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The Dadamac Connect logo (the V with two lines through it) is a symbol for non-financial Value.

A few years ago Nikki Fishman and I were doing a diagram, for our own benefit, showing flows of money,”physical stuff” information, ideas etc within our network.  We were putting “£” signs for money, light bulbs for ideas, “i” for information and so on to help us see what was happening. We realised there was something of value that we hadn’t captured on the diagram. We knew it was there, and it was valuable, but we didn’t know what kind of a symbol to choose for it.

Perhaps what we were trying to capture was all to do with social capital, but I think it was wider than that. Certainly it included social capital and was often to do with the development of strong relationships and trust that had been built up over time. It also included knowledge, a kind of knowledge that was much more than mere “information”.

We decided to put a “V” for value, where ever we recognised this special extra something. It seemed natural to put  the “=” sign through the “V”, a bit like the lines through the letters that stand for dollar, pound and so on. It showed we meant more that just an initial letter. We were emphasising an alternative, non-financial way, to recognise value.

Later it became a coin shaped logo, and a button with the web address on it.

If I fall into conversation with someone who does “really get it” about Alternative Value then I give them a button, to help them share the idea. I’ve made a couple of mistakes giving value buttons, but on the whole if you do see the button, you’ll be seeing someone who understands what it represents. Ask the wearer how/why they got the button. Chances are you’ll hear some interesting stories about people working on things that are of great value, but are not easily matched to any measurement of financial value or reward.

I try to always have a couple of extra buttons with me in case I meet someone who understands what is meant by Alternative Value. If you think you’d be a good person to be wearing a Value button, and our paths cross, please come and introduce yourself and tell me more.