Designing a self-growing gift economy Part II

Lets apply some of the ideas in Part I to some specific examples.

Lets say you started your own neighbourhood tool library out of your garage. And its become quite well used. It will naturally inspire other related projects with other people, but there are some things one can do to improve the rate at which other sharing projects are catalysed.

This tool library can be the launch of other sharing projects in your neighbourhood. Perhaps someone else, lets call them Joe, has the idea of starting a bicycle library – people can come and donate their old bikes for fixing up which then are made available to the community to borrow. This project could initially get momentum in your garage. Maybe a couple of bikes could also be made available there in your garage. Joe could run the project from your garage maybe one day a week. The bicycle project would get some marketing help from being in the same place as the tool library. Then as more bikes come in and the bike library project gets bigger Joe could find another place to run the bike library. The bike library has thus used the tool library as a launch pad.

There are other things one can do to catalyse sharing projects in your neighbourhood. You can do is to organize a gathering where people who have ideas for other things they can share – baby clothes, books, bodywork trades, gardening help can all come. Then there is a discussion of the different steps to make these collaborative projects take off, you can explain what you did to make the tool library work. People can network at this event to help each others collaborative sharing projects take off.

As different sharing projects take off in your neighbourhood meetings at which are the projects are represented can help find different volunteers and help for different aspects of the projects. The cross-fertilization of help create synergies of all different kinds between the projects.


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