Tokken is an online platform that allows individuals, communities, and organizations to connect and extend help to each other. It promotes “fun”, “paying it forward”, “sustainability”, and “leadership building through contribution”. Tokken is initiated, designed, and implemented by IdeaNotion, its affiliates, and partners.

Tokken’s value proposition is built upon two supplementary philosophies.

Pay It Forward

The concept of “Pay It Forward” was popularized with the book Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde, which was later made into a movie with the same title, starring Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment, and Kevin Spacey.  In the movie, Mr. Simonet gives his class an unusual assignment – think up a practical way to make the world a better place, and put it into action. Trevor comes up with the notion of Pay It Forward – do a needed favor for three different people without being asked, and then ask them to do the same for three others. [1]

Tokken advocates the “Pay It Forward” concept and believes that it is truly a practical way to make the world a better place. Tokken serves as an online channel for people to practice this kind act and further to realize the impact they could potentially make. “Pay It Forward” is not just a concept. It is a movement.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
– Sir Winston Churchill

No person was ever honored for what he received, but for what he gave.
– Calvin Coolidge


Reciprocation refers to an interchange of acts. It is a giving and returning of kindness – people tend to return a favor. [2] Reciprocity is the first of the six principles of persuasion, propelled by Dr. Robert Cialdini, who is an internationally respected expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation. He is arguably the most cited social psychologist in the world today. His book “Influence: Science and Practice” and “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” is the results of years of study into the reasons that people comply with requests in business and other settings. Together, they have sold over two million copies and have been translated into 26 languages.

Tokken is set out to promote the notion of reciprocation and to encourage the practice of reciprocation. We believe community with members that offer help to each other will ultimately be more competitive in the long run. Tokken incorporates the good old concept of Give and Take to facility reciprocal behaviors in the system.

“I am obligated to give back to you the form of behavior that you first give to me. If you invite me to one of your parties, I will invite you to one of my own. If you remember my birthday to a gift, I should remember yours.  If you do me a favor, I owe you a favor. In the context of obligation, people say yes to what they owed. “
– Robert Cialdini

The system has implemented a few key features to propel the founding principals.


To support groupings, a “Circle” concept has been introduced in the system. Circle is loosely defined, as it could represent an organization, a user group, or even a common interest. Each user in the system can belong to multiple Circles, while pertaining to one primary Circle.


Tokken is not only the name of the website, but also a virtual currency in the system that allows people and organizations to trade favors/kind acts/helping hands. Each user will be given a set number of Tokkens to begin in the system. Users of the system can do two things: Help and Get Help. Receiving a favor will consume a Tokken, whereas giving a favor will gain a Tokken. By trading services in such virtual currency, the system enforces the practice of reciprocation and promotes the concept of Pay It Forward.

Influence Graph

The application will track the number of people one has extended their help to. The virtual exchange unit of Tokken is designed to capture an individual or an organization’s influence by transforming the influential power into an interactive “influence graph”. Influential power generates philanthropic social status. By Following people with high influential power can then create Circle of Confidence. As individuals conduct more kind acts they will improve their influential status.

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