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THE NEW CURRENCY OF THE FUTURE TAKES OFF IN MILAN

The initiative is launched with sponsorship from the Prime Minister Cabinet and the Italian Treasury. The Royal Mint of Belgium presents the first test sample of the currency. Young people are the real protagonists.

Children have invented the currency of the future. Students from the American School of Milan, which gathers together pupils from an amazing 42 different countries (including Japan, Indonesia, the US and Russia), are leading the way with an international project for a new virtual global currency. Its draft provisional name is United Future World Currency-Eurodollar. (www.futureworldcurrency.com).

The initiative began in Italy. It is spontaneous, apolitical, non-religious and is unrelated to any pressure groups. Although the initial aim is to unite the United States of America with the United States of Europe, it will also be open to other countries. The project is also designed as a response to economic crises and fears about the future.

640 children (325 boys and 315 girls) aged between 7 and 18 years took part in an internal competition to come up with a name and symbol for the new currency. This was after they had received input from journalist, Sandro Sassoli, creator of this project from its start in 1996 and numerous other events such as official celebrations of the Italian Lira, and from Professor Guido Crapanzano, monetary consultant for the Bank of Italy, who represented Italy on the European Central Bank (ECB)’s international work group which chose the Euro banknote designs.

An international jury, comprising the heads of the world’s leading mints, economists, Nobel-prize winners, and figures from the world of culture and entertainment (including Sophia Loren, Luc Luycx (creator of the uniform side of the Euro coin), and Hans-Henning Goehrum (president of the World Money Fair), will have the task of selecting and rewarding the children’s best work on giving the new currency its name and design.

The example of the Euro, which united a large number of nations with different histories and cultures under a single currency, is a concrete precedence which demonstrates that a project involving nations from different continents can become a reality. Only recently, different countries that included China and Russia aired the importance of introducing new trans-national currencies in the near future as a solution to the current global financial crisis.

The Royal Mint of Belgium, one of the world’s most prestigious international institutes, is making preparations for a test run of a possible currency and entrusted the design of one side of the coin to Luc Luycx, designer of the common side of the Euro.

A “Manifesto” of ideals for this project, which was also supervised at its outset by the late Arthur Schlessinger Jr., former advisor to John F. Kennedy, reads: “Time will be set aside to explore technologically-advanced security and counterfeiting issues, which a future Currency will have to keep in check. This will involve the most prestigious and trustworthy public and private bodies”. To this end, contacts have already been established with the Engineering Department of a leading Italian university that is studying a highly innovative solution for a new “intelligent” currency with remarkable features. Meanwhile, IT researchers at the University of Rome will submit a proposal for an anti-counterfeiting system for new banknotes.

Trials will be carried out at important international events, aimed at awareness, education and promotion. “United Future World Currency ” sample editions (banknotes and coins) will be entrusted to leading international professionals and experts in the appropriate fields.

Given young students’ enthusiasm at the American School of Milan, project organizers are now involving students from many other countries across the five continents, including Japan, India, the Philippines, Canada, Australia, Mexico and even Lapland.

The future currency project is also a great opportunity to get young people familiar with basic economic principles. Indeed, according to project promoters, this science should be taught in its simplest form right from early school years.

Debates and technical presentations on the theme of a global currency are planned for Milan and other Italian cities, as well as abroad, i.e. Unted States, Russia, Japan, Germany, Spain, and more.

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