One of the exciting features of participatory budgeting is how it encourages people to think imaginatively and find new ways to build communities, both online and face to face. One example is a new paper that has been published by the independent think tank NEF in association with Common Weal, exploring the creation of the ScotPound. They believe this could become a socially inclusive digital currency for Scotland.
The report suggests that the unique political status of Scotland’s devolution settlement has created an opportunity to establish a digital currency that would operate alongside the traditional UK sterling currency. And even suggest an opportunity to connect a digital ScotPound to participatory budgeting. Such as forming deliberative on and offline communities who can decide through face to face or online forums, or even by text voting, on how to make use of a commonly owned resource.
In its report NEF and Common Weal suggest:
"In future years, people would be able to engage in helping to shape their local community more actively through the participatory budgeting process. This would enhance democracy in Scotland by encouraging people to get involved on a regular basis in how their community works, prioritising its needs, and investing in what is most important."
Whilst the PB Network hasn’t been involved in coming up with these proposals, we are looking forward to seeing how the idea develops. We are entering a new world of progressive economics, and want PB to become part of the emerging story.
- More information on the ScotPound proposal