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Informal Economy Taken Seriously at Symposium in Barcelona

Posted: Dec. 13th, 2012  |  By Michael Pearse
Informal Economy symposium
Albert Canigueral

Serious talks in Barcelona about informal economy and how it can be used by formal economy rather than shunning it and wasting a potential resource. In a city like Barcelona with high unemployment, it is looking to be possible to solve some of that issue with informal solutions.

The informal economy is the fastest area of economic growth valued globally at an estimated US$10 trillion per year. Barcelona hosted the Informal Economy Symposium to shed some light on this topic.

In his opening keynote at the Informal Economy Symposium in Barcelona this October, one of the world’s leading economic anthropologists Keith Hart argued that the informal economy is going mainstream. Due to the great success of nation-states within such a short period of time, he stated, it is hard for us to imagine society being any other way. However he believes that our system of “national capitalism”, which emerged from the intertwining of nation-states with industrial capitalism and national monopoly currencies (legal tender) as its symbol, is coming to an end:

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