Our keynote speech was by Chris Sunderland, Director Bristol Pound CIC, Real Economy Coop

He placed local currencies into a wider context… “We are not consumers. We are not clients. We are citizens with gifts and power to make powerful communities” From The Abundant Community by John McKnight and Peter Block

You can download his slides here.


Chris Sunderland has been, as they say, many things to many people. He has been a research biochemist, working in an Oxford laboratory at the cutting edge of biotechnology. He has been a vicar in one of the toughest tower block estates in the UK. He has become a storyteller engaging with issues of public life. He is one of the founding directors of the Bristol Pound, a local currency project that has attracted widespread attention and is currently developing a new food cooperative, called Real Economy, designed to get fresh food to people in the toughest circumstances.

Chris is convinced that we are living through an age of deep change, when all of our cultural systems, including our politics, our economics and our religious institutions, are in decline and something new is emerging. At this moment the one thing that human beings must pay attention to is our relationship with the earth.

The Bristol Pound and its sister project Real Economy are an attempt to give people a taste of a different type of economic system, that is led by values, full of relationships and a driver of change towards a sustainable culture.