The question that persist for many college and university administrators is what actions must they take to optimize all of their relationships in a manner that reinforces their own value to their community.

The Value Game is an ideal solution for this type of scenario (if you are unfamiliar with TVG, please visit this primer link).  The first step is to identify the asset. The recent graduate is the university asset because they are the customer and the product being advanced.  After all, the life worth of that graduate will reflect upon the institution that prepared them for professional service.

Next, we identify the players that will interact with that graduate over the course of their lives.

A* = The Graduate

  1. The graduate will interact with their Alma Mater
  2. The graduate will interact with their alumni association
  3. The graduate will interact with Their broader community
  4. The graduate will interact with corporations and entrepreneurs

Now, Let’s review each of the relationships and the economic incentives that drive them:

A-1: The graduate relies on the university reputation with players 1,2,3 as an extension of their own capabilities.

A-2: The graduate relies on the influence and success of prior graduates who hold an affinity towards each other in fraternal social networks.

A-3: The graduate will interact with their community for friendships, residency, recreation, and support.

A-4: The graduate will rely on strong and equitable employers / entrepreneur base where they may self-actualize as productive citizens.

Now, let’s review the relationships and incentives that each of the players has with each other:

1 – 2,3,4: The university has an interest in preserving the community because a motivated and educated workforce attracts opportunity far and wide in the form of business, travel, tourism and economic growth (Jacobs Externality).

2 – 1,3,4: Alumni seek to preserve the value of their alma mater because of the direct reflection upon their careers.  It is in their best interest to support the university, it’s graduates, employers and the wider community.

3 – 1,2,4: The community relies on the university graduates and alumni to provide equitable and fair innovations that provide sustainable living standards.

4 – 1,2,3: Employers compete globally for talented, stable and engaged employees and service providers who are attracted foremost by a vibrant entrepreneurial economy and sustainable communities.

Data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom

The Value Game is now played by university administrators who direct university facilities, influence, and resources to bringing at least 2 of these four groups together.  Each time there is an interaction, the university will capture the data associated with the interaction.  That data can be compiled to form information which gives the university administrator knowledge about what their next action must be.  University feedback to the community will tell all of the players what interactions create the most social value upon which all players will innovate in their best interest.

As the game continues over time, the university gains the wisdom to understand the values of their assets and surrounding community. The community will act in the best interest of the other players as a means of acting in their own best interest (Social Capitalism).

Data is the ultimate shared asset

Over time, the University will become the physical “Search Engine” for data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom in a community instead of just a vetting mechanism for book learned material. The University can now deploy this wisdom to their own internal programs and curricula as well as becoming an external reference source for government, industry, and economic development.

*(The University of New Haven is in no way affiliated with this post except I (the author) am a graduate of the UNH Engineering school (go Chargers!) and needed a realistic example that probably would not sue me – thanks guys)


The great dream for new economies movement is that Wall Street has finally met its match from the vast interconnected social systems that now dominate communication, organization, and commerce.

The problem is that no matter what the New Economies Movement comes up with, Wall Street will capitalize it, commoditize it, securitize it, and sell it back to us for the price of our communities.  Then they’ll build derivatives and options around it and wrap it all up in a nice hedge fund that transfers all risk back to us.   The Street always wins.

So why can’t we do what Wall Street does?

At Social Flights we believe that we can provide 10,000 jobs across the United States by letting people sell options on aircraft seats.

How would this work?

The Hub and Spoke system consists of about 30 major airports in the US that act as hubs.  The rest are spokes and many smaller cities are barely served at all.  So unless you are flying between two hubs, you will always have to catch a connection, waste time, and incur social expenses.

For the price of a typical airport lounge bar tab, a traveler can buy an option to fly a private jet non-stop between their destinations.  An option is the right without the obligation to take a position in the future.  The option would be convertible, transferrable, and may even be exercised on a wide variety of schedules.

Calling all unemployed entrepreneurs 

Suppose that I saw a listing on Social Flights for a private jet flight from Boise Idaho to Colorado Springs taking place in three weeks and costing 300 dollars.  Since I know a lot of people in both cities, I can either use the ticket myself, or I have 3 weeks to sell it for, say, 500 dollars.

