Interview with Gwendolyn Hallsmith, Co-author of Creating Wealth
It's clearer by the day: We’re going to need to see some large-scale structural reforms to the way our economies operate in order to head off disasters like runaway climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource depletion. Trendy ‘band-aid’ solutions like ‘green’ product lines are quickly revealing themselves to be woefully inadequate in addressing looming environmental disasters.
More and more economists are arguing that it’s time to do away with the growth imperative in order to curb needless consumption, and to instead seek alternatives that allow for more stable, sustainable economies. Some, like Gwendolyn Hallsmith, the co-author of ‘Creating Wealth’, argue that we need to seek alternative currencies, alternative ways of exchanging capital that discourage hoarding, excess production, and boundless growth. Hallsmith has pioneered a handful of alternative currencies used in Montpelier, Vermont, and they’ve gone some lengths towards generating wealth locally and sustainably.
I sat down with Hallsmith at this year’s Poptech conference, and she explained how alternative currencies could help save the planet: