What is a “Gift Economy”?

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Photo by National Geographic: “When she’s not watching sumo wrestling on TV, Yaso Itoman, 100, grows onions, tomatoes, carrots, and other herbs and vegetables in her garden.”
Photo by National Geographic: “When she’s not watching sumo wrestling on TV, Yaso Itoman, 100, grows onions, tomatoes, carrots, and other herbs and vegetables in her garden.”

“The gift economy is based on the premise that transactions involving money separate people and pre-empt any relationship between buyer and seller. I give you something, you give me money. End of story. But in a gift economy, I give you something, you are grateful. You start thinking about ways you can help me. Or maybe, you pay the gift forward to someone else. Relationships form, and communities grow. This is how human society used to function, and still does in some places.” – The Vancouver Sun

The Gift Economy: It’s a movement all over the world, but it starts at home with your family and friends.

Do you want to learn how to start a gift economy with your family and neighbours?
This is a place where everyone is truly welcome.
However there is no selling, buying, or trading that happens here.

Every one of you who gifts is part of living a new economy.
When you need something, our growing network can support you.
Today you are the giver, tomorrow you may be the receiver.

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There are over 100 cities worldwide on the gift economy.

Featured Articles:

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions.

World Health Organization: Is Unregulated Capitalism Good For Our Health?

Here’s What Happens When a Business Stops Charging Clients: Coffee shop in New Zealand

Gift Economy for Businesses: The $40 billion enterprise?

Doctors: “Gift economies drive much of medicine”. 

World Maps of The Sharing & Gift Economy (Over 100+ Cities)

5 reasons you need a gift economy circle (and how to start one)

Money or health? The surprising link between extreme longevity and high unemployment rate and gift economies (Vancouver Health Survey + Blue Zones).

In Politics: A Gift Economy in Europe. (The Guardian)

The world’s healthiest places such as Ikaria Greece and Okinawa Japan surprisingly have high unemployment rates and have a gift economy.  Learn more about the gift economies of the world’s healthiest places, and how this can help The City of Vancouver.

Internet helps homeless mom who offered to cook for a cancer patient.

By Diana Hombre
“This woman offered to cook for my friend because she heard he has cancer. It turns out she’s homeless. We’re going to surprise her with food tomorrow. “
A Vancouver woman offered to cook for cancer patient Brice Royer, after reading his Craigslist Ad “Unconditional Love” that went viral and reached over 1 million hits. It turns out she is homeless. Royer found out she lives in a Vancouver shelter with a 4 year old.  (Source: Imgur)
She says: “Lots of women in our shelter struggle every month..I’ve been sharing what I have with them whenever I can. But sometimes it’s hard and I run out..”
She even offered to help him surprise someone in need with a food delivery this Tuesday.Royer and a farm are going to surprise her with $100 worth of organic food on Tuesday 8th at 11:50am.  (Additional information: This translates to a biweekly delivery of organic food for 2 months through the charity farm who can provide it at a lower cost and donated by Tangotab.com, a company that fights hunger.)  A day after posting the plea on Imgur, it has reached over 11,000 hits and an outpouring of support.
“It seems poor people offered to help … It’s incredible how those with the least want to help the most. ” Royer says. A small farm in Surrey offered to give food and collect non-perishable items from the public. Tangotab.com, a company that fights hunger, also offered to contribute.
“I hope we can get her enough food this month, and maybe her friends at the shelter too.” he adds.
If you want to help, please contribute by sharing her story or by making a donation here:

This company asked their employees to eat carrots to fight hunger. It became 3000 lbs worth of food for fire victims.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.52.35 PMThe Carroturday challenge: It was a challenge by Andre Angel, an amazing man who always finds ways to donate to charity and recently fed 1 million people. The idea began when CEO Andre Angel made a Facebook post offering to donate 10 meals for every picture posted, to support a man with stomach cancer, who has been eating mostly carrots due to multiple food allergies.  It turned into something far beyond expectations.