This is a bargain because there are no non-stop flights between these two cities and airline prices tend to increase as the departure date approaches.  The private jet can do the trip in two hours whereas the commercial airline would take 8 or more hours. I could buy an option on that flight for, say 30 dollars and resell the ticket for a $170.00 profit.   If I cannot sell the ticket, then I can use the ticket, convert it to another option, or lose my 30 dollars (just like the bar tab).

I am a Capitalist

In effect, I am rewarded for my size and quality of my social network.  I am rewarded for my ability to research in the Internet to find likely prospects who would seek to travel at a time savings.  I am rewarded for my knowledge, associations, professional skills, and ability to analyze data and organize people.   I am rewarded for finding arbitrage opportunities in an inefficient industry.  I buy low and sell high – I am a Capitalist

While this may not seem like a large impact, if 5000 – 10,000 people make their living trading Social Options, the market will shift.  If Social Options can be created for aviation inventory, they can be created for all inventory.  For the exact same effect as a Groupon, people can trade options on goods and services while hedging against Wall Street and restoring community Values.

Don’t just change the game, change the street that it is played on….


By giving people power and observing what they do with it, a leader can learn a great deal about available opportunities.  The problem is in getting out of their way, and consequently, getting out of your own way.

Human capital refers to the set of skills and knowledge that can produce an economic value.  Everyone has distinct combinations of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital, which they deploy uniquely. The entrepreneurial spirit in indomitable.

Likewise, the education, experience, and abilities that people deploy to their communities, employers, social organizations, and for the economy as a whole, are hugely valuable; unless you try to contain them – then they become volatile.  So, no matter how proud you are of your own accomplishments, it’s probably not a good idea to get in the way of others’.

As we build out the Travel Tribe Leader functionality, we do not attempt to model the community leader after ourselves or any archetype, instead, we seek to model Social Flights around the human capital of the community that the leader represents.

Then, Lead by Observing

As we develop Social Flights, we listen to a great diversity of ideas from our extraordinary Board of Advisors.   The hardest part for some of us on the executive management team is to stay out of the way as these brilliant people tear away at our own creations, preconceptions, biases, and even our hopes and fears for the outcome of our work.  This is not easy to watch yourself getting in you own way.

We give our advisory board the power to criticize us.  We give them the power to change us.  We give them the power to hurt us and we give them the power to make us better.  We watch, and we learn and we are grateful to them because we will give that power to travel tribes.  This set’s up a very powerful incentive to play The Value Game.

A Game of Derivatives

On of the biggest complaints of the gamefication movement is that people will always figure out how to game the game.  by contrast, at social Flights, we intend for the players to game the game.  This is the fundamental backdrop of The Value Game. – it’s a game of derivatives not unlike many types of financial derivatives, except in an alternate currency.

This does not mean that we’ll fly blind and vulnerable.  It means that the value of Social Flights will be a direct reflection of the value that people create in communities organizing themselves around Social Flights.  This is a different type of business method and a stark contrast to the way that market capitalism holds people in boxes, surveys their private information, and places roadblock in their path trying to influence there every turn.

Try that with your battleship.


Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups

Entrepreneurship is the invisible hand of Capitalism.  Basically, this means that you can have all the Land, Labor, and Capital in the world, but unless you have entrepreneurs to interact with it, you don’t have much of an economy.

Social Contract Broker

Most social contracts are made today by Brokers who have the ability to connect supply and demand.  Brokers, for the most part, gain their influence from the natural or unnatural divisions that may normally restrain information from the supply side to the demand side, and vice versa.  “Social Brokers” are extremely important for exchanging information across different parts of a community that do not normally intermix.  However, such “Trust Economics” depends on a closed system where community accountability is strong.

Trust economics and an open economy are mutually exclusive.

In an open economy, the job of the broker shifts to the job of administrating social accountability – a completely different animal.  The moral hazard, of course, is that communities with great entrepreneurial potential are instead brokered for profit. Many “special interests” have crept up through the years in everything from banking, real estate, second-hand markets, international trade, airlines, politics, and even corporate M&A activity – that protect broker interests.  As a result, brokers create structured holes at the expense of social inter-cohesion.

