Positive Impact With Community Currencies

Myron Koster

Positive Impact With Community Currencies

AROUND THE CORNER: A single decision for a better climate


We know by now that human activity is the main driver of global warming. To keep life on earth bearable we should stay below 2°C warming. If we don’t, the climate becomes more extreme and droughts and floods more likely. It probably seems as if you cannot make a big impact, but knowing your piece of the cake can help. When you want to do your part you should invest about €250  per year up to 2020 which adds up to €1.250 per person. Next to these investments you should aim to reduce overall emissions by 30% within the same time frame. Reduction cannot be achieved with a single topic (e.g. energy, food, household goods etc.). Therefore it should become a habit to keep your footprint small with everything you do. Golden rules are: to prefer experiences over goods, and in case you need goods; try to borrow, reuse or buy second-handed, eat less meat, put money on a environmentally conscious bank, use public transport and stay nearby for holidays.


To make an impact within this topic Myron Koster designed a holiday booking platform during his Master graduation at Qoin. This platform aims to make people book their holiday on a location nearby home. It makes a significant impact because the trip is almost half of the total holiday emissions. In the platform, called Around the Corner, a currency is used to reward bookers that stay nearby. The closer users stay to their home, the more voucher value they receive after making a booking. These so called Locals can be used to pay other users, book a new holiday, handed over to a friend or used for products and services at the accommodation.


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Here’s how it works: accommodations automatically give a discount of 20% and instead of taking it off the price, the money ends up with the consumer. Even though Locals have a euro value they cannot be exchanged back for money by consumers. The closer users stay nearby home the more Locals they receive. Accommodations can earn back a large part of the discount by selling products or services to their visitors paid for by Locals. The part of the discount which is not handed over to their guests (mainly to those from further away) is given to the accommodation as a separate CO2  compensation budget. This budget can only be used to invest in means to compensate for travel emissions (e.g.: renewable energy, waste/resource reduction or plants and trees). Around the Corner can make money with an annual membership fee of 10 Locals, transaction fees (5%) and a margin on the webshop sales.


With the currency, emissions become part of the buying decision, the holiday footprint is reduced, investments in renewable energy are triggered and users make a big difference with a single decision; going on holiday nearby (for more details you can read the thesis). The interviewed accommodations indicated strong willingness to give the system a try because they found the idea engaging and the transaction system could be a great time saver. Families were also very positive, it was surprising to see how quickly children understood the concept’s working and could imagine using it. The current prototype is a viable starting point and could work in real life.


It would be great to make it a reality one day!


About the author

Myron Koster has been awarded with a scholarship from the JAK Bank in Sweden with his work "Positive Impact with Community Currencies". His research has been in cooperation with the agency Qoin in Amsterdam. He studied Strategic product Design at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Ever since Myron was young he wants to be an inventor. His view on what this means has changed over time but the process of creation is still his greatest passion. After graduation Myron started his own innovation agency called intrinnovate. With Intrinnovate Myron aims to help organisations create an innovation process which results in purposeful and profitable products time after time.




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Figure 1: General Timeline With History Of Money, It Is Exciting To         Find Out How Community Currencies Shape The Future            8

Figure 2: The Three Basic Functions Of Money.                              8

Figure 3: Currency Overview, Currencies Are Displayed Over Two Axes; The Main Interest Users Have In Using The Currency (Usage Driver) And Its Creation Process                                                        12

Figure 4: Impression Of Climate Related Issues That Emerge        15

Figure 5: Overview Of Average Annual Co2 Emissions Per Household In Tons.                                                                                        16

Figure 6: Vip Method Visualized, Based (Hekkert & Van Dijk, 2014).                                                                                                       17

Figure 7: Overview Of The General Future Context Of Community Currencies And Other Prioritization Tools                                      19

Figure 8: Visualization Of The Interaction                                       21

Figure 9: General Context Of Family Life                                        22

Figure 10: Overview Of Important Factors In The Foreseen Future Of Family Life.                                                                                             23

Figure 11: Overview Of Different Ideas In Ideation Phase.             24

Figure 12: Concept 10 Udonation                                                     25

Figure 13: Concept 4 Planet Save                                                     26

Figure 14: Concept 5 Around The Corner                                        27

Figure 15: Overview Of The Final Concept Around The Corner      30

Figure 16: Overview Of Concepts In The Matrix                             33


Figure 2

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Figure 5

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Figure 12

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Figure 13

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Figure 14

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·         Flickr. (2015k). Small bungaloo. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/krizzii/4705597581.

