Archive for May, 2009


Learning to measure participation – act 2

May 4, 2009

I recently read a post by Tim Brown on measuring participation. The thought having a non-monetary economic system really caught my imagination and I thought to give it a try and play with the idea.

Basically his suggestion was to have 6 economies to measure our personal, corporate or national wealth. The economies are:


Knowledge value

Brand value

Social value


and Monetary value

Since we know how the cash system work, I’m not going to pay much attention to it here, but if you want to know the details, read his post to understand his suggestions and the measurable currency, then come back here to have fun.

Here’s what happened with me

1. I plotted the 6 economies and branched out the measurements

2. Found further connections between them and added some (see drawing)

6 economies of wealth measurement as suggested by Tim

6 economies of wealth measurement as suggested by Tim

funny i noticed that money is not a method of “inclusion”.

3. I realized that from all they fall in two streams, diverging and converging economies… (noted as D in a circle, and C in a square).

The “networks” and “social” are diverging, as they are built on connections, on influencing others and on specializations..

The “meaning” and “brand” are converging streams as the focus on quality rather than quantity, they establish reputation based on previous work and they are more reliable.

The knowledge economy fell in the middle, feeding in both streams, you search information to add to your knowledge (diverge) and then you create theories and focus on what’s useful to you (converge).

4. After my initial discovery I built on these economies, rebuilt the imaginary nation and found that within each economy, a complex system of rating can be established behind the scenes, but to the other world, a simple toolbar can explain how high or low are you in each economy (i.e. rich or poor). I then drew it again in color (see diagram 2)

BARTer wealth economies - diverging and converging

BARTer wealth economies - diverging and converging

5. As I saw the color dancing in streams, I realized this is a barter system in disguise!

You teach me your knowledge in xyz, I’ll connect you with a leader in this field who I know but really cannot understand. So I give you my contact, my network bar might decrease slightly, but my knowledge bar increases. I can also work with you on your image or brand, and you will give me feedback on my service (provide meaning).. etc.

6. Further connections were made… the knowledge economy provided numbers of ideas as well as quality ones… these connected with the ideas you get from networks (like going to TED), and these ideas can also be made (or eavesdropped in café conversation when you’re being in your social richness). By the same token the quality of ideas are linked to the inclusion part when providing meaning value and when you’re building your reputation  (therefore brand value). Ratings can be made by you (self assessment) as well as your network (connection with the other economy)

on both steams (the divergent and convergent) I noticed the opportunities are in abundance. They come from the interconnected system from multidisciplinary teams and people that are not only from government or tax offices.

7. It seems that the complex system of rating can be really simple, and potentially this “tax” system can become an indicator of curiosity?

8. I designed a primitive ID card for this BARTer system based on self assessment of my economic wealth. It’s no longer a consumer and supplier world, it’s a whole new experience.. and I’m feeling pretty lucky 🙂

~ Randah