Means / Money

The 12 basic needs

Money mirror of trade

Of all means and tools money is the only one which is completely neutral and used in all areas of daily life. In fact money is no more and no less than an administrationsystem of all trade between people worldwide. In fact we can choose to use shells, clay tablets, polaroid photo’s of all goods, gold, dollars or bankaccounts, or any alternative currency to give a “picture” of all products and services exchanged in the worldeconomy every day and every second. In practice it’s a little bit more complex than explained here, but the “core business” of money is to be the parallel and opposite accounting system to all trade.

Money and globalization

Only because of globalization money will get its utmost transparency when in a few years a world currency will be a reality. Accounting systems are already standardised in the IFRS rules, the stock exchanges of Wall Street and Euronext Amsterdam and the Asian markets will be one stockmarket in due time. When all countries of the world will agree in the new WTO rounds of international trade then only then also the new currency can start, whatever name we give it as Bancor, Worgl or Greenback …!

And when a world currency will be used also real prices and real incomes will be more visible, so that a better management is possible in transforming worldwide wealth into welfare for every world-consumer.

Qualities of money

Using our money as a tool for buying products and services is what we are used to do every day of the week when shopping or paying the bills. In fact we are paying for goods that are already made in the past, so with this kind of money we are paying off the past. When we save some money we are in facst financing the production of the goods and services which takes some time. And when we pay for schools (direct or via tax) end for science and research (via prices or taxes) we are financing the future producers and the future products! And whith all the innovations we produce the real “profit” which can be used best again for education and research to make the profit even higher every next round so that products and services become cheaper and smarter.

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08 202308 August 2023

Finance at the service of people and the planet.

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) is an international network of frontrunner organisations and leaders in the banking industry that use finance to serve people and the planet. Our collective goal is to make the banking system more transparent and support positive economic, social and environmental change.

In the Spring of 2009, 10 CEOs from values-based banks met in Zeist, a small town in The Netherlands, to try to change the world. Ever since, the GABV Annual Meeting has become the key moment for the Banking on Values movement. Hosted by a member bank, it has created a genuinely unique moment of exchange, inspiration and revitalization.

For the record: Because every dollar yen or euro starts a new round in the world, consumers are taking the first decisions to which producer their money goes in an economy of question and answer. Consumers are the first and final decisionmakers where the money goes, to buy the past, to save and invest, or to donate for the future of the next generation of designs (science), or the next generation designers / producers (education). Therefore our initiative Consumer360Academy is a platform for exchange of information and experiences of the other side of the economy of production trade and finance. Started in 1980 when the first GABV bank Triodos was founded, and when we did our first research about the developments in the world on consumer – producer dialogue. Today there are consumer organizations in all twelve sectors worldwide and more and more active! As consumers, as citizens and as co-creators / innovators

But of course a proper world economy is essential to arrange those questions and answers and the institutions to facilitate all those complex processes. Therefore we need not only producers and trade but also banks and financial institutions. And consumer organizations as well. And not to forget a proper world political network to facilitate true prices and true incomes, rules on guarantees and conflict management. And the SDG’s as coordinating principles!

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08 202301 January 2023

Stakeholder Engagement – Towards an Economy of Question and Answer

Since the early years of the 20th century more and more consumers started to proclaim their rights to quality of products and services. During the sixties and the seventies consumers/citizens organized circles around shops, farms, schools, healthcare, transport etc etc. Since the eighties pioneering banks started helping and advising consumers in co-financing innovative sustainable and responsible producers trade and service organizations.

Consumers as “first degree” stakeholders started to develop a regular dialogue towards an economy of question and answer (demand and supply instead of supply and demand). Shareholders and other stakeholders became more and more involved in all the issues about sustainability and responsibility in the economy. Guidelines such as ISO 26000/20400, Sustainable Development Goals SDG’s, Global Reporting Initiative GRI guidelines and all the guarantees and hallmarks in the world (see ISEAL) are now the guidelines in the world economy to “guide” us to the future we want!