·         Flickr. (2015l). Farm camping. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/campascca/5912772722.

·         Flickr. (2015m). City Apartment. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/jannem/15896404376

Figure 15

·         BBEUCDN. (2015). Webshop Enkhuizen. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from https://bbeucdn.r.worldssl.net/images/users/19132/benb/15owr.jpg.

·         Camperco. (2015). Webshop Eindhoven. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://camperco.webs.com/083.JPG.

·         Weekendhotel. (2015). Webshop Den Haag. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://www.weekendhotel.nl/acco_images/0004/1703/appartement_Maff_Den_Haag_1.jpg.

·         Micazu. (2015). Webshop Zandvoort. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://images.micazu.nl/_images/house/16537/images/appartement__sunset_blvd___zandvoort-1.jpg?width=1024&height=768.

·         PCOB. (2015). Webshop Spijkenisse. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://www.pcob.nl/wp-content/uploads/inderegio/7771246/12957-dsc04996-1024x576.jpg.

·         Bugalows. (2015). Webshop Utrecht. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://www.bungalows.nl/images/2646-landal-amerongse-berg/6904971-1200x1200.jpg.

·         Wyndham. (2015). Webshop Amsterdam. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://www.wyndham.com/property/AMSAM/Images/37710_x2.jpg.

·         Muscache. (2015). Webshop Maastricht. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from https://a0.muscache.com/ic/pictures/41912204/067ec7ad_original.jpg?interpolation=lanczos-none&size=x_medium&output-format=jpg&output-quality=70.

·         Coevorden Huis aan Huis. (2015). Webshop Emmen. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://www.coevordenhuisaanhuis.nl/pub/media/MTcxNDkyX2Q5NTA5YjRiMGYwMGQ1MmMxODJlOGIxMGEzMzA3YTBkNGY0MDIzYTJfOTQweEMxNTAweDg0NCswKzE0MA.jpg.

·          Tumblr. (2015). Nature header. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://40.media.tumblr.com/9f4cf7cee4fd02e741f09a7b0bcf22ad/tumblr_mvlod7iuZb1sdyj9lo1_1280.jpg.

·         VVV Heerenveen. (2015). Webshop Heerenveen. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://www.vvvheerenveen.nl/upload/cache/5E7CA464CBCC4ECDD7104801656EF764.jpg.


Figure 16

·         See Figure 3


Chart 1: Renewable investments, cumulative and annual.                          16

Chart 2: Relation between percentage back in Locals and travelling distance.                                                                                                                                                 29


Table 1: Overview of Environmental Sustainability goals per concept  29

ViP Factors (Appendix VI)

·         Chamberlin, T. C. (1965). The method of multiple working hypotheses. Science, 148(3671), 754-759.

·         Gino, F., & Ariely, D. (2012). The dark side of creativity: original thinkers can be more dishonest. Journal of personality and social psychology, 102(3), 445.

·         Haque, U. (2013). Betterness: Economics for humans. Harvard Business Press.

·         Martin, R. L. (2009). The opposable mind: Winning through integrative thinking. Harvard Business Press.

·         Norton, M. I., Mochon, D., & Ariely, D. (2012). The IKEA effect: When labor leads to love.

·         Roets, A., Schwartz, B., & Guan, Y. (2012). The tyranny of choice: a cross-cultural investigation of maximizing-satisficing effects on well-being. Judgment and Decision Making, 7(6), 689-704.

·         Treasure, J. (2011). Sound business. Management Books 2000 Limited.

·         Warren, F. (2014). THE ART — AND SCIENCE — OF SHARING A SECRET.  Retrieved October 29, 2014, from http://ideas.ted.com/2014/07/09/the-art-and-science-of-sharing-a-secret/

Universiteit of Hogeschool
Strategic Product Design
Delft University of Technology
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