating a local currency, launched by a Schumacher alumni two years ago, is already boosting the local economy.

As part of her thesis for the MA Economics for Transition, Mar Michelle Hausler (pictured centre) helped create a community currency for the people of Piracanga, an eco-village in the north east of the country.

She created the currency of inkiri$, which is pegged to the official currency of Brazil, the real.

Since launching the project in 2016, a total of 85 million inikir$ has been moved around the local community within projects and between people.

There has been over 52,000 operations by Inkiri Bank which was started with the aim of facilitating more internal transactions and boosting the local economy.

She estimated that for each real that entered into the local economy it circulated 8 times before it went out.

“I always feel touched to return back to Piracanga where I lived and worked with the community,” she said.

“It's been incredible to see the development and what's unfolding since the implementation of the community currency and community bank.  There is also a new project, which is the creation of a housing fund to help members to build their houses.”

In the summer she returned to hold a workshop with students from the University of Piracanga, “Me, Myself and Money” to encourage them to explore their relationship with money.

“It’s about diving deeper into the personal and emotional relationship with money and what is driving our current lives and decision-making,” said Mar.

“I wanted them to consider moving from a life where decisions are made because of money to one where you live your calling and purpose.”