The Wishing Tree project is currently comprised of a group of founding organisations who are members of Aberdeen Business Network which is one of the largest business networks in Aberdeen. The project is currently co-ordinated by a full-time Project Manager Ross Dundas. A part-time marketing and events co-ordinator, Nikki Swinburn and supported by Andrew Smith the leader of Aberdeen Business Network.

These organisations have backgrounds in a variety of specialisms from accountancy and finance to signage and social media. We have agreed to work together to better support startup small businesses in the local area and we are keen to expand the scope of the project online and then on to a national audience as well as better support and promote our offline events.

We do this via Gift Economics. A gift economy is a mode of exchange where services, products and other resources are not sold, but rather given without an explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards.  It is not a barter economy where in contrast there is an explicit exchange of goods or services for money or some other commodity.

Gift economies work on the basis of relationships and an agreement to work for the benefit of society and our local communities as a whole rather than for personal gain. This creates a level playing field and equal opportunities for everyone on the basis of their determination to contribute to society regardless of their socio-economic background or other factors.

The Wishing Tree project aims to apply this principle to small businesses which in turn become larger businesses to try and encourage companies to take advance gift economy principles policies as a core component of their business on an evolutionary basis so that as society adopts gift economics over a long period of time money is no longer the primary consideration in innovative projects but the benefit that it brings everyone not just businesses. Our mission in short is to eliminate the statement “But we can’t afford to” from all discussions surrounding the advancement of science, medicine, the arts, engineering, technology and humanities and other innovative entrepreneurial projects.