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Although money plays a key role in our lives, the workings of our monetary system are a mystery to most of us. ‘The Waterworks of Money’ by cartographer Carlijn Kingma is an attempt to demystify the world of big finance. It visualizes the flow of money through our society, its hidden power made manifest.
If you see money as water, our monetary system is the irrigation system that waters the economy. The better the flow, the more prosperous society will be. Just as water makes crops thrive, so money sets the economy in motion. Or at least that’s the idea. In reality, inequality is growing in many countries and people are dealing with a ‘cost of living crisis’. Meanwhile, the progress with making our economies sustainable is stalling, and financial instability remains an ongoing threat. These problems cannot be seen in isolation from the architecture of our money system. If we truly want to tackle them, we will have to address the design flaws of our current money system.
Understanding the monetary and financial system and its intersections with the real world can often be difficult and complex. This visualisation of artist Carlijn Kingma was created in collaboration with heterodox economists and creates a beautiful and approachable map of the flows of money through our society.