Introducing…Real Life Heretic(s) #3: Brixton Pound

Olive Morris on a Brixton Pound note
Olive Morris on a Brixton Pound note

Brett Scott’s groundbreaking The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance showcases the growing alternative finance movement, where all kinds of people are developing new ways of sharing and exchanging. We will be profiling some of the Real Life Heretic’s which Brett Scott writes about in the book.

We hope this will spark ideas and action for a new movement of financial activism. If you are involved in a campaign or project yourself, or know someone who is, drop us an email and tell us about it at: pluto@plutobooks.com. For more ideas, information and events visit Brett Scott’s blog Suitpossum.

Real Life Heretic #1 – Eli Gothill

Real life Heretic #2 – Agamemnon Otero

Real life Heretic(s) #3 – Brixton Pound

Josh Ryan Collins and the Brixton Pound team started from a dinner conversation. They created a physical currency, and then an electronics payment system, which is now being used as a model for other alternative currencies. Each of the new Brixton notes commemorates a local hero, voted on by the people of Brixton and celebrating the diversity of the South London suburb. People featured on the notes include: Olive Morris, James Lovelock, CLR James and Vincent Van Gogh (who moved to Brixton aged 20, reportedly returning to Holland a changed man, having seen first hand, the impacts of poverty on his daily walk from Brixton to Covent Garden).

The Brixton Pound website explains the benefits the currency brings:

The B£ will make money work for Brixton by supporting smaller shops and traders who are under threat from the recession and larger chains. It will stay in Brixton and circulate, increasing local trade and community connections. Money spent with independent businesses circulates within the local economy up to three times longer than when it’s spent with national chains, research by nef has shown.

The B£ will encourage people to think about where their money is going and commit to spending a proportion of it locally. It will help to maintain the diversity and uniqueness of Brixton’s shops and market and build pride in Brixton. On the environmental front, the Brixton Pound group will support local businesses in sourcing more goods and services locally, reducing their carbon footprint.

Click on the cover below for more details about the book:

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