"Imagine a Martian landing in a poor neighborhood and seeing rundown communities, people sleeping in the streets, children without mentors or going hungry, trees and rivers dying from lack of care, ecological breakdowns and all of the other problems we face. He would also discover that we know exactly what to do about all these things. Finally, he would see that many people willing to work are either unemployed, or use only a part of their skills. He would see that many have jobs but are not doing the work they are passionate about. And they are all waiting for money. Imagine the Martian asking us to explain what is that strange 'money' thing we seem to be waiting for. Could you tell him with a straight face that we are waiting for 'an agreement within a community to use something - really almost anything - as a medium of exchange'? And keep waiting? Our Martian might leave wondering whether there is intelligent life on this planet"
-Bernard Lietaer's The Future of Money
If you missed the inspiring webinar this week, Timebanking as Community Capital, with Dane County TimeBank Founder Stephanie Rearick, you missed an eye-opening primer into the world of building your own community economy, also known as Timebanking. Far from being a far-fetched fringe movement, creating a community economy that is not centered around money is fast becoming a viable (simple, and easy) form of DIY Economic Justice!
First the lay of the land: We all have something of value, something precious and constant. Time. And we all know ways that we want our world to be better — our own lives to be better. So what are we waiting for? (Hint, if you answered money, you are in for a surprising alternative!) Timebanking is simple. Give an hour. Get an hour. Skills in this simple economic transaction aren’t weighted by value (for example an hour of legal advice is valued the same as an hour of pet care) and that is what makes it beautiful, simple and powerful.
We all have something to give, and we are all looking to receive services or products — but money gets in the way.
Now that you are ready to start your own community timebank, onto the practical application: Many forms of software are available, and there are resources galore to get you started (check out Timebanks.org as a first step).
“We have what we need, if we use what we have.” Let the bartering begin! Thanks Stephanie for opening our eyes to another form of commerce, one that is surely going to become a mainstay in many communities.
Hungry for more? You can purchase the full webinar recording and register for upcoming webinars in the Community Capital series. Join us next time!