Value Flows vf vocabs

Value Flows icon

Value Flows is a set of common vocabularies to describe flows of economic resources of all kinds within distributed economic ecosystems.

Purpose: to enable internetworking among many different software projects for resource planning and accounting within fractal networks of people and groups.

Or, if that is too many buzzwords, "let's help a lot of alternative economic software projects that are solving different pieces of the same puzzle be able to work together".

If you would like to be part of this conversation, please raise an issue here, or fork this or any of the related repositories and issue pull requests. You can also pop into our welcome gitter chat to make comments, ask questions, or introduce yourself!

Principles (long form)


Might be more to come.

Running code and round trips

What we think Value Flows might be used for


Our next deliverable is to have separate API and UI apps playing with each others' people, groups, and relationships in-between by communicating through a common vocabulary.

Our long-term plan is to refine our common vocabularies, design a set of interoperable protocols for decentralized economic infrastructure, and deploy an ecosystem of interconnected apps to form the backbone of an alternative economic system that supports recipes, planning, and accounting for fractal networks.


This effort began in a conversation between the Network Requirements Planning (NRP), and the Open Apps software projects.

The NRP gang kept running into other apps that did a lot of the same things, or at least parts of the same things, that were used by different groups who wanted to collaborate with each other. So, let's have the different apps be able to collaborate with each other!

And the Open Apps gang (which includes the NRP gang) wants to create "a suite of integrated and open sourced apps which support transparent, democratic and decentralised organising".

Which potentially means many different apps that want to talk to each other. Thus the desire for a common vocabulary.

Who uses this?

NRP is the source of much of the vocabulary, and continues to refine the model, collaborating with user networks like Sensorica. Holodex is using the organization aspects of the vocab.

But most of the vocabulary comes from the Resource-Event-Agent (REA) ontology originated by Professor William McCarthy of Michigan State University in 1982, used in many places around the world.



Resource flows

One of the purposes of this vocab is to support resource flows connecting many websites. These flows may be oriented around Processes, Exchanges, or combinations of both. We are breaking out the Processes and Exchanges into their own vocab repositories, but here some overview diagrams.

In general, processes and exchanges alternate in a flow. But in some situations, either the processes or the exchanges are more important, and the other is not worth tracking and can be elided.

Process-oriented flow

process-oriented flow

Exchange-oriented flow

process-oriented flow

Process-Exchange combination flow

combo flow