A network of reciprocity. GiftFlow
is a community where you give things away and ask for things you need in return, though without the expectation of any immediate ‘payback’.
Reimagining how communities can share and work together, GiftFlow looks to create a “giant network” of not only individuals but organisations, businesses and governments. A Not for Profit venture, GiftFlow is an ambitious effort to share resources to build a better world, without the need for money.
On GiftFlow, you list everything you have to give away, that book you’ve read ten times, the carpet in your garage, an hour every Wednesday afternoon. As well as a list of things you need, six 2B pencils, a hamburger on Tuesdays, a cat. The lists get fed onto the network, where it matches up to other individual’s lists of wants and needs. And the flow begins.
As your items get taken they go up to a build an online profile, ‘Joe has given 328 items, Lamp, Wallet…’. Same goes for the list your recieve ‘Microsoft has recieved 12 items, Keyboard, 24 Hectares of Land…’. A profile that directly reflects physical actions you’ve taken as opposed to what kitten video you ‘Liked’. A social profile of generosity. GiftFlow uses the dynamics of a visible social network to tie over any freeloaders and give those who take action a definitive online reputation.
Founded by Hans Schoenburg, a student of economic anthropology
, GiftFlow looks to provide a platform to support the ‘gift economy
‘ – a society where goods and services are (ideally) circulated without an explicit agreement of immediate or future reward. Hans was inspired by the culture of the people of Mali
, where giving is seen as “a string connecting families, friends and neighbours in a web of mutual support.” He saw the dynamics of an online social network and how it could weave this web into our own online culture.