A Different Approach

At Social Flights, we take a different approach.  We unite several completely different communities; travelers, vendors, and airplane operator around a shared airplane asset.  In the middle, we place a community leader – an entrepreneur who is enabled to see all the diverse connections and combine information in new and useful forms.

Instead of forming better brokers as a principle driver of economic growth, Social Flights introduces a Value Game that forms a greater degree of intercohesion among disparate communities simulating a closed economy within an open economy.

The Social Flights Manifesto

We know that there are millions and millions of entrepreneurs in our communities who can create tremendous value if they are given a game that they can win – or not get ripped off.  The underlying entrepreneurial force is that people will always combine several old ideas in new ways to create the new ideas that incite new actions.  We depend on entrepreneurs to drive these ideas and drive these actions.  For this reason, it is in our best interest to set them free and keep them free.

The Social Broker’s Commission: Social Profit

We create an environment where it is in the best interest for communities to share deep information in a closed economy where trust dynamics can take effect.  Then we provide a way to transport their trust economy into the open economy.  But it goes much farther than that – it goes as far as an airplane can take you.

(Note: this article was inspired by segments of two wonderful papers titled: Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups, by Bala ́zs Vedres Central European University and David Stark Columbia University and Structured Holes Versus Network Closure as Social Capital – By Ronald S. Burt, University of Chicago)


I have been approached by many brilliant social entrepreneurs in recent weeks.  They each have several things in common. Each has an incredibly creative idea and a strong passion linked to a deep seated observation that social currency has value.  As nebulous as that may sound, it is very real, specific, and clear in the minds of those who I’ll call, The New Entrepreneur.

Nothing Economic can happen until two or more people get together to build something.  Likewise, when two or more people get together to build something, economic things happen. The objective of this post is to demonstrate the 3 underlying actions of a new class of business plans that will become dominant in the next economic paradigm.

Our recipe is simple:

Step one: convert financial currency into social currency

Step two: Create value denominated in social currency

Step three: Convert new social currency back into financial currency – if needed

This simple recipe forms the basis of the business plans for several start-ups including Social Flights and The Social Value Network as well as numerous other projects that we consult to in the US, Greece, Brazil, Australia, China, and Mexico.

So here is how it works

The Old Business Model:  Suppose you buy a truck and you use it to haul stuff for your own personal and business interests. After 5 years, you can sell the truck for about 1/2 what you paid for it.

The New Business Model: Suppose that you buy a truck to hauls stuff for your own personal or business interests.  Suppose that you also let The Boy Scout troop leader borrow it to pick up christmas trees for sale.  Suppose you let the Kiwanis use it to pick up supplies for their annual salmon bake.  Suppose you let the YWCA haul donated furniture to their satellite facility.  Suppose you help your neighbor use it for a home improvement project.  After 5 years, you sell the truck for about 1/2 of what you paid for it.

The difference is that now your community is engaged with your personal interests.  You have converted financial capital into social capital and created new value denominated in social currency.  One notable example includes Neighborgoods, but there will undoubtedly be thousands of variations of this leveraging every conceivable physical asset.

Now, how do you transform this back social capital into financial capital?   Well, that’s what the emerging science of Social Capitalism is all about.  Social Profit is like a fungible option with a face value.  If structured correctly, an option can have a face value equal to the difference between discount and full price. That face value can be traded like money.  When you are engaged in a community, people know who you are, they trust you and they share with you.  People are trading options – the right without the obligation to exercise a financial position in the future.

Options have real value as an asset if you have them or as a liability if you don’t


Future of Banking

When I use the term “Innovation Bank”, people conjure up the image of a cheery place where anticipation reigns as starry eyed depositors arrange their intellectual property in neat cubby boxes, Patents fly like cash register receipts and companies troll the halls looking for a cure for their bottom line blues.

This is not exactly what we have in mind, nor is it too far off either. An innovation Bank is simply a knowledge inventory that contains knowledge assets that exists in the format of a financial instrument and can be deployed for the purposes of increasing productivity.  In the process, it makes 10X more of itself every time it is deployed.  It mints its own money.

The Innovation Banker

This is not much different than a financial bank. In fact, in the financial bank, everyone assumes the borrower has the knowledge to execute the business plan and the bank lends the money. Oh, by the way, the money makes more of itself  10X over (fractional reserve system) every time it is deployed.

