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POVERTY THE FUTURE OF MONEY The world's GDP is more than $70 trillion US. And yet, 3 billion people currently live on less than $2 a day. Our global economic system leaves half the world's population dangerously underserved. Your mission this week: Help invent the future of money. "Money is an invention of the human mind. The creation of money is made possible because human beings have the capacity to accord value to symbols. Money is a symbol that represents the value of goods and services. The acceptance of any object as money - be it wampum, a gold coin, a paper currency note or a digital bank account balance - involves the consent of both the individual user and the community. Thus, all money has a psychological and a social as well as an economic dimension. As human consciousness has evolved, the nature and function of money has evolved too." From Wikipedia: the Social Evolution of Money What breakthrough solution will change the future of money forever? Meet Prema Salgaonkar. She's helping invent the future of money in Mumbai. Every day, as part of a program called Mahila Milan (or “women together”), Prema visits more than 450 households in Mumbai's Dharavi slum in order to conduct face-to-face "micro-savings" transactions. On any given day, up to 150 of the women she visits will deposit a small amount with Prema — anything between 5 to 200 rupees. Over time, these small daily savings help the women plan a better future for their families. And it's not just happening in Mumbai — nationwide in India, more than 60,000 women have joined the Mahila Milan network. Micro-savings is just one big idea that may change the future of money forever. Social innovators around the world are designing many more kinds of ways to trade, save, barter, earn, purchase, and invest. Your mission this week: Uncover the creative solution that YOU think will have the biggest impact on the future of money. Here are some places to start your investigation: Who else has a truly creative idea for solving the water crisis? Find a great, big idea and share it. The Future of Money Do-It-Yourself Currencies World of Good Markets The Future of Barter Local Exchange Trading Systems Community Currencies in the U.S. You might find more ideas by searching for "alternative currency", "community bank", "virtual currency", or "social banking". INVESTIGATE: What creative solution do you think will make the biggest change in how we use money in the future? Pick your favorite experiment and tell me why you think it will change the world. Try out an alternative currency or exchange system for yourself! It's time to get real, firsthand experience with innovative economies. Your ACT mission this week: Make at least one economic transaction using a non-traditional currency, platform or exchange system you've NEVER used before. Some ideas: Try an alternative currency Participate in a bartering system or skills bank Experiment with one of the new platforms described in The Future of Money Or maybe you want to make a micro-loan or help someone kickstart their new project. If you're feeling really adventurous, join forces with some friends, classmates, family or neighbors to invent your own small exchange to test a new idea. Your objective: Make a real economic transaction this week using a currency, platform or exchange system you've NEVER used before. Tell a story about your experience. What ideas does it give you for sparking the future of money? IMAGINE It's April 1, 2020, and Citizen X needs YOU to help report on breaking economic news. A new local bank, exchange, or currency just opened up for business -- and you're the closest shadow journalist to the scene. Your mission: File a breaking report on the new operation before anyone else gets to the story. Make sure to report on all the important details: What is it called? Where is it? Who created it? How does it work? What community does it serve? What problem does it solve? Of course, without visual proof, it's all just rumors. So back up your story by adding at least one original video, photo, or artwork (created by YOU) to bring your news story to life. Your objective: Go beyond words this week to bring us breaking news from the future of money. Report on a new local bank, exchange or currency. You must include an *original* video, photo or artwork with your report.
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