The Social Economy - Givo

Givo.IO - Local exchange platform for goods and services; improving social cohesion, economic inclusivity and circularity.

Project introduction (draft V 0.1)


Ideas and concepts contained in this paper are currently released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Snap shot of the project

The Givo app is a digital platform to exchange local products and services that benefits social cohesion, economic inclusiveness, product usage and product life time.

Project description

Imagine a society in which everyone can actively participate and exchange. What would it be like if people from different layers of society have free access to a platform that unleashes the potential of social value? Picture yourself a smooth way by which everyone can easily find what is valuable to them or offer something that is valued by others. What if this platform would trigger a chain of multiple exchanges between people from different layers of society? People giving other people the experience that what they offer, is received with a smile of gratitude. At the same time putting whatever you need, product or service, in a chain of exchanges.

In the social economy the experience of what is valuable is more than just money. The platform we envision, offers people a space to discover and exchange each other’s talents and resources. Here value is determined by recognizing everyone’s unique contribution to society and not exclusively measured by the measure of monetary value of goods and services.

Did you know that the businessman around the corner loves to play the violin while others listen? And he does it quite well. Imagine the look on your partners face when he shows up with his violin at a romantic dinner! How this businessman would love to make this happen. And about that the older lady down the street? She is a retired kindergarten teacher. Really? That makes her a perfect babysitter for my children. Surely there is much stuff in garages and attics just catching dust. Products that can be put back to use for people that need them.

What if all these unused qualities and idle goods that are just sitting there waiting to be found, were actually found, no money involved? Easily, quickly real people connect real people, a chain of giving and receiving. What would our society look like, if today’s unused social potential and idle capacity would be unleashed?

Social cohesion: a network by passion and talents

Every person is unique and has capacities to offer added value to society. However, not all qualities or services are suitable for business operations and therefore remain unseen and unused. Givo enables people to offer their services and products and exchange them without the aid of money. Never before has it been so easy to find out what the people in your neighborhood offer and at the same to get to know new people in a fun way by giving and receiving.

An inclusive economy: everyone can join

A social economy is inclusive. It does not matter if and how much money you own, financial assets are no condition to participate. The Givo platform enables everyone to offer a service or product. Money inherently tends to oppose people because each wants to maximize every transaction. My gain is your loss. Therefore, a byproduct of the use of money is increasing poverty. Products and services only become available when someone has money. Givo transcends this financial condition and connects people without the aid of money. We are wired for empathy. Each and every successful transaction is an expression of empathy and strengthening society; hence: Give-O.

The circular economy: efficient usage of products and product life time

The circular economy focuses on optimal use of our resources. For example, on average, a drill is only put the use 15 minutes effectively during its total life. The rest of the time it is remaining idle on the shelf. Givo makes it easy for people to offer their goods to each other and increase efficient usage. The inherent intelligence of the platform promotes local sharing. So stuff does not have to travel great distances to put to use. Thereby promoting the use of existing items already purchased by someone else on the Givo platform, instead of buying a new item. To conclude, product lifespan is extended and overall consumption reduced.

How does it work?

Are you curious about the people in your neighborhood? Who isn’t?! So what you do is, open the Givo App and immediately browse local offers in your neighborhood. A second-hand bicycle, someone who offers his gardening skills, a delivery van to be borrowed, flower seeds, a photography lesson… you name it! Look, there is someone who offers a cup of tea in the gorgeous garden. You select the bike, exactly what you need! The app then asks what you have to offer yourself, something of about the same value. This value is subjective, so what YOU think is worth it. OK, think about it; what if I teach someone photography? That’s a good deal! And now? Let’s see who’s coming.

In the heart of Givo is embedded a smart algorithm that matches user interests (the selected bike) and a user’s contributions (the photography lesson). In addition, the user provides valuation information that allow the algorithm to match multiple products and services (the bike equals the photography lesson). Unlike money (bi-directional), the platform forms a circle of people who can be linked to each other (multi-laterally). Does the person of the bicycle want a photography lesson? Great, then the deal is simple. But if there is no direct match, the circle is expanded to more people until a loop is formed. When the circle can be closed, the match is made and it is a matter of moving on. The platform guarantees the balance between giving and receiving. You always get only your chosen interest, in return for what specifically offered.

We see Givo platform to be the first step towards an inclusive, social and regenerative economy. We envision citizens to thrive by participation, citizens’ initiative and a real people connection. Science proves the human being is hard wired of empathy, making these qualities the driving force for tomorrow’s society. We are just as curious as you are about the talents, passions and things that will be offered on the platform, how the platform connects people in a meaningful way and makes valuable transactions possible for everyone.

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