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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Valueflows?

Valueflows is a vocabulary and model (an ontology) that is intended to cover any economic activity, focused on the economic networks of the "next economy", but also supporting conventional businesses and supply chains. It's purpose is to facilitate interoperability between various economic software.

Does Valueflows include an application that I can run or fork?

No, Valueflows is only the vocabulary and documentation. There are some applications that have been and are being created using Valueflows and/or exposing Valueflows as an api here. They are all open source.

How do we think of the "economy"?

Community Economies has a definition we like a lot. "In conventional usage, economy often refers to a system of formal commodity production and monetary exchange. Our use of the term is much broader. The 'eco' in economy comes from the Greek root oikos, meaning 'home' or 'habitat'—in other words, that which sustains life. The 'nomy' comes from nomos, meaning management. We view economy as referring to all of the practices that allow us to survive and care for each other and the earth. Economy, understood this way, is not separate from ecology, but refers to the ongoing management—and therefore negotiation—of human and nonhuman ecological relations of sustenance."

What do we mean, “economic network”?

An economic network consists of independent economic agents (individual people or organizations) collaborating to produce and distribute goods and services to meet human and ecological needs. For example, food, clothing, housing, education, health care. healthy soil, etc.

What do we mean, "next economy"?

We want to support experiments towards:

  • cooperation rather than competition;
  • open, shared, common knowledge instead of jealously-guarded “intellectual property”;
  • sustainable production instead of getting away with as much plunder as possible;
  • “equitable distribution of value” vs exploitation for profit;
  • respecting nature and our environment.

What makes Valueflows different than conventional economic vocabularies like UBL?

The Valueflows model is designed to support:

  • coordination of economic activity both inside and between organizations, an enterprise is not assumed;
  • reciprocity with or without money, money is not assumed;
  • ecological agents as part of the network; externalities as resources.

Other economic vocabularies are focused on conventional capitalit enterprise operational and accounting needs.

Where can I read more about REA?

Here are a lot of REA links.

What formats is Valueflows available in?

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.

What if I want a different format or protocol?

We will add formats and protocols as requested.

What is the current release?

The current release and status can be found in Introduction/Release and Status.

Where are the rules for economic events effects on economic resources?

You can find those under Concepts/Actions.

Where can I find the logic for track and trace?

You can find that under Algorithms/Track and Trace.