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08 202208 August 2022

Money Money Money – Yesterday Today Tomorrow

Financing yesterday, today or tomorrow. Buying the past (products made), facilitating today (saving and investing vice versa) and/or financing the future (education research and design).

Money was invented to make barter and trade easier to handle in place and time. First we used shells and salt, later on gold, coins or paper money. Today we use the internet as our worldwide bookkeeping system for changing products and services, for saving and investing, and for financing the future of new products and producers.

Most interesting developments in the last few years is the rise of local currencies, crypto currencies and last but not least rethinking about old and new currencies made for a world economy seen as a living process, like nature. Representing more as a real mirror of reality, of production AND use or consumption as an ongoing circular process. The thoughts of Sylvio Gesell and the experiences in Worgl / Austria in 1932 gave an optimistic experience to use for further research as one possible option as the IMF suggests on their website.

For us consumers it can trigger our own thoughts about spending our money. Buying, saving or financing the future? Spending some of our money to finance the future, a better world for the next generation (and for ourselves when we return here for a following life on earth). Life(s)Long Learning!

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08 202112 December 2021

From Euro to Global? – 30 years experience with one coin in many countries

In the success of the Euro we can recognize the winning idea of John Maynard Keynes over Dexter White. The Euro as testcase for the Bancor has done very well. BECAUSE it was a coin for all member countries while the Dollar was not! From Bretton Woods to the Maastricht Treaty to Gobalization in the 21st Century?

When all people pay with the same coin then only then true prices will become visible! And true prices are true incomes in the end. Slogans like fair trade and living income will not be necessary anymore by then.

Paying with “Globals” can make the world economy 100% transparent showing the reality of dividing the labour economically and the reality of dividing the incomes legally.

Working with Bancor or Global as a global currency not only makes the world economy transparant but is also the most efficient indicator for dividing labour worldwide. Serving best possible prices for the consumer!

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08 202104 April 2021

Consumer Producer Dialogue – Towards an Economy of Question and Answer

Last month worldwide there were many conferences about consumer-producer dialogue! The 21st century of consumer governance began! Making an economy of question and answer into a reality of daily dialogue! Not only in politics (Bernie Sanders USA or Jesse Klaver in the Netherlands) but also about food and housing (in Germany the Verbraucherzentrale of Nordrhein Westfalen), about money during the Global Money Week (which is organized by the OECD), the UNESCO conference in Berlin together with Education International about integration of Sustainable Development Goals in school curricula). Consumers International is inviting all parties to come together for working on change. Worldwide more and more organizations, politicians and companies are working towards dialogue, towards a future we want but have to create it too! From small local initiatives to big organizations and even worldwide! A very very interesting start of the 21st year of the 21st century!

In 2011 we already wrote about the way we saw the modern consumer coming into more action. But now we can see more specifically that “maturity” is not a moment but a process! Nevertheless it is interesting to look back for a moment …..

“We are living in the middle of an interesting time! Worldwide the post-war generation is going to retire. Especially the students that protested for a better world in the sixties and have done their jobs in business, politics or culture have now a lot of time to get creative on another level! Especially ceo’s, politicians or the chairman of some cultural or scientific organization who have a lot of experience are now free to speak about their real thoughts about society. And because of modern social media more eager then ever to join the problem-solving in the 21st century!

But even more interesting is that almost everybody is going into a higher gear of activism! Not only the movements of the Arab Spring or the Occupy (together with Adbusters Magazine of Kalle Lasn who also started the Buy Nothing Day years ago), but also many people as members or not-members of organizations in public transport, medicare, food, education, politics, housing etc. etc. are more and more talking and acting towards more sustainability and responsibility!

