With the rise of the sharing economy, open source communities, and crowdsourcing, alternative currencies are on the verge of changing the way we value contributions. The value of trust and the web-based Bitcoin are already being debated, and IFTF’s Executive Director, Marina Gorbis, forecasts our reputation will be the currency of the future.
What does this look like for the research and innovation community?
Hathor suggests establishing an R&D Bank to house ideas, funding, and payments for contributions. A one-stop shop could lead to more efficient funding and IP recognition.
Alternative currencies could also be used for micro-contributions, perhaps linked with increasing overall “good” like tutoring children or volunteering at a hospital.
Yet valuing contributions and using these currencies have their challenges:
No doubt the future holds a different model than current publishing, funding, and payment models for research. Perhaps what’s most important to remember is these alternative currencies are really ideas about creating new communities of passion–geographically dispersed and intellectually diverse, yet connected by the challenge of solving problems.
What’s not to like about that future? Now let’s make it happen!