With the innovation bank, everyone assumes the entrepreneur has the money to execute the plan, and the seek to borrow the knowledge. Other than that, they can be considered identical. The key is in the scope, depth, and format in which the knowledge assets live in a community as well as the ability to track and preserve the creation of new knowledge in a community.  An innovation banker is a knowledge banker

A Virtuous Circle

Together with the financial banking, these two system engage in the dance of the virtuous circle of innovation enterprise. Apart, they collapse into the swirling cesspool of eternal debt and infinite interest (pun intended).

Ingenesist.com

Music by Phil Felicia


Mathematics Dysfunction Disorder

I am continuously astonished at the reactions I get from people every time I make a reference to mathematics, especially Calculus. Most people politely glaze their eyes over and stare at an inanimate object somewhere behind my head. Others launch into a diatribe of how the linear thinkers destroyed the world in the first place. Others will simply say, “I have [insert Deficit Dysfunction Disorder here]”

Puzzled by Limits?  Perplexed by derivatives?

The truth of the matter is that everyone already knows Calculus, they solve differential equations all day long – they just don’t know that they already know what I’m talking about.  If you take away all the strange terms, squiggly lines, and alphabet soup notation,….

Calculus is astonishingly simple


  • The Banker does not care about money, he cares about the rate of change of money.
  • The Stock Market does not care about risk, it cares about the rate of change of risk
  • The Politician does not care about votes, they care about the rate of change in votes
  • The Meteorologist does not care about weather, she cares about the rate of change in weather
  • The Pilot does not care about lift, they care about the rate of change of lift
  • The Gymnast does not care about motion, she cares about the rate of change of motion
  • The Artist does not care about color, he cares about the rate of change of color
  • The Doctor does not care about your health, she cares about the rate of change in your health
  • The Baker does not care about dough, they care about the rate of change of dough
  • The Farmer does not care about crops, he cares about the rate of change of crops
  • The Scientists does not care about data, they care about the rate of change of data
  • Google does not care about information, it cares about the rate of change of information
  • Entrepreneurs do not care about knowledge, they care about the rate of change of knowledge
  • Markets do not care about innovation, they care about the rate of change of innovation
  • Our children do not care about our wisdom, they care about our rate of change of wisdom

When people can learn how to understand what they are really doing in instead of what they think they are doing, then and only then, will we be able to see, and subsequently, build the next economic paradigm.  That is why I use mathematics and that is when Social Media Becomes a Science

The Capitalist does not care about value, they care about the rate of change of value


Another approach for spending a Trillion dollars (backed by debt) would be for the government to issue innovation bonds (backed by innovation) to fund new innovation enterprise. Surely the World still greatly admires and respects American Ingenuity (social capital, intellectual capital, and creative capital) especially in the age of social media and would likely buy such a financial instrument, if not to copy, improve, and outsource on it later.

The final frontier; your backyard

The Last Mile of social media is a vastly unexploited resource with an astonishing wealth creation potential. The Ingenesist Project (TIP) specifies a structure for an innovation economy through the application of 3 simple web applications deployed to social media that will ignite “The Last Mile”.

Already, people use social media to harvest great ideas from around the world. The Ingenesist Project will enable global ideas to be applied in local economies throughout our communities.

Running Numbers:

The sweet spot for Last Mile social media is (2-6) people living within a (1-6) square mile area. Assume an average entrepreneur density is about (1) person per square mile. The United States is a little more than (3) million square miles. If only (3) of the thousands upon thousands of potential applications of Last Mile social media were implemented across the country, then (9) million jobs would be created.

Dan’s List; Leave a Tip

Here is a list of (10) hypothetical business ideas that a buddy and I dreamed up over lunch using TIP methodology for inducing an Innovation Economy. Each of these ideas has a working revenue model.