We have entered the 21st century of maturity where the human being is starting managing his or her own life and all kinds of relations in society together with other people now also in all kinds of economical/financial, political and cultural issues. As consumers, citizens or cultural creatives we are more active in dialogue and decision making including the responsibility of what our money is doing in the world. Towards an economy of question and answer where we are learning every day to ask better questions to get better answers (sustainable products and client-oriented services)”.

March 15 was again Consumer Rights Day since President John F Kennedy proclaimed the first consumer rights bill in 1962: the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, and the right to be heard. Today there are even more rights including the right of consumer education.

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08 202010 October 2020

Triodos Bank 40 Years – Pioneers In Sustainable And Responsible Banking

Triodos Bank is one of the first banks that was founded to finance pioneers for a better world. Pioneers such as Demeter biodynamic farmers, Waldorf schools for free education, Anthroposophical healthcare, art, sustainable buildings and energy and all other kinds of innovative initiatives worldwide. Especially projects and organizations where all stakeholders are involved INCLUDING the financing by prepayment, lending or subsidising. For instance by prepayment of food and nutricion for the next month which is in fact the clients own part of the stock ready-to-buy. Or co-financing on the background by giving a guarantee that money will be paid in case of problem situations, assistance in continuation or phasing out if necessary. Crowdfunding avant la lettre! For consumers in the 21st century! Triodos Bank was also the birthplace for what is now called Consumer360Academy, celebrating 40 years of consumer education.

Triodos Bank is also one of the founding fathers of the Global Alliance for Value Banking GABV, a network of banking leaders from around the world committed to advancing positive change in the banking sector. Collective goal is to change the banking system so that it is more transparent, supports economic, social and environmental sustainability, and is composed of a diverse range of banking institutions serving the real economy. Founded in 2009, there is a growing network, with banks, banking cooperatives and credit unions, microfinance institutions and community development banks joining from many parts of the world.

GABV members have one thing in common: a shared mission to use finance to deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental development, with a focus on helping individuals fulfil their potential and build stronger communities. Members are deeply connected to the people and the communities they serve and are accountable for the risks they both take and create for the people who use their products and services. Focusing on inclusion puts basic banking products in service of a greater number of people, rather than highly sophisticated products in the hands of a few.

The GABV comprises of 63 financial institutions and 16 strategic partners operating in countries across Asia, Africa, Australia, Latin America, North America and Europe. Collectively they serve more than 70 million customers, hold over $210 billion USD of combined assets under management, and supported by more than 77,000 co-workers.

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08 202007 July 2020

China to Europe – From Top-Down to Bottom-Up

In the history of mankind developments came from the east and went to the west. Especially thanks to the Silk Roads and Marco Polo. But today and tomorrow hierarchical thinking and the “Art of War for Managers (Sun Tzu) are outdated. The new mantra of DIALOGUE (Dutch: Polderen) is the modern way of communication. In culture, democracy and …….. doing business.

Exactly 100 years ago Rudolf Steiner gave many lectures and courses for economy students about how we can create the future we want. About the three basic laws of freedom in culture, equality in democracy and lawmaking, and cooperation and association in all economic relations between consumer, trade and production or service (French: liberte egalite fraternite). As simple as it is! For our individual way of living, for organizations and for society as a whole. The 21st century is the time to learn why freedom and responsibility are the basis for maturity. From top-down structures towards bottom-up decision making. Consumers/citizens asking the questions, organizations giving the answers. Not vice versa!

Today the Corona crisis worldwide shows us that we have to take our own responsibility also in medical issues (even the UN World Health Organization WHO has introduced the new mantra: consumer healthcare is about managing your own healthcare).

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08 202002 February 2020

Stakeholders For A Cohesive And Sustainable World
Wake – up call for consumers/citizens

Davos was again host for the World Economic Forum, now celebrating their 50th year! Klaus Schwab started this forum by inviting managers from business politics and ngo’s in 1970, just after the protests of 1968, but two years before the report of the Club of Rome! A visionair who saw the need for a platform for the necessary dialogues on the future we want, this time not only inviting shareholders but ALL stakeholders of the worldeconomy. And that’s about us! Because ALL consumers/citizens are in-the-end responsible for what is happening in the world. Because consumers are the ones who are paying 100% of all the products and services in the world, directly or indirectly via taxes, assurances, etc.

