OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more



(1) View all

Recent comments

(3) View all

Hi Justin,
Whenever I see anything about refugee camps, I think about Community Coin. Refugee camps are instant cities that can endure for decades. For example, the Palestinian "refugee camps" that are now major cities in Jordan. If refugees have phones adequate to the task or if aid agencies could supply them, possibly refugees could start up economies.

Thanks again for your development of this idea. I hope to see its legs walking into our future.

Congratulations, Justin, for making the Top Five! Well deserved, and I wish you the best as you move forward with this.

Justin and your team, I think this idea is BRILLIANT. It addresses a huge problem for developed countries--how to move people out of jobs being increasingly done by robots and computers and reward them for becoming tutors, trainers, caregivers, counselors--jobs that are so needed and yet we can't seem to figure out how to reward. Of course, it also addresses the problem of getting production going in places where there's insufficient currency.

To address the idea of paying for hours rather than production--it's essential that people be paid for the value of their production rather than for hours. Our experience in running an electrical contracting company is that when you pay for hours, you have unhappy workers who put in hours but don't really produce. Our company, which has survived over 30 years and is one of the larger electrical contractors that provide service to homeowners in L.A. pays our electricians by their production, not their hours. We couldn't make a profit in the early years when we paid hourly. You get what you reward. If you reward hours, you get hours. If you reward production, you get production.

Ultimately, I see your Phase 3 as an economic system in which robots and computers are producing goods. Community Coin will be the system by which the community (that's nicer than saying "the government") distributes these goods to those workers who provide the social, medical, entertainment, artistic, and other services that robots and computers won't do. And, it seems likely, as you write, that there would be a parallel economic system in which specialists like doctors would be paid similarly to the way they are now. You've outlined initial Phases that eventually could lead to Phase 3--I don't see that it's necessary to plot out how exactly the transition would occur. When people hit Phase 2, they'll be in a much better position to figure that out. But, I think it would come down to the community or government playing the role of distributing Community Coin on some point basis like you've outlined.

A major problem would be how to allow people to save Community Coin against emergencies and so that they could buy large items and could eventually retire. If Community Coin depreciates to zero to prevent speculation, then it also prevents saving. I applaud the goal of preventing speculation as speculation distorts markets and also creates booms and busts. But somehow there needs to be a way to allow people to create savings.

The idea of Community Coin is very exciting. I wish your team the best and hope to see the Community Coin idea become a meme and then, a reality.