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In memory of Margrit Kennedy

January 22, 2014

A FEASTA colleague sent the news, with deep regret, that Margrit passed away on December 28th 2013.

MargritKennedyIn 1997 a midweek gathering in October was graced by the lively contribution of Margrit Kennedy who flew over from Germany simply to attend this event for one day – met at the local airport by David Pidcock and Sabine McNeill and driven to the venue: Barnes Close, near Bromsgrove.

In 1999 this annual gathering was continued by James Gibb Stuart and became known as the Bromsgrove Group.

Margrit was a leading light in developing alternative approaches to money and currencies and an outspoken critic of the current global economic system. You can read one of many tributes to her on the Feasta site from which the following information was taken.

margrit terrace lebensgarted steyerberg

She lived in Lebensgarten, Steyerberg (terrace above),one of the first ecovillages in Germany, with her Irish husband Declan Kennedy (also an architect by training). Margrit specialised in Urban & Regional Planning with a Ph.D. in Public & International Affairs then becoming professor of Ecological Building Technologies at the Dept. of Architecture, University of Hanover. She published books, articles & reports on community school planning/ building, women in architecture, urban ecology, permaculture, money, land & tax systems.

Her book, Interest and Inflation Free Money, Creating an Exchange Medium that Works for Everybody and Protects the Earth, was first published in 1987 and has been translated into 22 languages. With Bernard Lietaer she wrote People Money – the Promise of Regional Currencies, which tells the stories of local currency systems from around the world. Her most recent book, Occupy Money, Creating an Economy Where Everybody Wins, makes the case for a table and sustainable monetary system that reflects real wealth instead of the smoke and mirrors of speculative profit.

Margrit & Declan were co-founders of the Gaia International, a network of like-minded practioners and academics, in 1990 along with Paul Leech, who pays her tribute:

‘What a woman! Her passing is a great loss; as the US gets colder than Mars, western Ireland gets trashed unprecedently by the ocean, the oil lobby … unbridled capitalism and compound interest still triumph, at the expense of all remaining living species in the ecosphere.’

With the recent losses of David Fleming and Richard Douthwaite (all too young), Margrit’s passing leaves the environmental movement without another of its more creative & determined advocates in western Europe.

Readers may see and hear a presentation by Margrit here:


One Comment leave one →
  1. February 1, 2014 11:18 am

    Pat Conaty, by email:

    Thanks for posting this. Margrit was such a leader and so far ahead of others. A real torch bearer. I first met her when she was involved in a European network that grew out of Lets Link UK. This group was called AMSE (alternative money seminar of Europe) and operated in the 1990s. Margrit came to several of our events as a keynote speaker. I saw her last May in Berlin.

    She was a founding member of the Sustainable Money Working Group with myself, Shann Turnbull from Australia and Ed Mayo. We set this up two years ago and nef have been doing research to support this group. Leander Bindewald has taken over from Josh Ryan-Collins as the local money specialist. He is from Germany and a great person to have at nef.

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