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08 201902 February 2019

World Economic Forum – Another World in the Making

It was in Davos again that all aspects of how to achieve a better world according to the SDGs were discussed. Almost all discussions were enthousiastic, constructive and relevant in themselves and in relation to the worldwide questions. Too much positive developments for a journalist to decide on what to report! So please look at the website of the World Economic Forum yourself to experience the vibration of Another World in the Making!

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08 201810 October 2018

Alternative Finance Festival – Alternatives for the Future of Finance

The Alternative Finance Festival (AFF) was a grassroots festival throughout the Netherlands which celebrated the financial alternatives that already exist and everyone who is working on financial change, from citizen co-ops to ethical banking, from local currencies to unconditional giving. On 15 September 2018 it has been 10 years (!) since the fall of the US bank Lehman Brothers. It was the start of the financial crisis and it cost governments billions trying to save the banks. Since then several measures have been taken, but the financial sector has not fundamentally changed and we are happily moving on to a next crisis. The Alternative Finance Festival took place to show that not only things must and can be different, but that there are already many alternatives paving the way!

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08 201802 February 2018

Corporate Governance + Government Governance + Consumer Governance = Global Governance

The 48th World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland was a great week where the whole world met each other to think and discuss about the future we want especially looking from the economic points of view. About sustainable and social progress towards the Global Goals Agenda 2030 and beyond. Special guest Malala spoke about the crucial role of education for girls and women not only for more equality in living and income but also for the “female” qualities in business and world trade needed to work forward to more sustainability and social progress in general.

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08 201711 November 2017

A better future in the making

Worldbank and IMF had their annual meetings talking about finance but also about more equality for people’s income around the world in response to the first Sustainable Development Goal SDG 1. Thanks to the economic development of China and India the percentage of extreme poverty was now less then 10 % for the first time! Because of investments and education as well. Also the annual Drucker Forum (Peter Drucker was the founding father of management theory) was titled Growth and Inclusive Prosperity.

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08 201710 October 2017

Global Reporting Initiative – 20 Years for Sustainable and Responsible Reporting

The Global Reporting Initiative has “conquered” the world of sustainable and responsible bookkeeping within 20 years! This tiny organization from Amsterdam has made financial reporting most fit for reading by all stakeholders including consumers.

Most of the multinational corporations registered at the stock exchanges worldwide use this all-stakeholder reporting together with the official International Financial Reporting System IFRS which was implemented in 2005. The GRI Guidelines are also designed and connected to the guidelines for sustainable and responsible production and trade ISO 26000 and ISO 20400. In the International Standards Organization ISO also most consumer organizations are involved (including us).

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08 201707 July / August / September 2017

UN Global Goals Year 2 and the Rethinking of Economics

At the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York at the riverside of the East River and since the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed by all countries of the world in 2015 we followed the second Partnership Exchange conference via livestream this time. Especially the keynote speech of professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University was impressive and highly motivating to go forward with all the 17 goals toward 2030 and beyond.

Also former US vice president Al Gore appeared in the news with his newest book about Why How What about Change which will become his newest bestseller. An Inconvenient Sequel describes all the issues about climate change in all the latest details and also how to help change the course of Mother Nature into the future we want.

Doughnut Economics is the newest inspiring title of a book about retinking economics in the most fundamental way. The doughnut was chosen as the picture of a ring between the minimum income needed for human lifestyles and the maximum possibilities of Mother Nature to deliver the resources for our daily needs. Professor Kate Raworth from Oxford University published this greatest bestseller-to-be this year to help economists AND consumers/citizens to adopt a more living kind of thinking in economics. It is written in a very daily language and most people read it untill the last page!

