Introducing the Village App Project (VAP)
August 26, 2013
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The goose that lays the golden eggs: recognising and looking after the gift that keeps on giving

More about the Village App Project (VAP)

The plan is to create a Village App that villagers can use to connect in multiple ways with others in their local area. It will enable villagers to connect to both online and offline in the locality, and then to also network beyond into wider national and global environments.

It will be designed around an on-line village market that trades goods and services using a virtual village currency and complemented by village care as needed and offered.

The new Village-Connections software will enable villagers to better know what’s happening in their village, what they would like to happen, be well-placed to act and interact, know who needs what help, or where to find help, as well as who wants to buy, sell, gift, or collaborate on projects that villagers wish to create.

Importantly this Village App Project (VAP) is designed to complement, not to compete with existing systems

We plan to pilot this project in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Why?

People ask why a Village App Project (VAP)? What problems will it solve? What possibilities does it open up?

Hazel Ashton, the initiator and facilitator of the project replies:

The answer, in summary

I see the main problem today is competition for increasingly scarce resources.

I consider this problem can be addressed when villagers can create new abundance that will in turn generate more abundance.

One way of thinking about VAP is as community goose that creates endless golden eggs.

What do I mean?

An answer in more detail, drawing on a well known story …

Many have heard the fable about the goose that lays golden eggs. It is one of the stories that the ancient story-teller Aesop told to Greeks. In case you haven’t the story it goes something like this …

Once upon a time there was a man and his wife and they had a goose that every morning laid an egg made of gold. For a time they were happy with one golden egg a day, but one day they wanted more gold and thought they could get all the gold the goose had by killing it and getting the rest of the golden eggs from inside the bird. Of course, they had to learn the hard way that without the goose there were no eggs.

Although this is an old story, the idea that there is no need to worry about the goose that produces the eggs can be seen as a story of our time.

If the story had continued, there would no doubt be competition to own all of the eggs, which could be expected to lead to fighting.

At first it might be expected that the ultimate winner would gain ownership of the remaining golden eggs and live happily ever after. However, the winner would discover they couldn’t very be happy, not with losers feeling angry and maybe plotting ways to own eggs themselves.

A more hopeful ending …

An alternative storyline is one in which everyone came to realize it was too costly to keep fighting one another for the remaining eggs, and the only way they could be truly happy would be to create friendly places by building trust and communicating together to find and look after the geese, so there is enough for everyone.

With careful nursing, the goose can be revived. With creative attention the golden eggs can be hatched into golden-egg laying geese. With new awareness, geese laying golden eggs, can be recognised and appreciated.

When we remember the moral of the story …

The VAP is a social enterprise. Its mission can be seen as hatching golden egg-laying community goslings and making them available to local villages that will welcome and nurture them to lay golden eggs for their villagers. These eggs will be used to create new village abundance and to keep on hatching out more goslings that produce more eggs …

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