I’m a big fan of the unconference format, where the agenda is set on the day by the participants, so I’m very excited to announce that the 4th BarCampBankLondon “Unconference” will be held on 31st January 2011. The facilities will be provided by NESTA at their offices at 1 Plough Place, London EC4A 1DE with support from Consult Hyperion and BullionVault. Look forward to seeing you there!

This year, there will be a special focus on the role of financial services and institutions and their potential to help local communities unlock currently underutilised capacity to meet currently unmet needs. Why? Well, the new coalition government in the UK has an initiative called “The Big Society”: The Big Society is about helping people to come together to improve their own lives and putting more power in peoples hands. There is real interest – both within and outside of government – around the potential of ‘people helping people’ models such as complementary currencies and timebanking. The recent “giving” green paper consultation launched by the Cabinet Office makes particular reference to the potential of complementary currencies and raises questions around scaling local timebanks on a national scale.

New complementary currencies mean new institutions and my particular interest at the event will be to explore potential institutional arrangements. What would it mean to make complementary currencies part of the financial services landscape? What new kinds of financial institutions are need for the new economy? Questions like these deserve examination from a range of perspectives and I hope that we can exploit the opportunity to explore decentralisation, locality, community in financial services. New technologies — everything from mobile phones and smart cards to Facebook and Twitter — have a key role to play here, both in terms of stimulating new organisational models and and scaling up working alternative models to regional and national scale.

The number of tracks running in each session naturally depends on the number of participants and what they want to talk about but for BarCampBankLondon4 we hope to run 3-4 parallel sessions both before and after lunch. The topics to be covered in each track depend on you, the audience, but I expect them to range across new ideas for financial services businesses, ways to use new technology (with a big focus on social media), banking regulation and industry structure, community banking and a wide range of related issues.

The proposed agenda for the day is simple:

10am Welcome and introductions

10.30am Agenda-setting and ice-breaking

11am – 12.15pm First Session

12..15-12.30pm Report and review

12.30pm-1.30pm Lunch and networking

1.30-2.30pm Second Session

2.15-2.30pm Report and Review

2.30-3.30pm Third Session

3.30-4pm Report and Review, Closing Discussion.

See you at at NESTA on 31st January 2011. We hope to see 50-60 people there but space is limited, so please register right away here via MeetUp. There is a nominal booking charge of £10 and all delegates will receive copies of the latest Digital Money Reader with the compliments of Consult Hyperion and When Money Dies with compliments of BullionVault.

3 comments

  1. Dave Birch: “There is real interest – both within and outside of government – around the potential of ‘people helping people’ models such as complementary currencies and timebanking. The recent “giving” green paper consultation launched by the Cabinet Office makes particular reference to the potential of complementary currencies and raises questions around scaling local timebanks on a national scale.”
    Jct: I just hope they take the UNILETS Millennium Declaration C6 for an alternate time-based currency global timebank into account. With Africa trading cell-phone minutes, Ithaca Hours, the global Time Standard of Money should be on any agenda.

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