The Independent Money Alliance (IMA) is an association of practitioners of local, independent money systems that exist for social and environmental purposes.
The alliance aims to:
- Create a culture of experiment and innovation among its members
- Develop best practice in the introduction of new money schemes and their penetration into the wider society
- Establish ways to monitor the social and environmental impact of the schemes
- Recognise and advise members about regulatory constraints, while providing, in certain circumstances, access to appropriate regulatory control
To promote sustainable development for the benefit of the public by:
- the preservation, conservation and the protection of the environment and the prudent use of resources;
- the relief of poverty and the improvement of the conditions of life in socially and economically disadvantaged communities;
- the promotion of sustainable means of achieving economic growth and regeneration.
As an association of practitioners, it is clearly different from educational initiatives like Positive Money or NEF. The word local is a basic element of our association because we agree that localisation is a key strategy for effective transformation of our present dominant and destructive economic system. Independent means that our schemes concern money that is not created by banks. We use the term money as more than actual currencies, so as to include anything that can be effectively used as a means of transaction and a measure of transactional value, including time.
The association finds its identity around the shared values of its members and all our schemes are committed to social and environmental purposes. These will be expressed and addressed in different ways in the various schemes, but they will include concerns about our relationship with the planet, for strengthening community life, embracing diversity and working for justice. These social and environmental purposes differentiate us from unprincipled initiatives like Bitcoin. (‘local’ is also a distinguishing mark in this case)
Experiment and innovation are of the very essence of what our association is about. We recognise the need to be radical given the urgency of our human predicament today. By pooling our knowledge and experience we must develop our understanding of best practice. This will in the end lead to greater effectiveness.
The public have a right to know whether our schemes have a chance of being effective in their aims. Developing a suite of measures of social and environmental impact will be part of our accountability. Our members remain responsible for ensuring that their schemes are legally compliant, but we will seek to offer informal advice around potential regulatory constraints. Sustainable development means “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”