The german Regiogeld system and its handling in everyday life.
International Conference on Community Currencies “Thirty years of community currencies – what next?”, 16. - 17. Februar 2011, Lyon.
This paper introduces a special form of a community currency, the German Regiogeld System. Firstly it describes what it is, its origin and current status. Generally Regiogeld is a private monetary system with a regional validity and a non-profit-agenda. In detail the present 73 Regiogeld projects in Germany are quite different. This results from the fact that Regiogeld is originated in the fusing of different movements which affect its constructions and its objectives, its organizational, financial and personnel resources. Secondly, this paper focuses on the actual way of working in practice. It describes why consumers use this limited and costly form of money at all. In an interpretative process they earmark Regiogeld, by what qualitative different meanings and patterns of usages evolve. Thus Regiogeld can be used as affirmation of moral attitudes or as a sign for a symbolic community of ‘better’ people as well as an instrument of power that forces others into a local buying behaviour. Altogether, in the hands of the consumers Regiogeld multiplies to a bunch of different special monies. Understanding this process helps to understand how complementary currencies can be conceived, established and operated successfully.