Sebastopol (USA) - Sebastopol piloting time banking with goal of expanding community connections


With recent attention on income inequality and concern over skyrocketing North Bay housing costs, Cittaslow Sebastopol and the City of Sebastopol are investigating time banking for Sebastopol residents.

From April to June, the partnership will conduct a pilot study, consisting of up to 40 Sebastopol residents to beta test time bank software and learn more about the experience of time banking.

Sebastopol Hardware inner 7-1-09
A time bank is a method of tracking hours that allows participants to exchange goods and services without the need to exchange cash. It is a network where everyone's time is valued equally. For instance, Member A spends three hours painting a fence for Member B and earns three "time bank credits." Member A can then use those three credits to ask Member C to do childcare, or perhaps ask Member D to help with rototilling.
By earning and spending credits, participants get rewarded for the unique skills they have to share, while building community as they get to know other participants in the time bank network.

"Think of it as a way to more formally thank someone for doing you a favor," said Project Coordinator and Cittaslow Sebastopol Steering Committee member, Maggie Fleming. "It lets you draw from a larger group of people and skill sets. And because everyone's time is valued equally, it does not discriminate based on age, gender, skills or level of education."
The study will begin with a meeting of all participants during the evening of Wednesday, Apr. 6. Participants will complete their profile within the Time Bank software, and then go about meeting people they might want to connect with for services.

Over the next two months, participants will be asked to engage in at giving and receiving one service. They will also be asked to complete an online questionnaire to describe their experience of the time bank.

At the end of the study, participants will meet on Wednesday, June 8, to share more in-depth experiences and talk about potential options for hosting the Time Bank into the future.

Read the full article on: sonomawest.com