From March 2016 – March 2017, Harrison worked as part of the ‘Glasgow Pound Working Group’, to explore possibilities for developing a citywide community currency to serve the people of Glasgow and build a stronger local economy.
Harrison first became aware of the concept of community currencies when running the Say No to Tesco campaign in 2013. Instead of just saying ‘no’, community currencies offered a positive way of taking business away from big multinationals, retaining wealth in a local area and starting to distribute it more fairly amongst a local population. She hoped to try to get an initiative off the ground in Glasgow, and so set up the glasgowpound.org webpage to call-out to find collaborators in April 2014.
Then in March 2016, as part of her work during The Glasgow Effect, Harrison helped to establish the ‘Glasgow Pound Working Group’ with local small business owner Chris Walls who had found Harrison through the webpage. Over the year the group grew to include: Ailie Rutherford, Archie Neil, Christie Williamson, Neil Scott, Caitlin O’Connell, Zara Kitson and Helen Voce.
The group’s work culminated in the People Powered Money: Building a community currency for Glasgow event at Glasgow City Chambers on 30 November 2016, supported by Glasgow City Council.
The event featured presentations by Duncan McCann from the New Economics Foundation, and representatives of local and national community currency initiatives: Castlemilk Timebank, Go Get Gorbals, The People’s Bank of Govanhill, Wallet.Services, Clacks Youth Timebank, The Eko Currency Scheme and the Bristol Pound.
It concluded with a ‘Theory of Change’ workshop led by Charlotte Millar and Katie Gallogly-Swan, which enabled participants to think about the desired outcomes of any new community currency initiative for Glasgow ahead of its design.
The findings of the workshop were documented in the People Powered Money Report written by Katie Gallogly-Swan and designed by Caitlin O’Connell. The report was presented at the group’s follow-up event on 2 February 2017 at The Project Cafe (pictured below), and can be used as a starting point for an organisation wanting to take forward the project of developing a community currency in Glasgow.