Our inspiring webinar this week, Timebanking as Community Capital, with Dane County TimeBank Founder Stephanie Rearick, was an eye-opening primer into the world of building your own community economy, also known as Timebanking. Purchase the recording!
“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.
Tenneson Woolf Consulting Blog
“One of the things I love about BALLE is that they are offering solutions and critical connections in a rather complex environment.” Read these reflections on the workshop cohosted by BALLE in Chicago.
The following blog was written by Tenneson Woolf about his experience of the Art of Hosting workshop cohosted by BALLE in September of this year.
Last week Teresa Posakony, Lina Cramer, Kevin Johnson and I worked with Christine Ageton, Alissa Barron and others from the BALLE Network (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies). BALLE is an inspiring and rapidly growing network that represents a strong commitment to restoring community through local businesses. They’ve recently launched their new website with particular branding around connecting leaders, spreading solutions, and sharing helpful resources in the localist movement.
One of the things I love about BALLE is that they are offering solutions and critical connections in a rather complex environment. There is a kind of hunger, heartfulness, and simplicity that I appreciate and saw in the people I met. Their actions are anchored in the simple, an invitation for each person to do what they are doing and a bit more. Yet, their vision is appropriately massive: “Within a generation, we envision a global system of human-scale, interconnected local economies that function in harmony with local ecosystems to meet the basic needs of all people, support just and democratic societies, and foster joyful community life.”
It was an inspiring couple of days spent together in the beauty of Chicago’s Berger Park, on the shore of Lake Michigan. Using the Art of Hosting pattern for learning, we gave attention to several key questions like those named here:
A few other bits of harvest are here:
Blog post from Teresa Posakony on the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce story
Mon, 10/15/2012 – 07:00
Mon, 10/15/2012 – 07:00
First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech this week has been described by many as unique in the world of politics. Political affiliations aside, what moved so many of us was her use of a particular word, used repeatedly, throughout her speech: Love.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech this week has been described by many as unique in the world of politics. Political affiliations aside, what moved so many of us was her use of a particular word, used repeatedly, throughout her speech: Love. Politicians don’t often talk about love, but it is a word we use at BALLE. And this week something happened that could be described as an outpouring of love in Bellingham, Washington, the community where I live.
A 15-year old natural foods store, Terra Organica/Public Market, put out a call for help on facebook last week. This is a BALLE business and a member of local business network Sustainable Connections. The owner, Stephen Trinkhaus admitted he’d taken some expansion risks the past year that had over-extended their business. He said that they were now on the brink of closing.
He said he had decided to ask for help because if they closed, 60 people would lose their jobs — and because he really believes in what he offers our community. If they closed, we would have fewer healthy, thoughtfully selected products and services. So he asked if we’d consider shopping there…a lot…in the next few weeks.
Within hours the Bellingham Herald had posted his letter on their website and by closing their sales had already increased by $2,000 for the day. The next day was their busiest day in all of 2012, and the following day was their busiest in fifteen years of doing business here.
A customer came in and offered a $1,000 check as a gift! Others contributed money as well. One person had the idea of buying extra food to give to the food bank, and through facebook, many others decided to do the same. Far away friends of friends on facebook sent in donations! A local citizen organized a “cash mob” to be held five days after the plea for help – on Facebook alone, well over 300 people said they would participate. Several “competitor” businesses showed up to help too. They encouraged their customers to shop at the store in need; one organized a treasure hunt through Terra Organica and then offered free products at their own stores as gifts. Fundraisers and concerts were organized over-night. Some suppliers donated product! Employees even offered to work for free.
We don’t yet know if this level of support will be enough to turn the corner at this late hour, but the warmth and generosity that is being expressed is beyond moving. As the owner, Stephen Trinkhaus said, “THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THE SUPPORT. Consider us BLOWN AWAY by the outpouring. There have been more than a few tears, and so many hugs that they may well outnumber the quantity of fresh local blueberries sitting on our produce rack right now. BELLINGHAM (and beyond) – WE LOVE YOU!”
Yes. At BALLE we say Yes to relationships, Yes to caring for each other, Yes to love.
BALLE’S founding impulse is well described by our co-founder Judy Wicks,
“At its heart, the localist movement is about love. It’s the power of love that will help us overcome fear in the hard days ahead as we confront the effects of climate change and peak oil. Our love of place, our love of life give us the courage to protect what we care about most – children, communities, animals, nature, all of life on our beautiful planet Earth. And, I would say for the entrepreneurs amongst us, our love of business. Business has been corrupted as an instrument of greed rather than used to serve the common good. Yet we know that business is beautiful when we put our creativity, care, and energy into producing products and services our community needs.”
Nobody needs to do it alone.