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The evolution of trust

If trust is the new currency, and my only quibble with that statement is the word 'new', then exploring what trust is, how it works, and why it is so valuable is something worth doing. People do work on this stuff, some of them model it so you can get to grips with the basics experimentally.

Below is a link to an interactive site which allows you to explore what cheating does to a situations in which trust is required - and how variations in behaviour, even the role of simple mistakes, can have an effect on the behaviour present in the whole system. It does take time, about half an hour. I enjoyed working through the site with Matthew, my youngest child, who is twelve, who found it and brought it to my attention. Making predictions and testing them was fun and fast-paced. It helped us to have a conversation about trust, and how we respond when people let us down - and how others perceive us when we let them down. It shows the value of forgiveness in economic systems to allow trust to recover - and demonstrates that is a profitable approach. All in all, it was a valuable contribution to thinking about some of the challenges we have in developing market structures that support good conduct.

Click here to play an interactive game of trust by Nick Case.

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