Commitment Pooling

Tags: commitment, promise theory, voucher, liquidity, pooling, rotational labor, production financing, protocol


In the heart of Kenya, where the wisdom of local elders and communities still weaves through the fabric of society, Grassroots Economics discovered a powerful concept: traditional economic systems that have sustained communities for generations. These systems (called Rotational Labor Associations), deeply rooted in mutual aid and resource sharing, have inspired the Commitment Pooling Protocol.

It began with our work alongside local elders and communities in Kenya, learning from their deep understanding of non-monetary economics based on mutual service and community resource coordination. This collaborative journey has allowed us to distill the essence of traditional economic practices into a comprehensive protocol applicable worldwide.


The Commitment Pooling Protocol is structured around four core interfaces:

  1. Curation of Assets: This is the foundation, enabling the collection and organization of various commitments within a community, transforming individual promises into a communal asset pool.
  2. Limiter: It sets boundaries within the pool, ensuring that the commitments remain balanced and manageable, preventing overexposure to individual risks.
  3. Price Index: A Relative Value Index establishes the worth of different commitments within the pool, facilitating fair and equitable exchanges among participants.
  4. Exchange Logic: This governs the interactions within the pool, detailing how commitments can be exchanged, fostering a dynamic ecosystem of mutual support.

These interfaces lay the groundwork for a myriad of economic activities, from local trading systems, to production financing and transitionary polycentric global networks, all while maintaining the essence of community and mutual support. This protocol empowers communities to create a more inclusive and resilient economic future, echoing the collaborative spirit of traditional practices.

For a closer look at how the Commitment Pooling Protocol translates into real-world applications, check out our YouTube short, which presents a tabletop simulation illustrating the protocol in action: Watch the Simulation.

The protocol offers a way to not only to finance the production of needed services like Ecosystem Stewardship - it opens a path for networks of service providers to for virtuous cycles of asset development. This merger of liquidity investment, market dynamics and traditional non-monetary economics is a way to divest from unhealthy investments into utility that supports people and planet.

Additionally, delve deeper into the conceptual underpinnings and practical applications of this protocol by reading the paper published in IJCCR.

Grassroots Economics continues to explore, innovate, and apply these principles, driven by the belief that the wisdom of the past, when paired with the technology of the present, can pave the way for a sustainable economic future. Join us in this journey, embracing the power of community and commitment to create a world where economics truly serves the well-being of all.