Spirit of Gift
ServiceSpace, for the last twenty years, has been "designing for generosity" in the hope of stewarding a cultural shift from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, isolation to community, and scarcity to abundance.
A very tangible manifestation of this approach is to not charge for any of its offerings, nor include any advertisement or solicitations. It is not that you don't need any reciprocity, but rather that you trust in gratitude to unlock indirect reciprocity with multiple forms of wealth. That approached has helped seed micro gift-economies, and eventually, far deeper gift ecologies in many parts of the planet.
Subsequently, we offer Banyan Grove space in that same spirit. It is a contribution from someone who came before you and at the end of your stay, you have a chance to pay-it-forward for future guests and continue the circle of giving.
In keeping with that ethos of bringing the "priceless in circulation", we invite all event hosts at Banyan Grove to also adopt a gift heart.
What's an example of a gift economy? Karma Kitchen is a restaurant, where you walk in and your check reads zero. Not because it's free, but because someone before you has paid for you; and after your meal, you are invited to pay-forward whatever you want for the person after you. It has been experimented in 23 places around the globe, with hundreds of thousands of meals.
Would people give when they don't have to? UC Berkeley business school has done research on this, and title itself is telling: Paying More When Paying For Others Of course, there is no cookie-cutter approach, but the principle is this: if the context is strong enough, gratitude is generative.
How do I explain this to others? This is dependent on the context; if you are offering "Wisdom Crafts" made by underprivileged women in India, you would describe it very differently than if running an art magazine in Oakland. Here is a collection of various articulations that offer a broader canvas that you could draw from.
It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert.
--Jacques Yves Cousteau