This post follows on from previous posts that have detailed the design of the commons game (and assumes some prior knowledge of the idea).

The basic idea of the commons game is a social process that rewards people with credit when they produce a commoning act. Players can then use this credit in a ‘market’ of players to exchange services or goods. The gamification aspect of it is in rewarding players that carry out commoning acts, or players that fund commoning acts, or that exchange credit on the market.

One of the challenges in the design is to simply find the systems and platforms that can functionally run the game. Enter Co-budget and Neeboz.


Recently I can across Co-budget on a trip to Wellington NZ to find out about Enspiral. Mix Irving gave me a patient and in depth tutorial. I was really impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of the system.

Co-budget is the system that many Enspiral ventures use for sourcing and allocating funds. It is like participatory budgeting, it is also like internal crowdfunding. It is a good system for rewarding commoning acts because it allows any user in the system to suggest a commoning act, and then relies on voluntary and distributed contributions for the suggestions to get funded.

Thus co-budget solves the problem of how to decide and reward commoning acts in the commons game system.


Neeboz is an Australian based platform that incentivizes a sharing economy within local neighbourhoods. It was founded by Jodie Hampson and was established in Melbourne as a testing ground for its development.

Neeboz has some very good features built into it. First, it has a map that lists users by geographical area (if users wish to be listed). Secondly, it asks users to list several services they can provide or resources they can share (users earn bonus credits for providing this), and allows users to contact each other via the secure platform (this acting as a social network). Thirdly it has as credit system, meaning that people can hold the value of a service or offer they provided in Neeboz dollars, and use this to elicit a service from a third person.

Neeboz therefore solves the problem of a platform that can act as a market place, elicits peoples service / goods offers, has a needs board, can track credit, and can track all activity so that it may be gamified.


Co-budget and Neeboz would be used to run a small scale test of the commons game. This is how it would work.

  • We would develop a crowd fund campaign, perhaps asking for $10 to play the game. (the game is time limited and would go for 6-10 weeks)
  • Jodie’s target for critical mass is 1000 users. We would start with a modest target of 250 players. We could scale it up later once we became more confident the system works well. We would likely start with Melbourne to do a small scale test, then Australia wide to reach bigger numbers.
  • If the game were funded, the money would go into social media, administration, and gaming support.
  • Each of the game players would be allocated a set number of Co-budget credit. (to know about how co-budget works, see this video).
  • Players would use the co-budget system to propose co-budget buckets. These buckets would represent commoning acts. It may be that existing community programs use this (such as community groups needing help). And group based commoning would also be good to do (but figuring out how to do this in the platforms is trickier).
  • Players would fund any of the buckets they want to.
  • Once a bucket is funded, the bucket proposer would carry out the commoning deed, and would be rewarded with the co-budget credits they wanted for that deed. (for example if they promised to clean up the local creek for 50 credit – if the bucket was funded then they would get that credit as soon as the creek was cleaned.)
  • That credit would then be available to use on the trading platform Neeboz.
  • Players would use the Neeboz platform to trade and exchange things, and get points or stages for various categories (most diverse trading / highest quantity of trading, etc).
  • People could use their Neeboz dollars to put back into the Co-budget system, to fund more commoning acts. Thus technically a player could focus on providing services on the neeboz platform to earn credit to fund co-budget commoning. Commoning acts are verified by a post by the doer with a picture of the act.

Diagrammatic description


Published by jramos

José Ramos is a researcher, writer and advocate for commons-based social change. He focuses on such areas as future political economy, planetary stewardship, innovations in democracy and governance, the conjunction of foresight and action research, and transformative social innovation.

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