Time For The World initiative

dissemination of timebanking at global scale

released October 2010

A request for investment:

We see as the most significant of the global economy’s failures the seemingly intractable entrenchment of poverty, injustice, and social alienation. Despite great effort and money spent to address these problems, they persist.

Something is amiss.

Efforts to inject resources into apparently impoverished communities - currency, infrastructure, education - meet with limited success. The assumption that conditions result from lack of these resources is called into question, since the results of resource injections leave much to be desired. On the one hand, they get frittered away through wasteful programs, or those that exhibit significant declines on marginal returns. While unfortunate, this alone is far from terrible. On the other hand, resource injections generate and feed toxic structures and dependency; institutions adapt to intercept funding streams & direct expenditures towards goals irrelevant to intent.

We believe the current reliance on global currencies for all transactions is intimately linked to the failure of resource injections. When transactions are defined through dollars, lack of currency is lack of ability to engage. Lacking currency, however, is not the same as a lacking value. The problem is that addressable value has been circumscribed by the belief in the currency and its associated definition of wealth. Adding unearned resources can’t fix that.

Time For the World proposes a radical alternative. We hold that communities are not scarce in resources; communities are the basis of all other resources. Everyone in every community has assets or skills that could be offered and needs that, if addressed, would empower them to be and do what they want. What’s missing is infrastructure to facilitate the meeting of needs and assets, one that doesn’t come with external requirement for return or results along an imposed definition of value. Time For the World proposes to aggregate, implement, and freely share the intellectual toolsets to offer this infrastructure.

Timebanking will be at the core of this effort. Philanthropic input has given timebanking a chance, and it demonstrates success where other complementary currencies have not. Some timebanks thrive, some sputter along, and others have folded, but the trend is growing. Time For The World seeks to identify and measure the value generated by those projects, including the 'failures' which may prove to have created positive outcomes of their own. Then we intend to leverage that knowledge to create systems capable of greatly increasing the return on past, present and future investment, capturing and expanding learnings and giving them an outlet.

We have the support of the organizations and timebanks whose investments created this opportunity. They and we believe that this project is both practical, necessary, and timely. We will to come together and invite the world and take techniques organizations like TimeBanks USA have created with the gracious philanthropic support of individuals like you, and enact them on scales no single organization could achieve. We will do this work in partnership with existing Timebanking organizations and leaders, enhancing and complementing one another’s work in a collaborative and cooperative project. For this reason, we cannot accept funds that would otherwise go to existing timebank organizations.

This is a project focused on the empowerment of all people and all communities to define on their own terms what is valued, to break down social alienation imposed on them by currencies that can’t recognize that value, and to redeem the failures of well meaning projects that didn’t respect them as people who will determine their own way in the world. It is a bold move against the status quo, and it is exactly what is needed. Please help.

Thank you for your consideration.

Stephanie & Preston

Links To Project Documents