“To all my Facebook friends!

I recently got to know a beautiful man, who is struggling with a rare stomach cancer. Due to his multiple food allergies, his diet became so restricted that his body could only tolerate carrots.

Sometimes the face of hunger is not what you expect it to look like. His name is Brice Royer. He said: “I needed help and asked a farmer if he could donate organic carrots… It’s almost all I ate because of my allergies. Now, we have a family tradition called Carroturday! On Saturdays, mom eats carrots so I don’t feel alone. Then, strangers on the Internet joined us by posting carrot pictures in support. My heart felt so touched. It keeps me on fighting!”

So every Saturday, I’m taking on the Carroturday challenge to support Brice and all people struggling with Hunger related issues.

When you post a selfie on any social media with the hashtag‪ #‎TangoCarrotsForBrice‬, TangoTab will donate 10 meals to Brice’s food charity for every picture posted.

I’m posting my selfie here… Will you join me? Just comment “I’ll carrot” if you care.

Andre Angel's photo.
In response, people on the Internet began posting selfies, and carrot pictures.Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.42.12 PM
Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.42.36 PM  Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.42.44 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.41.50 PM
Brice Royer, the cancer patient, made this Facebook post:

“I love you! Today you helped deliver 3000 lbs of carrots and veggies to fire victims in Rock Creek BC through supporting the farm and posting your carrot pictures ‪#‎TangoCarrotsForBrice‬ in support of hunger awareness. If you haven’t posted carrot pictures yet, you can still do it! Big thanks to Andre Angel for his generous donations (his company Tangotab is donating 10 meals for every picture you post of yourself with that hashtag, so please keep posting!), Rousseau Kumara Llanera and Jas Singh Jas for their endless love.

Brice Royer's photo.
Brice Royer's photo.Brice Royer's photo.

What are your gifts and requests? Let’s make dreams happen

What’s on your wish-list? What are your needs, requests, or wildest dreams?  What is something you plan on purchasing that I, or a friend, someone in our group, may already have and wouldn’t mind lending or giving it to you?
What are your gifts? What is your expertise, something you enjoy giving or doing, or something you have or would like to do?
Remember, this has nothing to do with affordability, but relationship building and reducing consumption, which is good for our health.
I normally hesitate doing this with total strangers…  a gift economy always works best with people you know and trust, and mutual friends. So I encourage you to use your good judgement here, but I noticed a few people who could really help each other if they were introduced!
Let’s see if we can all make it happen together.
Leave a comment below, and respond to anyone you wish to connect to.  This is an open space and invitation for you to connect. However, it is not moderated, so please use your good judgement. 


What these poor kids are doing will break your heart. But their wisdom is incredible.

Sometimes we can learn more from children. This is from a 10 year old kid in Syria: “We’re picking bread. People are wasteful, they throw away bread here!… If you were patient with all the hunger and everything else, you can be patient more. If no one is on our side, God is on our side.”

This child was asked: “What message do you have to share to the world who abandoned you?” He responded: “The only thing I say to the people is may you be happy and blessed with what you have.”

My heart broke and I wonder how can I help?

Throwing money at a problem, despite good intentions, can often make the problem worse. It’s important to first understand the root cause.

Orphans from the Syrian war are caused by corrupt leaders, inequality, and surprisingly, climate change. Similarly, U.S childhood poverty is #2 in any industrialized nation. One in 3 lives in poverty which is very shameful because the U.S is one of wealthiest country in the world.

What causes inequality?
To treat the symptoms of inequality from the desire of power, we need to address its root causes. Dr Gabor Mate, a Canadian physician on addiction explains how capitalism makes us “crazy”.

To help extreme childhood poverty, we need to address our dependence on unregulated capitalism. It begins by feeling grateful for what we have, reduce our consumerism, living in community, investing in sustainable living, and sharing freely with others.

Slowly, as we transition our dependence on this addicted beast, we can begin to cut the umbilical cord that is feeding it.