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New economies: Time Banks

A time bank is a system of exchange of services for time. In it the "currency" of exchange is not the usual money, is a measure of time, for example the hour.

It is a system for exchanging services for services or call it something else, favors to favors. It proposes the advantage of promoting social relations and equality between people. Use to solve various problems present in today's economy, as a complementary or alternative market economy.

As a precedent we can found in the nineteenth century the Cincinnati Time Store promoted by the anarchist movement, in which people could change part of their time for goods they needed, and they made the corn element change control. Today Time Banks works differently, while retaining its essence.

We all have capabilities that we live every day, according to our needs, interests, work and lifestyle. These occupations give us experience and skills that can be applied to perform various tasks. Obviously people have a limit that does not allow us to get all occupations and skills we'd like, or need. And that is the fundamental basis of time banks. In them we exchange our performing tasks time in which we can help others, usually providing a service according to our training or experience, to use this time "invested" in a task for which we have no ability and need that other person make for us.

People of any age are potential users of a Time Bank, but normally youngsters are the main group that fills the social base. Proof of this is that a large majority of these existing banks at Spanish towns are promoted by the Department of Youth of the municipalities. Young people are a group that not having a significant economic availability, and sometimes they enjoy more free time, in that way, you can involved in initiatives like time banks, a way to help people improve their quality of life and to gain access to some services that otherwise would not .

If you did not know this kind of initiative you’ll be surprised that time banks are widespread initiative in Europe, as well as being launched from different sectors of society, both from the public to the private initiative organized in small or bigger groups. For instances, in Seville we find several promoted from different areas.

Following the example of their presence on some Europeans countries:

 Sascha PohfleppItaly
It is the pioneer in Europe in this parallel format of alternative economy. Exchanges of time came to Italy in 1992 by the trade union of pensioners Parma. There are currently 300 banks and time

United Kingdom
This initiative came from the US in 1998, in which a campaign is done to support the creation of new Time Bank supported by the BBC. Currently there are regional networks that collaborate over 300 Banks time.

Portugal
It started from the Community Action Program for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men in the European Union: FromInternational Movement of Catholic Women. Currently have a real network of branches across the country, with headquarters in Lisbon responsible for promoting, advising and exchange experiences among all branches. They are involved over 300 organizations.

France
They have promoted the Knowledge Exchange Networks: contacted people who want to learn or acquire training to people who want teach or communicate knowledge, information or skills. The main difference from traditional time bank payment is not produced or hourly rate of exchange and there is no accounting or account for each partner. But the exchange is motivated, that you learn to teach well and vice versa. The currency exchange is in this case the knowledge, understanding and commitment

In every country and European region we can find our Time Bank, and there is always one nearby where we can collaborate, or at least participate to through social exchange we can access goods and services that otherwise we could not. We encourage you to participate in this initiative and to seek your Time Bank.

Use your time wisely!


Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Mairena del Aljarafe