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08 201704 April / May / June 2017

Put your money where your mouth is – Buy the Change!

We can change ourselves. But we cannot change the world on our own! More than 80% of our lifestyle depends upon those people to whom we asked to produce products or to deliver services for us based on the division of all labour worldwide. Because of that same division of labour and expertise we can produce of course more quality and/or more quantity for lower prices than by doing it ourselves. But of course we have also to pay the true price for true sustainability and true income of those who are our producers. Then only then we can name ithe worleconomy an economy of question and answer!

To manage our expenses and to have an agenda for the annual meetings of consumer organizations with producers it is most easy to use a household booklet and/or agenda based on the 12 necessities of life. And in all dialogues between consumers and producers we can use the 7 aspects of trade.

More and more the whole world is working towards more sustainabilty. Following the UN Sustainable Development Goals we can now see the ISO 26000 directions for producers, and since this year also the ISO 20400 for working towards fair trade and true price.

The international Triodos Bank for financing sustainability started their new slogan “Buy the Change” meant for all of us especially as consumers while we are the ones who decide to which farmer architect or carmaker etc etc our euro yen or dollar goes for a new round in our everyday purchases and financial decisions.

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08 201604 April – June 2016

TRUE Brands – Transparent Responsible Unique Empathic

TRUE Brands was published in April in the Netherlands but soon also in English. A bestseller about a better world in the making! Mark van de Grift has written a masterpiece about all aspects of all stakeholders in the production, trade, pricing and consumption of products and services in a way we can all follow the processes and organizations involved.

Ralph Nader organized in May his groundbreaking 50 years of consumer advocacy and the road ahead. The 4 days “Breaking Through Power” congress was held in the Constitution Hall in Washington DC and followed livestream by The Real News Network, a tv station which is financed 100% by consumers / viewers.

Energy Globe Awards were announced in June for the winners in 177 countries worldwide – the most important prize for sustainability projects. End of this year the five world awards will be announced for projects about earth, water, air, fire, and youth.

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08 201505 May 2015

Triodos Bank Annual Report 2014 – Focus on Impact

“Triodos Bank takes an unconventional approach to assessing impact. Numbers do matter of course, but they are not our starting point. It sounds counterintuitive because we often hear that conventional growth, graphs that go up, and rising numbers are good news to be celebrated. But this is not always true. For instance, if your bank is in the business of sustainable change, financing a single, innovative new business which will drive an entirely new sustainable industry could mean more impact than financing ten established businesses in a mature industry.” (Peter Blom, CEO)

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08 201502 February 2015

A better world in the making – business governments and civil society working together

While revolutions are sometimes necessary for ending structures of the past, working towards a better world takes a little bit more time than seven days! Following the developments of the world and especially the world economy during the conferences in Davos Switzerland each year all parties have done a great job in starting up the great dialogue between all parties and about all issues! Especially important now because the United Nations will launch the new Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2025 this year.

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08 201412 December 2014

The Future of Banking – Banking for the Future

Two important conferences in England and in the Netherlands about banking in the future and for the future. The financial crisis has triggered us all to think deeper about the real values presented by money. And to think further about the ways that banks can help streamlining the economic globalization towards prosperity for all. What about local currencies and crowdfunding and what about the worldwide sytems of banking and investing and the dialogue between consumers and producers as the new basis for financing in the 21st century?

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08 201407 July 2014

New Basics of Marketing

“We can’t think of another discipline that has evolved so quickly! New approaches are appearing every day!” (The New Basics of Marketing / Harvard Business Review / July-August 2014 / page 56.) Indeed the 21st century shows us in all directions that consumers are now active partners in almost all product/service chains. The economy of demand and supply has grown towards an economy of question and answer! Where we as consumers have to ask the best questions to get the best answers (the best possible products, services and advices)!

