Before the invention of money, people exchanged services for services and goods for goods in a system that was called bartering. Bartering is now dead. Or is it? Timebanks.org seeks to create local networks of people willing to exchange favors based on the idea that every single individual has something that they can offer another individual. Everyone has needs and everyone has something they can do to fulfill the needs of another person. Families and friends often have an informal versions of this exchange of services in that we usually try to do favors for our friends and family when we are able to so. In exchange, friends and family often do favors for us when they are able to do so. TimeBanks seeks to formalize this mutual exchange through technology. TimeBanks goes a step further and allows groups of people to help one another.
For example, if you are a grandmother/grandfather that has years of experience caring for children. You can offer this service to a busy parent and gain “time credit.” If there comes a time when you might need to move heavy furniture out of your home, you can put out a request and someone with the skills to help you can earn time credit themselves for doing this.
“The idea is simple: I earn a time credit by doing something for you. It doesn’t matter what that “something” is. You turnaround and earn a time credit doing something for someone else. For example, an hour of gardening equals an hour of child-care equals an hour of dentistry equals an hour of home repair equals an hour of teaching someone to play chess.”