Tuesday 3 July 2012

Transaction Economy Ireland

ImageDemocratic Charters for Social Economics lead to Debt Free Ireland.
On 30th June 2009 when the international credit crunch hit Ireland, the Irish Nation saw their entire economy collapse with an unworkable National Debt of €65bn. Three years later the total has doubled to €131.7bn and continues to increase at €100,000 every three minutes. The average income in Ireland is around €22,000 (CSO-2010) whilst the National Debt per person is €27,000 (2012). If every Irish worker gave up a quarter of their income every year for the next 5 years, the debt could still not be paid. Austerity, referenda, IMF advice, EU financial guidance and decisions by the Dáil Éireann will now keep Ireland in debt for the foreseeable future whilst propagating the very financial monetary system that caused the global economic crisis in the first place.

ImageAlternatively, Ireland’s national debt could be parked in a similar fashion to Argentina in 2001. In a radical shift in economic policy President Adolfo Rodriguez stated that the Argentine people would take priority over national debt payments by introducing a parallel currency alongside the peso to create liquidity. In the same way, the Irish government could rethink economic policy at a government level but instead of creating an alternative currency, create a new economy network for transacting. Ireland could then retain the trading currency of Europe, whilst rejecting EU debt treaties, stopping the socialisation of debt through long-term austerity measures imposed on it's people.

The technology now exists to create a transaction network economy from a peer-to-peer [P2P] citizen architecture that can perform transactions through online accounts operating from online  mobile payment-processing platforms. This independent solution would remove transaction costs and allow money to flow freely throughout the population whilst offering layers for banking, savings and loans. By implementing an alternative infrastructure, expensive intermediary, financial service providers are circumnavigated to prevent extractive accounting mechanisms from draining resources away from communities; enabling a cycle of continuous reinvestment back into the economy, creating wealth, jobs and infrastructure.

The Irish state could guarantee this transaction network economy by government charters for an internetwork of citizen identity accounts. Charters have long been the traditional way for constitutional governments to authenticate new institutions, making them acceptable in the public realm. With the will to create a new social economic system, a government could begin to promulgate charters that guarantee a new participatory transaction network, designed upon digital identity for every citizen be the architect of their own life. From this citizen-centric approach a new transformational role for government could emerge as a guarantor of new forms of citizenship and finance. Economic change through social responsibility is far more affordable than the existing banking solutions, which have proven socially irresponsible, institutionally corrupt and negligent.

Image Despite the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economics unleashed by EU structural adjustment policies, Ireland now looks more like part of the marginalised periphery of failing European states caught in a tidal wave of debt. International debt adjustments treaties are primarily designed to serve their signatories. What citizens need are social economics based on localised solutions that serve the national interest. In Ireland this could be more easily achieved if government charters worked through an existing social network, such as the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The GAA has the trust to broker a new form of social economics because it is rooted in the cultural identity of every local community. This would allow the Irish government to move out of the current crisis using a transaction infrastructure based on an existing citizen network, for a more resilient economic future.

ImagePublished by Oliver Ashton & Fred Garnett
@oliverashton @fred Garnett


Thursday 21 June 2012

Digital Identity Bank

Changing The Constitution One Transaction at a Time

ImageWe live in a representative democratic society that evolved from the rise of constitutional republics like France and America in the late 18th Century.  This resulted in the emergence of modern constitutions governing the legal behaviour of political leaders, supported by accounting frameworks for citizenship. Governments now manage taxation, legal process and border controls by issuing identity documentation, but as we spend more time online our real world identity overlaps our emerging digital identity and vice versa leading to governments becoming “digital by default” as citizen identity documentation is transformed into data. This process is useful for navigating the digital realm but it lacks democratic accountability, creating a shift in representation from government to private enterprise where information is easily shared without consent, enabling misrepresentation and fraud.

