User Stories

A few examples of how Circles and the Altruistic Wallet might work

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.

Philip Pullman

Andile, a laborer living in one of the informal settlements surrounding so many African cities, lost his roof and structural beams when a fire broke out and devastated his and a number of his neighbours' shacks.
Getting assistance from the local government is not an option for a number of reasons and Andile had no access to funding through loans other than through a local loan shark. Unfortunately, these loans come with cripplingly high interest rates and a number of the additional risks, making them no option at all.

He doesn’t have the knowledge of English or the experience to set up a crowdfunding campaign, or the network to promote such a campaign, even if the funds he and his neighbours need are relatively small. However, by using the AI interface that the Circles app provides, answering some questions and taking a few pictures, Andile and his neighbours are able to set up a project proposal within hours.

As the project is supported by several other individuals in the community, some of whom already have their own verifiable history through being involved as volunteers in local community initiatives, the hours stored for public reference on their Altruistic Wallets, the relief project is quickly funded. Within days, Andile and his neighbours erected new roofs and uploaded both the receipts for what materials needed to be purchased and pictures of the new roofs.

Portia lives in rural Zimbabwe where she has a small farm that has been in her family for generations. Due to hyperinflation and other structural challenges, getting a loan locally is not feasible and getting an international loan is not possible.

The farm is close to a local primary school with over a thousand students, most of whom are not receiving proper nutrition due to food insecurity. Together with the headmaster, Portia creates a proposal on Circles, to fund a borehole which will provide a reliable water source and the tools, labour and materials needed to expand production to a level where the farm will be able to provide both the schoolchildren and the border community with a more reliable and local food source.

Not only does the project quickly get funded by donors across the globe through the Altruistic Wallet, but a number of local volunteers sign up to help set up the farm and a local business donates the bricks and the concrete to create a reservoir, which stretches the budget even further, allowing for a chicken coop and an additional source of nutrition. The success of the project inspires many rural schools to reach out to local farmers and create similar projects that they post on Circles and receive funding, resources and volunteers for.

Over the ensuing years, the projects report on the results on a regular basis, allowing donors and participants to keep in touch as well as providing them with reliable statistics on nutrition provided, academic results achieved and other useful data. As a result of this single project, more than 50 schools set up their own programs with local farmers ensuring a reliable access to nutrients for close to 100 000 students.

Steve lives in Vancouver and designs websites for a living. It’s reasonably profitable work but not that stimulating and does not give him a sense of truly contributing anything of value to the world. 

He finds out about Circles and creates an account mainly out of professional curiosity. He also decides to set up an Altruistic Wallet that he funds with 10 CAD per month. 

Finding projects that resonate with him and project teams that he feels are trustworthy proves to be both easy and addictive and he quickly allocates his monthly allotment to a number of small projects across the globe focusing on education, allowing teachers to purchase school books and writing materials for their students.

Inspired by this support from a distance, he finds a local organization on Circles that is looking for tutors and signs up for one evening a week at a local school.

Encouraged by the sense of accomplishment, meaning and connection these act inspire, he decides to donate 20 hours of web design through his Altruistic Wallet to any project working in the educational space and sharing Steve’s principles and goals. He soon finds himself in high demand from project managers looking for help, which he is glad to give, helping these projects leverage their message and reach more students, volunteers and donors alike.

Joanna is a successful author. So successful in fact that she has more money than she could possibly spend in a hundred lifetimes. Having come from humble beginnings herself, as the wordsmiths like to put it, she ponders how her fortune can be put the the best use.

Sharing her wealth is a tricky prospect as donating to traditional organizations doesn’t meet her criteria for either efficiency or transparency. She contemplates setting up set up her own foundation to explore ways to allocate her funds, but creating an entire organization to figure out where to allocate her funds is not a job that she relishes.

 However, to her great delight, she reads about the Altruistic Wallet and sets up an account that she funds to the tune of a million pounds. As she believes that every child deserves a happy childhood with food on their table and a roof over their head along with access to quality education, she selects SDGs 1 (No poverty), 2 (No Hunger) and 4 (Quality Education) as the types of projects she wants her funds to go to.

As she is a great believer in female empowerment she sets as a criteria that only projects run by women should be eligible for her funds, but to be sure that not too much funding goes to women with limited experience, she also requires that at least 80 per cent of the funds go to female project managers with at least three successful projects to their name. She also stipulates that the funds go to projects geographically located in the Southern Hemisphere.

As the Altruistic Wallet has been active for a few years and is now funding some larger projects demanding more resources, such as school buildings with computers and a high-speed internet connection, their own solar power and local food systems to ensure that students get access to the world and have at least one reliable meal per day, she allocates half of her resources to projects looking for up to 100 000 pounds, forty per cent of her funding is earmarked for projects that require up to 10 000 pounds to be greenlighted and the final ten per cent to be divided up among projects asking for 1000 dollars or less.

To further ensure that the most viable projects are picked, she delegates the decision power over her funds to the 1000 historically most successful Altruistic Wallets when it comes to picking impactful projects. Satisfied with this selection, she presses the donate button and notes with some excitement as the funds she has released begin greenlighting projects across the southern half of the global map on Circles. Within 24 hours, the million pounds she has allocated have been released and has allowed over 8,000 projects to commence.

Out of curiosity, she clicks on a few of them to find more details about where the funds will go and what the goals of each particular project are. This gives her a deep feeling of satisfaction and meaning, a buzz that lasts for many days and weeks as she finds herself returning to read more about the change made possible, through trusting strangers across the globe, both small and large.

Beatrice is a teenager, and like most teenagers, she cares what other people think and say about her. After having established a public personality and gaining a fair amount of followers on TikTok and Instagram, the darker side of the popularity contest, the trolls and the insecurity have been taking their toll.

Finding out about Circles online, and fancying herself a changemaker, she creates a profile for herself but soon realises that this is a very different digital space than she grew up in. The goal is not to gain followers or praise or virtue signal but to contribute and create change. 

It is intimidating at first, but after signing up and being accepted as a volunteer at a local soup kitchen, she makes new friends who don’t seem to care about taking selfies to tell the world what they were up to this morning. Taking the hint, she puts her camera away and focuses on the task at hand, chopping vegetables and preparing dishes. 

After the shift is over she feels a bit strange to not have documented the activity, but when she later checks her profile on Circles, not only does she find that the project manager of the soup kitchen has verified her three hours but also added a public note on how much the team appreciated her cheerful nature and that she is definitely welcome next Saturday should she wish to volunteer again. This never happened on TikTok, she thinks to herself, and spends the next hour perusing Circles for more opportunities to volunteer, getting tips from her new friends and teammates from earlier in the day. 

She doesn’t know it yet, but she has taken the first step on what will be a long and successful career as a changemaker during which she will run projects across the globe and be welcomed into diverse and distant communities based on her efforts and the endorsement from other members in the network. Just like the kind words from her project manager today.