What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is a term native to Southern Africa embodying an ancient principle common to many tribal peoples: “I AM because you are.”

worldtreeThe Wikipedia article says it “means literally ‘human-ness…but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.”

Michael Tellinger, a South African researcher, author, and activist, began an “Ubuntu Contributionism” system, which he hopes will “restore this harmonious balance between the people and the Earth providing abundance for all, because it is an environment which allows its citizens to all contribute their natural talents and acquired skills to the greater benefit all the people in the community…[even in] areas not financially viable under the present economic system.”

Mercado Ubuntu is an online manifestation of this principle. Rather than charging and paying set prices, we offer our gifts and welcome gifts in exchange.

A “mercado” is often times an open-aired marketplace with individual vendors all peddling their wares. This is like the digital version of that. Right now it’s just a few items but lots more funky, healthy, conscious co-creators coming soon!

I can’t wait to welcome other gift-givers to offer their goodies! 

Sounds great, but how does Mercado Ubuntu work?

I’ve listed a few gifts I created—organic flower essences—to get the party started. You’ll see that when you select one, you’re asked what you’d like to offer for it. Right now you can choose from 3 levels of offering in dollars.

How do I choose?

This is the best part! You choose based on what feels good to you. So instead of just handing it over, you actively participate in the contribution. If you’re tight on cash, choose the modest offering. If you’re doing fine and you’d love to support this experimental exchange, choose the abundant offering. And if you’re somewhere in the middle…well you get the idea. ;]

I like the idea, but I don’t have money to give.

If you have your eye on a gift but you’re low on cash and you have something else you might like to exchange, we accept some Non-Monetary Offerings. Not all offerings can be accepted, but we try to accommodate as many as possible!

What kinds of things can I offer?

Right now we are able to accept offerings in kind (like something that you sell or make yourself) and some services which can be provided digitally/remotely (like information products, remote healing, coding, audio editing, etc.).

However this is a constantly evolving experimental exchange and we are open to new ideas!

Acceptance is based on whether the gift-giver you would like to make an offering to feels that their gift and your offering are a good match. Every case is different!

I make gifts too! How can I join?

Yay! I can’t wait to co-create a network of conscious giving and receiving with you. If you choose to become a gift-giver with Mercado Ubuntu, you get to decide:

  • Which gifts you want to offer, and how many 
  • How your gifts are listed, including images and words 
  • What you would like to accept as offerings (monetary and/or non) 
  • Whether you’d like to send gifts yourself, or have us send them for you