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A vocabulary for the distributed economic networks of the next economy

Valueflows (VF) is a standard vocabulary (ontology) to coordinate the creation, distribution, and exchange of economic resources.

The vocabulary will work for any kind of economic activity, but the focus is to facilitate groups experimenting with solidarity / cooperative / collaborative / small business ecosystem / commons based peer production / any transitional economies. We want to enable internetworking among many different software projects for resource planning and accounting within fractal networks of people and groups. Specifically, we want to support resource flows connecting many software applications.

Or, with less buzzwords, "let's help a lot of alternative economic software projects that are solving different pieces of the same puzzle be able to interoperate".

The vocabulary is presented in several ways, as Linked Open Data using the Resource Description Framework (RDF) family of languages, as well as a GraphQL reference and a UML model. We want to support RDF based and non-RDF based uses of the vocabulary, basically any way that people want to use software and data on the internet to help create economic networks. We will add formats as requested.

The project was started by Bob and Lynn, the programmers of the server version of the NRP-CAS.

Some comments


SAP & ERP in general are built around capitalist business logic paradigms. VF aims to model a much broader domain, "resource coordination problems" outside of capitalist patterns as well as within. I'd see this as a higher-order construct that you can model in VF- Valueflows is more abstract and more fine-grained. So yes, in theory we should be able to build apps that work like SAP apps but "speak VF" and translate SAP data in/out of hREA.


REA/Valueflows is a real-time, integrated, cross-organization business modeling tool, where a business model isn't "a plan that shows how money will be captured by an organization" but rather its "a plan embeded in a real-time, itteratively changeable, feedback system that shows how value will be created (and has been created) in an ecosystem". To which Jill Burrows adds: It also allows seeing sloppiness/wastefulness in supply chains/business plans along with the ability to fine tune it. Or someone could use the data to see viable investment opportunities to fill various emerging needs/niches.

See also

  • REA ontology on which Valueflows is based.
  • hREA, which is an implementation of Valueflows / REA on Holochain