I had the opportunity to present the Way Group initiated project OpenCauses.org at TED@PalmSprings this year. It was a fantastic experience and I got a great response on the project. But what is it we are doing with OpenCauses.org?
For good or for bad, the market is unprecedented in its power to generate wealth. What if we could use this power, not to generate wealth, but to generate good?
Since the market understands money really well, why not create representative money based on donations? If we do this, everyone will be able to handle donations as money. We could own it, measure it, trade with it, work to generate more of it… and every cent of it would represent donations for good causes.
This is what OpenCauses.org is doing.
OpenCauses.org really only aims to change one word. Instead of saying “I make donations to good causes” you will say “I buy donations to good causes”. This slight change makes all the difference.
What is it we are doing?
We are creating the Open Causes Platform, a non-profit donation platform, which will enable donations to causes aimed at the UN Millennium Development Goals. The Open Causes Platform will also hold Cause Credits. Causes Credits is representative money based on donations. This means that each Causes Credit represents a donation made to a good cause.
When you donate through the Open Causes Platform you receive Cause Credits for your donation. Your Cause Credits are measurable and accumulative, and they are also transferable between users of the platform. All this combined effectively makes Cause Credits into a means of trade.
The Open Causes Platform is an infrastructural platform which exposes a number of web-services. With these services integrators can integrate basically any site or Internet connected product to the platform. Anyone can create pretty much any implementation of donation based services imaginable. They will be able to make donations, show how much users have donated, compare and transfer donation.
Using Cause Credits
If you, as a person or an organization, own 100 Cause Credits you have donated $100 through the Open Causes Platform. If you later donate $10 more, you own 110 Cause Credits.
Now, let’s say that I have a cellular phone that I don’t use. If you give me your 110CC, I’ll give you my phone. If so, I have made the actual donations for $110 and you have bought my phone in two steps. The value of my phone has paid for the $110 donation. You now own a phone, but have not made any donations.
We are implementing a currency based on donations. Essentially we want to complement the market of today with a market based on generosity. Just imagine if every corporation where to accept a currency based on donations for 1% of their services and products… What couldn’t we do then?
Founder of OpenCauses.org
If you have any questions or want more information about the project, go to OpenCauses.org or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.