Lets walk through this to show where it came from, and is going to:
Our community of volunteers founded by me in 2012, focused mainly on getting people together to create small scale actions where they live to create more peace and well-being by targeting societal issues with positive action
We were most active in London, England, although the vision was always to turn it into a global movement for positive change, and we ran occasional international events, or built global projects to reach more people.
Thoings were going great. we partnered with other similar groups around the world, and it looked like this was going to become a truly global cultural shift (although mainstream media was still very difficult to reach without paying)… then around 4 years ago social media began to change to a play-to-play model, and it became much harder for us, and groups like us, to get our ideas out to the world.
Consider trash-tag, or the Ice-bucket challenge as great examples. Humanity was given a tool to organise at scale and create projects like these… then the tool was taken away. Both Trash-tag and the ILS Challenge were very well funded marketing campaigns when they began, then carried on because they were great ideas.
Great ideas just emerging from the crowd and building momentum because they can create change are rare now, the tools given to everyone to unite and create change were taken away
The Public Happiness Movement
So we began building our own platform, as a new space for all those creating positive societal change in ways not currently rewarded by our economic system, where great ideas can emerge from the crowd and go viral again, and to unite all the great projects and people in what we termed The Public Happiness Movement, to unite and magnify our efforts, and make it easier for new groups to join and find a crowd for their positive action.
This platform is built to be a home for everyone, and every group creating positive change on a local level by empowering communities to create positive change. This is often globally, our core value is empowering communities to solve their own problems.
local action for global change
The Public Happiness Token
Coordinating a community of volunteers has always been a struggle. People volunteering expect to come, give a little time, then move on. Imagine its like you are always working with the new guy at work. Consistency is very hard to come into.
We rejected money early on in the Focallocal Community as the pressure it puts on projects almost always comes at the expense of their vision and mission. I wanted to create something purely to benefit the world for the world. Not to stress endlessly about where money is coming from, and how to adapt our vision to get it. Most charities and non-profits spend a significant amount of their time begging for donations, or applying for funding. Its also soo inefficient, i just wanted to make positive change, and so Focallocal became a community operating largely without money, just positive people.
Then i found crypto-currency, and realised the main purpose of it is to give ordinary people the power to create their own economic systems. Having run a community without money for 8 years focused on solving societal issues i’d become acutely aware of the effects of our economic system in perpetuating the issues we were trying to solve, and in handicapping those who want to solve them.
I explored the idea and realised that rather than reject the existing economic system, we could replace it… or at least create our own that rewards the critically important work related to societal well-being, which is currently ignored by today’s GDP based systems, and left by design for charities and kind-hearted volunteers to try and cover. Building an economic system into our platform would create an world where the foundations society is based upon are changed.
We could shift the focus, and energy, onto efforts to benefit people, communities, and the planet, and away from profit and production for profits sake… and if it didn’t take off, we’d be left with the coolest internet points system ever created supporting and fuelling our positive action… which would also be a big win!
So i told everyone, and we begun building it in with a central pillar of our vision being that anyone who benefits society should be rewarded fairly. (a huge change from the previous 8 years as money-free group trying to cover the gaps created by an unfair system).
The new direction is explained in greater detail in our whitepaper