MoneyLab#2: Economies of Dissent
MONEYLAB#2: ECONOMIES OF DISSENT considers the development and production of an impressive amount of financial counter-concepts, tools, platforms, works of art, digital currencies, and payment services giving shape to an emerging economy of dissent.

This economy operates across borders, on different scales, from sole acts of defiance to sovereign refusal, and is expressed variously as: strategy, circumvention, innovation, visualization, making-do, and whatever else can be done with limited resources. Amidst crashing markets there are dangers of falling back on populism, nihilism or anti-globalism. We need to channel our outrage, talk innovation, and help foster alternatives in the service of the commons. We need to develop scalable models that allow for more autonomy and a sense of ownership.

On December 3 – 4, 2015 we host the MoneyLab#2: Economies of Dissent symposium in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. This second edition of MoneyLab provides a discussion platform for a variety of financial alternatives and interventions such as peer-to-peer insurance companies, digital currencies, financial leak platforms, evolving technologies of exchange and decision making platforms. On our event page you can find more information as well as tickets and program updates.

Robin Hood-style financial hacks and other forms of dissent face serious challenges. These challenges range from funding, scaling and competition with central monetary institutions to issues of power, security and trust.

Despite these challenges, the development of these alternatives represents a move away from the legacy powers and monetary institutions of our previous centuries. It is a move toward more bottom up and smaller-scale initiatives, a call for more ownership and control by citizens, a need for a more participatory form of finance. They are nascent organizational forms and initiatives, operating on smaller-scales, aiming to harness network effects so that the economy of dissent will, at some point, reach a critical mass and morph into wider structural transformation. As the Greek ‘oxi’ shows us, we need to stand up and demand the democratization of global finance.

What political imperatives shape the economy of dissent? What different views on the redistribution of wealth and the exchange of value are out there? How can we re-design our financial infrastructures? What types of experiments do we need? Can we formalize value without relying on central mediators or the money form?

MoneyLab#2: Economies of Dissent starts with the conviction that we need to experiment with initiatives that allow for the distribution and exchange of value in different ways. Or rather, we call for experimentation. The economic mire we’re in is not merely a technological problem waiting for a technical solution or ‘best practice’. Our creative interventions must be considered an exercise in future world building, spanning the political, legal, social, psychological, technical and economic.

Photos by Merel Kuiper
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