ImageIn response to these challenges the UK government attempted the digitisation of state processes with a National Identity Register, holding fifty categories of information on every British citizen, but this was scrapped in 2010 over human rights and security concerns. More recently at the 2011 e-G8 summit, President Sarkozy of France and Eric Schmidt of Google argued ‘who could best build the networked society’: big government or the corporations? Ben Hammersley, in his British Council lecture then argued ‘that we are moving to networked societies, but we do not yet know how to build them’. Meanwhile global online communities continue to evolve regardless, with over 900 million users signed up to Facebook actively transacting personal data from identity accounts designed to optimise corporate advertising revenues.

ImageCitizens, who nominally hand over their collective power to the state at election time, now need more control of how their identity is represented as both governments and corporations make decisions on our behalf; data protection law needs to be extended to the intellectual property rights of the digital self. Governments could begin translating passports, driving licenses and birth certificates into online citizen accounts that embrace human rights, by granting appropriate charters for citizens’ to represent themselves digitally. ‘True Identity’ accounts, a form of digital passport, could then provide a unique master key for authenticating digital  transactions with utilities, banks and social networks, without handing over data to second or third party providers.

ImageOnline citizen accounts, chartered by government for identity  creates opportunities for an alternative peer2peer economy network to emerge for transacting money, including layers of banking, savings and loans. A financial network without the expensive costs imposed by service providers, only using money issued by government, guaranteed by users through identity accounts. This would enable all currency to be invested back into the social environmental economy to create a robust utility focused solely on the needs of the community that it served. From these citizen-centric themes trust could evolve to transform hierarchical representative democracy into a participatory network society.

Written and Published by Oliver Ashton and Fred Garnett

@oliverashton – @fredgarnett

Thursday 7 June 2012

PeerPay Transaction Economy

Creating Economy Networks, One Transaction at a Time

Peerpay is a peer2peer mobile wallet facilitating NFC Text transactions. The product is free to download and free to use, offering pricing transparency, coupons, discounts, peer cash-back and  augmented reality [AR] search. Merchants can operate hyper local customer loyalty programs; text,  splash page and location marketing; plus group settings to reward customers  for shopping locally on the high street.  

Peerpay takes advantage of changes in consumer behavior in social networks, e-commerce and
online banking. This opportunity coupled with online mobile technology gives Peerpay room to slash debit credit card costs, by circumnavigating merchant card payment terminals; cutting direct to consumer charges, indirect hidden charges, out-dated land based banking infrastructure and expensive cash machines.  

Peerpay reengineers digital money to flow more freely between the population by giving the processing power back to the merchant, who in turn can pass the cost savings back to the consumer through the customer service model. Using money with out expensive intermediary service providers stops extraction and stimulates the local economy to fulfill a self generative wealth cycle to create an economy network one transaction at a time. 

Peerpay makes online transactions more relevant in the everyday by linking online with offline  through a mobile wallet solution. This creates an economy network that cuts costs, makes  faster payments and reengineers the distribution of profit. A repurposed digital transaction network that gives your money back to use your own way.  

Peerpay's vision comes with social responsibility and a belief that healthy economic growth comes from only working with money that exists, transacted through transparent accounting models. Peerpay aims to grow networks of the future now, to create a participation society based on true identity, trust and self governance.

If you have a question about Peerpay, or a product that you feel could be launched on the Peerpay network then please contact Oliver Ashton and Fred Garnet: 

oliver@oliverashton.com - fred.garnet@gmail.com 

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Peer2Peer Banking Networks

Building the Transaction Economy, One Transaction at a Time.  

Thundrbump is a peer2peer transaction network offering person2person loans, investments, shares and mortgages at social rates. Thundrbump meets a need to innovative a social economic response to out dated, extractive and expensive intermediary service providers by creating a sustainable economic future using only money that exists. A robust utility focused solely on the needs of the community that it serves.
We can visualise Thundrbump in terms of innovation waves created from social technology transformation. Companies that best capture this meme are WEB 1.0 Google [search], WEB2.0 Facebook [social], WEB 3.0 Thundbump [participation]. Thundrbump rides the next technology wave through online mobile accounts, to create an interconnected society on a P2P super highway. A revolution built upon a new transaction economy. 

