Market Clearing - a positive role for finance and credit in a time of crisis

We live in times of turbulence in finance and credit – but also for them. As never before in history, sophisticated financial products have been made the object of a veritable torrent of innovation; some of it comes from core operators themselves (derivative instruments of various kinds), and it fully accepts the logic of seeking for the highest return given the risk level; other from “fringe operators” (the social finance/impact investment scene) aiming at introducing goals other than yield per risk level in finance; other still from the “non operators” of hacker finance (crypto currencies, social currencies, network bartering algorithms, moneyless and non-transactional economies), who are strongly critical of finance as it is and aim to disrupt it or, at least, unmoor themselves from a system they don’t trust.

Market Clearing is a conversation aimed at kickstarting a dialogue across all these different scenes of financial innovators. With it, we are making a small investment in each other. We believe it is a good one, because it’s like buying an option: the costs are small and certain (attending the conference), the payoff of working together can be very high. Market Clearing’s ultimate goal is to reboot financial and credit instruments as positive contributors to a humane, well-functioning society; for this first iteration, it sets for itself the goal of singling out promising areas for interdisciplinary collaboration across money geeks within and without the financial sector.

Market Clearing originates in the hacker scene and embraces hacker culture, but welcomes everyone with an interest in the topic and an open mind. You can sport your branded suit just as well as cargo pants and bandana, as long as you are prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. In the course of Market Clearing you will:

  • Explore the latest development in financial innovation – how they work, and what kind of society they are trying to advance.
  • Share your own expertise – no spectators allowed!
  • Participate in honest, open discussion about the way forward.

Market Clearing takes place in [date and location of next lote event]. It is nested within the Living On The Edge  conference; so it inherits both its edgy, exciting venue and the support of its global community of changemakers gathered around Edgeryders.

What we need to make it happen

More or less:

  • Format: some talks to kickoff, then facilitated seminars (5 to 20 people a group)
  • One keynote speaker, to be co-selected with a partner. Top-tier names are very expensive; second-tier names are quite possible. By this I mean venture capitalists (legion), impact investments people (Big Society Capital? Karl Richter, possibly too small?) and possibly hacker finance people (somebody from the BitCoin community?). Small fee (1000?) + travel, about 1500 in all.
  • Two featured speakers (no fee, funded travel) to represent points of view on finance and communities other than the keynote speaker. About 1000 in all.
  • One facilitator/rapporteur to the plenary  500 fee + 300 travel.
  • One person in charge of documentation. We commit to producing a deliverable (a 5-pages executive summary detailing what's being debated and what's next. We aim to making at least three editions of MC). 500 fee + 300 travel.
  • One engagement manager/conference director from the community, working online in the runup to the event to create a buzz. Some responsibility on About 1000 + 500 travel
  • Conference services: venue, communication etc., care of Edgeryders and the LOTE team. About 1500.

It adds up to about 7,000 minimum. 10,000 would be comfortable for a track like this.

So how do we make it happen?