Project Overview

The Principled Societies Project is a science-based effort to design and test new local monetary, finance, and corporate systems that improve well-being and speed the transition to a sustainable society. The focus is on studying approaches, educating the public, developing software to run new systems, testing new systems in a live pilot trial, and assessing results.

The pilot trial will be implemented in a willing host city in a volunteer subset of its population. Those individuals, businesses, nonprofits, schools, and government agencies interested in participating will form a membership-based community benefit corporation, called a Principled Society Corporation (PSC). A PSC creates new local currency by fiat, debt free, and channels it toward those businesses and projects that provide the greatest public benefit. The local currency complements the dollar.

Once the pilot trial is completed, the software to run the system will be offered to the public under an open-source license.

Principled Societies Concept

The starting framework for new monetary, finance, and corporate systems is described in the book Creating Sustainable Societies: The Rebirth of Democracy and Local Economies, by John Boik. A synopsis and free PDF copy of the book are available on this website.

The framework contains three interdependent elements:

  1. Token Exchange System (TES). The token is a local electronic currency that acts as an influx of money into a local economy. The volume and circulation rate are managed to prevent inflation. Members receive tokens through their employer or through sales if they own a business, even a hobby business. A TES generates interest-free loans for local businesses, as well as donations for local schools, nonprofits, and public services.
  2. Principled Business Model. The types of business models funded by a TES include the standard corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, and cooperative, as well as a new community-centric corporate model called a Principled Business. A Principled Business is a for-profit corporation that retains the social mission, transparency, and accountability of a nonprofit. It is legally organized as a socially responsible L3C, B-Corporation, or similar, but also meets an additional set of criteria that helps to ensure it acts consistent with its social mission and in a fashion that maximizes community benefit. A Principled Business is designed to succeed in a token-dollar economy.
  3. Collaborative Governance System. A PSC makes its decisions, develops its rules, and sets its policy through an online system of direct democracy called the Collaborative Governance System.

A fourth meta-component that intertwines the other three is a reputation system. In a PSC, reputation is a form of currency. Members can build their reputation by participating in governance activities, by assisting others, by making wise funding decisions, by building successful businesses, and in numerous other ways. The high degree of transparency present in the three core elements serves to inform the reputation system, and the reputation system helps builds community.


The Principled Societies Project now has a 501(c)3 nonprofit fiscal sponsor, and donations made to the Principled Societies Project are tax-deductible. First-year efforts will focus on developing computer models to simulate the flow of tokens and dollars in a virtual local economy. The models will be used to improve system design and examine economic outcomes that might be produced in a live trial.

Once computer simulations are completed, efforts will focus on developing the software to run the new systems. Finally, a live pilot trial will be implemented and results assessed. The estimated time from start to completion of the two-year pilot trial is six years, given adequate funding.

We Need Your Support

Your support allows the Principled Societies Project to move forward in developing new systems and software and implementing a pilot trial. We invite individuals, corporations, foundations, and others to support our efforts with a donation or grant. Volunteers are welcome too.


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The Principled Societies Project is financially supported by the generous contributions of individuals, corporations, and foundations.
© 2012 John Boik.