Contact: oliver@oliverashton.com  Fred.garnett@gmail.com

Transaction Network Economies

Creating A Network Society. One Transaction at a Time. 


Having begun in Totnes, there are now 372 UK Transition "Towns" that share ideas, developing templates that can be used as frameworks for other towns to develop complementary, resilient local green economies with hyper local redevelopment. The term ‘transition’ is based on a belief that we need to prepare for a post-peak oil economy with an environmentally sustainable approach. The focus on ‘towns’ comes from the need for cultural change in social and economic behaviours from within an organisational population structure that can support transition through local community action. 

If we use product life-cycle analysis to look at the environmental impact of consumer goods on the planet, we find that the raw materials that create the products come from all over the world; that production has heavy energy costs, high water usage and the distribution network is environmentally unsustainable [airplanes, lorries, container ships]. Both the true economic cost and environmental impact of manufacturing are hidden by accounting systems that are askew with the global resources that are available.

It could also be argued that the existing international financial system is not fit for purpose. It is based on an accounting system devised by 14th Century, Italian money lenders to ‘extract’ wealth from local producers, to reinvest with merchants to explore the world and return with valuable goods for trade. Initially, this was extracting money from the poor to the rich parts of town, but in a modern global economy we move trillions in currency instantaneously away from home based economies which can be highly destructive. As we have seen, when an international financial crisis occurs, local wealth has all but been removed, reinvested in volatile markets or traded as 'credit default swops' [debts repackaged for investment].    

Transition Towns’ answer to “extractive” banking is a Local Exchange Trading System [LETS], which keeps wealth in the community using alternative currency for barter, such as the Lewes or the Totnes pound. However, the dominant mode of exchange outside LETS micro environments remains the original currency, which is still recorded as payments through extractive accounting systems in the hands of traditional banking infrastructure. LETS remains unconnected with the dominant currency used for trade, which suggests why it has not emerged as a transformative answer to the global economic down turn and the impending Euro Zone Crisis.

Ben Hammersley points out in ‘Toward an Internet of People’ (2011), that we live in networked times controlled by people who grew up in a hierarchical society. Banks are hierarchical private companies based on extractive models that cannot or will not change. The solution then exists in the online network society to create an independent financial framework, without changing societies social relationship with the currencies that exist. We can re-vision this new formula for transacting to include LETS, credit unions and cooperative solutions operating in networks of interconnected personalised Peer2Peer’  [P2P] accounts. 
The technology now exists to perform P2P transactions through online mobile devices operating from payment-processing platforms. This technology removes transaction costs all together, for money to flow freely throughout the population, circumnavigating expensive, intermediary service providers, giving processing power back to the merchant at the point of sale. This stops extractive accounting mechanism from draining resources away from the original communities, enabling a cycle of continuous reinvestment back into the economy or to be diverted into social charitable causes etc. 

Combined with a transformative, social, ecological mindset, P2P transaction networks emerge as robust utilities focused solely on the immediate needs of the community that they serve. Local merchants can compete with global brands through loyalty schemes that reward consumers with cost savings, to encourage economic growth in a self-generative sustainability model. Currency, raw materials,  products, merchants and consumers remain in a local vicinity which in turn rewards the local community with a more diverse economic ecosystem, a greener, more resilient economy. 
Wriiten by Oliver Ashton & Fred Garnett.

Creating technology platforms that re-engineer payment banking infrastructure. Seeking solutions to extractive  models for  environmental economic transformation. 

If you have a product that fits into our vision of the Transaction Network Society, please get in touch. We are looking for technology partners, investors and people to help us e-engineer the future now.

