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Transformative Social Innovation in finance and money in the Netherlands

November 14 2017

by Inge Schrijver (LinkedIn)

With some pride and more nerves I am sharing my MA Economics for Transition dissertation with you. I have opened it for comments and would be happy if you browse (or read) through it and drop any thoughts that arise, critical remarks, questions, or suggestions in this document!  

I have studied nine initiatives* in the Netherlands that change the way money and finance work, through the lens of Transformative Social Innovation as presented in the 2016 framework and propositions. I have formulated their Narratives of Change and which institutions they aim to challenge and which they reproduce. These are used as basis to analyse for instance the (potential) interactions between them, connecting to a debate about taking fundamental disagreements or convergence as starting point for transitions.

Furthermore, I humbly try to contribute to the development of the TSI theory by using the nine cases to comment on for example the necessity of challenging Institutional Logics for establishing transformative change, the relation between local and wider change, between transformative ambitions and finding regulatory space, and the contestation over when something is perceived as transformative or not.

Lastly, it is found that while the initiatives are doing vital work to bring the money and financial system in motion, there seems to be largely an absence of a strategy to deal with the power of the sector. It is argued that this poses a severe limitation on the chances of having a meaningful transformative impact and some suggestions are made to tackle this.  

I hope you enjoy reading it, and as said I welcome any feedback!

*The initiatives studied are: Good Finance, Social Trade Organisation (STRO), Stichting Full Reserve, Vereniging Samenwerkende Kredietunies, Ons Geld, Triodos Bank, Bitonic, Qoin, Dam – Rotterdams Geld  

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