Designing a self-growing gift economy Part I

An intriguing social design challenge is to figure out the conditions under which a gift economy will grow bigger.

So for instance lets say you have an weekly event where people come to gift each other services and share goods. How could that be the seed for birthing a larger gift economy in one’s local community.

Burning Man, Occupy and Rainbow gatherings are examples of gift economies that can grow bigger. More people come and offer their services for free over time. They create a kind of open-sourced space.

Here are some ideas of what can help a open-sourced gift economy grow (note: projects refered to below are gift-based projects):

1. Have an easy way that people can come and help with projects

2. Have an easy way that people can come and offer their services, or start their own projects, and find others to help them with their projects

3. Make it fun and festive

4. Create a communal vibe

5. Allow spaces for self-expression

6. Facilitate people meeting each other and conversing

7. Have transparency in processes so people can see under the hood to understand how everything is working

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