Contact: oliver@oliverashton.com - fred.garnett@gmail.com

Monday 17 January 2011

Visual Mapping Strategy

The Joy of Mapping by Oliver Ashton

The first mind maps I used were to visualise scripts  in story boards which allowed me to translate concepts, scenes, shots, costume and make-up into pictures that could be understood in multi departmental environments, through different production processes, across entire project life cycles. When I moved over to interactive gaming it was second nature to interpret interactive TV WEB gaming projects through visual methodology to understand the IT, to create the customer experience and to develop the brand and marketing from concept stage. I started brainstorming visual networks which allowed me to focus on the planning  as well as the creative aspects of the project across everything from the studio and user interfaces design to the  IT development and integration  in one a single vision. 

I discovered that you can map any concept across any channel, including Digital, Interactive, Social, Marketing, Engagement, Banking, TV, WEB, MOB and any sub heading that these headings network too, including budgets, stats and commerce. Where pictorial representations become useful is in understanding virtual spaces which exist outside our immediate vision, but which are firmly integrated into our digital business practices. Once I understood this concept then I could map any environment to better understand how technology, business, content, media, IT and marketing interact.

Visual maps enhance idea processes and brainstorming exercises and are a wonderful approach to project planning  from concept. They demystify unknown spaces and allow every department to be involved and locate themselves on complex shared projects. I would also argue that visual mapping is essential to help clients understand digital spaces such as social, buzz monitoring, traffic flow and how digital then integrates with offline business models to create homogenised, symbiotic strategy. In this way mapping acts as an educational tool, opens up more inclusive practices and pushes the boundaries to transcend traditional marketing and business practices.

Visual mapping is a ‘problem solving’ methodology that can simultaneously translate complex digit business models and offer an overview without extensive explanation.  I personally use visual mapping to show clients how to launch platforms as part of an integrated business strategy, to drive traffic to ecommerce and data collection solutions and to devise new online business ideas that reveal product access points into existing markets. Best of all I can finally reveal customer centric engagement models in interactive social spaces, based on content, supported by deep content links, in order to drive traffic to a variety of payment solution. 

Once you start visual mapping there is no limit to how one can condense ideas, solutions and links into memorable symbols. For me the best existing application of visual mapping is the iPhone interface which is leading innovative technology through simple pictorial signs that link seamlessly through to desired applications. My favourite historical mind map though, was produced by the electrical draughtsman, Harry Beck, who created a stunningly simple design back in 1933 to navigate the London tube network which was an unseen, underground space, viewed by travellers with suspicion until it was demystified by the Tube Map we still read today. 

 I was influenced by Harry Beck when I designed a roulette IVR system [ an ‘inbound calling system’ to you and I] as a gaming, call centre and banking solution which eventually covered over 100 operations in ten touch phone digits. The system had to be quick to play to get the bets on but the solution still existed in a sub electronic telephone server world which no one could see and would take weeks to learn. The answer was a simple visual Tube Map that could be read at a glance and which meant that players quickly learnt number combinations for quicker gaming.

Right: Live IPTV broadcast schematics
Below: IVR Games and depositing Map

I was recently asked to map the plan of a new safety feature for a Webster Bennett Core Boring machine, again I used a simple colour coding system to underline the design features and the architecture of the schematics for the engineer, the operator and the safety council to understand. I am not often asked to design 'heavy machine safety systems' but it was an interesting challenge offered to me by my father who is an engineer. This high lights the way visual  mapping can be used in logical schematics used in shared environments from design concept to end user. 

The brief stated that the drill operator had to stand outside of the machine area when the machine was in operation and that the machinery could not operate unless both a magnetic lock and a door sensor were shown to be in use. To guarantee these safety features the operator had to press a 'Sensor' and a 'Magnetic Lock' button in sequence before the green 'Start' button would light up, which once also pressed  allowed the hydraulic fluids to flow.

 The map above was created for Live Casino Technology to illustrate the live casino white label service on offer to B2B customers. The diagram shows the studio and live dealer services on the left and the integration  and business proposition on the right. Explanation of all three areas can be complicated as can the integration process but through visualisation I was able to show every aspect at a glance whilst underlining the fact that  the platform was reassuringly organised and simple to integrate with.