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08 201404 April 2014

First 3-year evaluation of the ISO 26000 Guidelines

The worldwide guidelines ISO 26000 for organizations working on more responsible ways of producing, fair trade and true price calculation have been evaluated after the first three years of experience. After consultation of all users the International Standard Organization in Geneva Switzerland decided that the guidelines will be confirmed for the next three years. There was great consensus that the guidelines give a good framework for dialogue with all stakeholders and further development of organizations.

The Global Reporting Initiative GRI in Amsterdam publishing the worldwide guidelines for accounting used by organizations working on a more responsible way also introduced the newest upgrade G4.

Because both organizations ISO and GRI are working on the same issues there is of course an ongoing dialogue about how to translate results of responsible and sustainable production in transparent annual reports. GRI also works closely together with IFRS the International Financial Reporting System, since ten years now the official guidelines for accounting and reporting for all companies worldwide registered at and financed via Wall Street and all the other global stock exchanges.

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08 201010 October – December 2010

Sustainable Banking 1980 – 2010

In the middle of the worldwide economic turbulence the Triodos Bank for sustainable banking celebrated their first 30 years in innovation. CEO Peter Blom was invited on many occasions to talk about how banking institutes can look to sustainability also when it is about their own functioning in the world. They are in the end the managers of the mirrors of worldtrade, the facilitators of the bookkeeping of the worldeconomy.

One of the first four founding fathers of Triodos Bank was Rudolf Mees, a banker himself as member of the board of ING Bank died at the age of 79 but not after giving a long and highly interesting lecture about banking as he saw it. It was for a big audience in the restaurant of the Triodos Bank, asking all of us to take over the threads he could not finish in this life anymore of which he knew he would only have a short time left. He was one of my bosses at ING Bank when I worked there as a financial product developer. After the Triodos Bank was founded in 1980 I started my research for what is now the Free Consumer Association. Read more: About Us (PD).

These months we were also writing together with 400 other people the follow-up report 2.0 of the UN Brundtland Report “Our Common Future” for the next 25 years, organised by prof Jan Jonker of Nijmegen University. And surprise surprise was the lecture in the heart of the scientific world at the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences in Amsterdam where prof Klaas van Egmond presented his book Sustainability – A Form of Civilization.

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08 200809 September 2008

Money makes the world go around…

But how about the people on that fast spinning globe? Can we still hold each others hands and not fall? In 1994 the painting of Edvard Munch called The Cry was stolen from the museum in Oslo, seven years later in 2001 the twin towers in New York collapsed because of a terrorist attack and we heard all the cries in reality. And now again seven years later the crisis in the money system worldwide recording the outcries on the floors of all the stock exchanges….! An incarnation from a “spiritual vision” to a heartbreaking outcry of the world that globalization has to become a fair (world trade) playing field, to the financial crisis now which is a culmination of too much freedom for egoism. Where freedom belongs to our thoughts and culture, and where fairness belongs to our relations, personal national and international, for all our economical needs we need to work together to get the best results and not for our incomes alone.

All the results of our economy have to be redistributed again one way or another, for which we constructed all the social systems, taxes, subsidies, sponsoring, price discrimination, development aid untill remissions since the emancipation of people from old family ties in the centuries behind. However this building process is not ready yet and the results we can see now in the exploding and imploding incomes worldwide into the biggest polarity possible! That’s NOT realistic and NOT human, and even NOT efficient! Which is now also realised by most of the six billion consumer/citizens worldwide in a globalizing world more and more feeling to be one big family. Which in fact we are since Adam met his girlfriend Eve…

Interesting is the fact that this discussion was already underway since about two years! About basic incomes and top salaries many seminars and conferences were about looking for arguments and new ways to deal with the question of distribution of wealth. Even for the billions of poorest people at the “bottom of the piramid”. And parallel the cooperation of worldpopulation in the creation of (our own) wealth. At the conferences of the OECD in Brussels in november 2007 and the conference at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands this issue was discussed under the title “Beyond GDP” (Gross Domestic Product is a measure of all production) or: from welfare to wellness, from quantity to quality, by calculating economic processes in a better and more sustainable way.

