One of the requirements for functioning Energy Accounting or Resource Based Economy bubbles, is the need for the members of an organization or a community, to use an internal alternative currency as a means of deciding how the organization should spend it's resources. That is the basis of any alternative economical system.
One of the possible ways to accomplish this, is by the already familiar system of Points. People tend to understand that as member of a club or community, they may earn points that they can spend to get things that they might desire. This is not new and therefore is not difficult to implement in an exisitng community. Our research group has sucessfully implemented such a system in an unrelated online community as a proof of concept.
Within this context the following mechanisms have been recognized:
- What determines the costs of items in points, does or must correspond to the cost of the limited resources from the outside of the organization and the total number of potentially spendable points in the system. For instance if the organization is limited on the funds it can give away, the cost of the item in points should correspond with the amount of funds the item will ultimately cost the organization, in relationship with the total amount of points.
- How the points are gained is or must be related to the behaviour we wish to encourage within the organization. This is typically whatever must be ensured to guarntee long term sustainability.
- How desirable the items available for points are, is related to how attractive the use of the points system is.
- If points can be accumulated, simply having points might be seen as a status symbol by some people, leading to problems with inflation or stockpiled unspent resources.
The point system used in this instance is not an Energy Accounting or a Resource Based Economy distribution system, therefore some things are different. For example, a pure distribution system would not have an uneven rate of earning Points amongst different people and therefore would not encourage any kind of behaviour, other than perhaps membership. Likewise an Energy Accounting system distributes credits on a time interval after which time they expire, leading to the absence of problems involving inflation or stockpiling of resources as Energy cannot really be stockpiled.
Within these trials we have also realized that the Resources of a Resource Based Economy bubble are not necessarily raw materials and/or energy. A Resource Based Economy bubble might primarily deal with other resources, such as: work-hours, montary funds, and/or storage space. As the bubble grows larger, it will be able to internally produce complex resources and therefore the larger it is the closer the resources will be to the minerals and energy envisioned as resources by Fresco.
- Nested Energy Accounting
- What is the economics behind reward points offered by banks on their credit cards?