1. Zertify: This company is a last mile/vetting social media application where neighbors “Zertify their Zillow Zestimates”.
2. Start Up Neighborhood (SUN): is a last mile social media application where neighbors get together to innovate and create new businesses.
3. ScatterWatt: is a last mile social media application for decentralizing power generation aggregating local clean power generation systems (rooftop wind, solar, greenery).
4. ComPrac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that forms and organizes communities of practice for the purpose of mentorship and cooperation in innovation.
5. CombinePac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that combines communities of practice strategically for the purpose of tangential innovation
6. TopUse: is a last mile social media/vetting application that makes best use of already disturbed lands saving undisturbed lands from exploitation.
7. CodeVitae: is last mile/vetting service that translates CVs and job descriptions into universal decimal classification system for computerized analysis, normalization, and improved allocation.
8. Proximizer: A last mile social media application that reallocates knowledge assets for best proximity to home space for carbon credits.
9. CarbonCops: is last mile social media application to register, certify, and implement carbon savings ideas.
10. VetBucks: is a last mile/vetting site for the verifying expenditure of public funds.

Improving Information for Fun and Profit:

The degree to which information is improved in a market is the degree to which the innovation adds value. As such, monetization becomes a relatively simple matter. Furthermore, the options that are created will have a multiplier effect in the communities as neighbors learn what knowledge assets are available with which to cooperate in their communities and where their knowledge assets can be deployed productively. New ideas generate more new ideas as the markets will seek to fill in the blank spots and support more structure for innovation economy.

An Endowment for their Grandchildren:

While the leadership elders are to be respected for their wisdom and accomplishments, they have very little comprehension of the economic growth potential of social media. It is understandable that they may overlook this opportunity. The capitalization of social media lays in the hands of the young people who know exactly what to do if given the opportunity. Why not give them a shot at getting the books in order? Call it their inheritance.


Innovation is currently defined as “A new idea that has a favorable economic outcome”.  The problem is that nobody can solve one equation with two unknowns, i.e., what’s a new idea? and what’s the economic outcome?  By this definition, you can only identify innovation after it has occurred.  So, it’s not very useful – in fact, it is a tragic definition and it must be scrapped immediately.

The trick is to identify the new ideas and direct them to the appropriate economic outcome, not the other way around as many companies and agencies try to do.  Most good ideas can’t find a place to be profitable in a silo, so they are scrapped. This is not the fault of talent or the idea, but invariably both are lost.

The existing definition of innovation is insufficient for use as a way to identify innovation in the present. There is no way to build an innovation economy upon a flawed definition and unpredictable value of innovative activity. This new interpretation will allow innovation to properly behave like a financial instrument.


Money is a convenient way to store and exchange value. Unless the world enters into a free trade agreement with Martians, Earth is the physical boundary of all existing value.

No matter what a monetary currency is called or how it behaves in the financial system, by definition, it can never represent any more than the value that exists on Earth.

Value is reflected by  “Market Capitalization” of corporation, Roads, Bridges, infrastructure, armies, education, food, real estate, and all so-called tangible things. Intangibles such as human resources, public assets, and shared natural resources are only valuable to the extent that people depend on those resources for survival. Not surprisingly, “tangible” means all things that can be controlled and “intangible” means everything else.

However, if you look at how all value is created, it all eventually boils down to human knowledge.  All control and influence over human knowledge boils down to the individual. All Value on Earth is stored between our collective ears.  In order to fully assess the global financial system, there must be a corresponding global inventory of human knowledge.  There is no body of any influence in the world proposing this as a means of defining solvency.

Meanwhile, the social media revolution is slowly introducing a global knowledge inventory to financial markets with effects that are becoming increasingly profound. In case you have not noticed, money no longer represents value, it represents the control of value.  Social media is disrupting who, what, when, where, and how all the value can or cannot be controlled.

With every new exotic financial maneuver, the monetary currency becomes increasingly divorced from the value of human productivity.  With every new advancement in social media applications, human productivity is becoming less controlled by money.  Watch the news – the battle fields are all about who what when where and how someone can control what is between your ears.

Not surprisingly, governments, marketers, advertisers and even academia are the first and most public victims of losing control of their message.  Their message is being re-written by forces outside their control.

This is serious – Don’t let anyone try to convince you that the value of social currency is not hedging the value of financial currency.

Today, we are on the cusp of the greatest revolution that the world has ever known. The control of money may go to the banks but the control of value will not.  It will happen when people decide it will happen.  Perhaps they already have…2012 anyone?