Because of the fact that consciousness is an irreversible process we may have high hopes for good solutions towards a better worldwide “social contract” in incomes and spendings, in work and wealth. See also our publications / about the quality of life (pdf)

08 200804 April 2008

One Idea – Two Awards: Subscriptions

A card for clients who are willing to pre-finance their part of the stock they are going to buy in the month ahead, is in the making for the whole organic branch in The Netherlands! Two shopowners with similar ideas became the Golden Pear Innovation Prize 2008. The Green Passage in Rotterdam and Buys&Ko in Wageningen had developed different but quite similar ideas.Together with the branch-organizations who gave the prize they will now develop it further to introduce the cardsystem nationwide.

08 200803 March 2008

Why Bank Ethically? Your money – Your choice

When most people think of a bank, they think of the organisation that keeps their money safe and secure until they need it. When most people decide who to bank with, they consider the rate of interest they will receive, the services they will benefit from and how easy will it be to access their money. What most people don’t think about is how that bank then invests their money when they’re not using it.

A bank’s core business is to use the money savers deposit, to lend it to someone else. With most banks you don’t know who’s using and benefiting from your savings. Instead the bank is in control of your money and decides who they will lend it to and what that money will be used for. But if you ask the bank what they’re doing with your money they won’t tell you.

A Transparent Bank

Triodos Bank is different. We only lend to organisations which create real social, environmental and cultural value such as charities, social businesses, community projects and environmental initiatives. Each one is a practical, well-grounded initiative dedicated to social aims which benefit the community, care for the environment, respect human freedom and develop individual talents and capacities. As part of our commitment to transparency we publish a Project List, which details all the activities that we finance in the UK and Ireland at the time of printing.

Positive or Negative

Many financial organisations, from high street banks to pension providers now offer funds and schemes where you can save and invest your money ethically, partly in response to the success that ethical pioneers including Triodos Bank have had. Most ethical investments use negative lending criteria. This means that the organisations that they lend money to cannot be involved in malevolent activities such as child labour, large scale environmental damage or the arms trade. But Triodos Bank has a different approach – the enterprises we invest in are all actively pursuing social, environmental and cultural goals, not just avoiding negative activities.

With a Human Approach

While Triodos provides opportunities for people to save and enjoy a reasonable rate of interest, a growing number of social enterprises need to finance their development. Many charities, social businesses, community groups, environmental initiatives have a wide range of socially valuable and innovative projects which need access to credit. They need a banking partner which understands the way they work, recognises and supports their values, and can work with them to find the right financial arrangements for their needs.

Triodos Bank co-workers use their expertise and judgement to assess each loan application on its own merits, analysing a project’s social, environmental and cultural ‘added value’ as well as its financial performance. We have a genuinely human approach to banking, sharing the values of the enterprises we support and taking the time to visit and understand each one. As a result, we support a wide variety of initiatives in many sectors, all over the UK and Ireland, reflecting the growing strength and diversity of the social economy.

Making a Real Difference

Saving with Triodos Bank means that people in all parts of the UK and Ireland can develop and build organisations which enrich their community and safeguard the environment – building a more sustainable future for us all.

Peter Blom, CEO Triodos Bank

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08 200801 January 2008

Campus Tilburg University

ECOnomics in the 21st century – Beyond GDP

As the producers of copiers Ricoh are advertising with this new creative way of reading the word eco-nomics, so is the discussion about a sustainable future on the Global Action Day of the World Social Forum on January 26 worldwide, and in Davos at the World Economic Forum. But also in all the discussions about “Beyond GDP” in Brussels and Tilburg Netherlands about the new indicators towards growth of wealth (quality of life) instead of economic growth only.

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