The GAVNet TimeBank initiated a “portfolio of projects” in which the performance of the projects transfers a certain measure of value to the overall portfolio. This value extends, thereby, to the people who participate and the roles they play in the projects, the timebanks to which participants belong, and the entirety of the timebank network.
The GAVNet TimeBank Portfolio includes projects that pertain to individual interests and group endeavors. Among the basic principles of timebanking is that each person has value as a living human being. That value is expressed by what one does with one’s time whether asleep or awake. The challenge, though, is to know what one another thinks, says, does, with whom, where, and when. While information and communication technology gets increasingly clever at gleaning some of that information through our interactions with it as we communicate with others, it still lacks the full context and therefore, true significance. The projects in the GAVNet portfolio encourage each of us to particular ways to express ourselves more fully, establish a greater familiarity among us, and increase the potential for our combined talents, skills, and experiences to advance the greater good.
The purpose of the Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) TimeBank is to act as an “experimental lab” in which to play with different approaches to establishing the exchange value of one’s time aside from monetary measures and, in so doing, advance the development of a time-based economy as a viable adjunct to the predominant monetary economy.
If you would like to participate in GAVNet TimeBank Portfolio Projects, please follow these steps:
Typically, a timebank serves a specific geographic area and whose members include individuals, each with a unique intelligence footprint, wide-ranging life experiences, and inherent skills, as well as community-based organizations of various types. Members make requests for services and offer services to be delivered using software that matches requests with offers; records time credits and debits between the timebank accounts associated with completed exchanges; documents the satisfaction level about each exchange; and provides a process for recourse should it be warranted.
Most members engage in exchanges among themselves within the purview of the local community timebank to which they belong. Furthermore, they fulfill these request and offer exchanges face-to-face since they reside within the same locality and the required work can only be done onsite rather than virtually. The frequency and variety of these exchanges build greater familiarity and trust among members — and it adds to the “social value” of the timebank within the eyes of the community it serves. While this is commendable in and of itself, in the rising age of systems, platforms, and applications that connect people anywhere at anytime, it poses a key question:
How can this local value be exchanged on a broader scale well beyond the boundaries of the community in which it originates?
In addition to the timebank being a standalone entity, it is also a “node” within a worldwide timebank network. As such, timebank members also belong to a global community and they may participate in exchanges of virtual services via inter-trading with members of another timebank in the network regardless of location. And this feature opens the door for members—as individuals and organizations—from multiple timebanks across the network to participate in projects of varying size, scope, scale and ranging from relative simplicity to vast complexity. These projects carry the potential to have broad social impact by facilitating the availability and accessibility of basic needs to those whose lives—dependent on the monetary economy—have been disrupted by natural disasters, pandemics, forced migration, or violent conflict. As a result, the success of these projects to deliver on their missions and fulfill their purposes establishes a baseline of tangible value for time-based economic initiatives.
In an effort to facilitate a shift from a monetary economy to one that is time-based, the GAVNet TimeBank encourages the application of “The Accounts: New Forms of Capital and Relevant Currencies” under development by Global Solidarity Accounting—an initiative framed by the work of Arthur Dahl and co-sponsored by the International Environment Forum (IEF) and the Ethical Business Building the Future (ebbf):
“Recent efforts to think about the well-being of humans and nature in other than financial terms (see the accounting page) suggest new ways to help local communities read their local reality and consult on possible social actions. The approach is not to suggest solutions, but to help to ask the right questions about the challenges we all face in a world materially united but socially and spiritually divided. We invite you to consider sharing this with your own community.” 1
The Global Solidarity Accounting (GSA) framework identifies nine actionable “accounts” or topical areas and associated work groups:
As timebank members contribute and document their time into these accounts, an increasing flow of ideas and initiatives will populate “community portfolios” and drive “deep adaptation” as termed by Jem Bendell in his paper: “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy:”
In effect, timebank members who participate in this GSA Initiative will be immersed in a “change management process” that begins by convening Conversations That Matter (CTM), leading to experimentation with Ways That Work (WTW), and resulting in Changes That Sustain (CTS):
In keeping with this three-phase change management process to further experimentation with the GSA framework, the IEF proposes convening conversations as a starting point:
“The Global Solidarity Conversations aim to bring people from all backgrounds and all political spectrums together, to build social cohesion in societies often divided, to consult about the needs of their communities or neighborhoods and to assist them in bringing about transformational social change.”
To facilitate timebank member participation in this experiment with the GSA framework, the GAVNet TimeBank — in concert with the hOurworld global timebank network — have developed the following approach:
The more we can use social media to make public what we’re about — akin to an open journal — the more we learn about one another: how we see the world, the acts of service we do, the acknowledgement we give others for their worthy deeds, and the citations of works and words that inspire us.
The GAVNet TB will credit you for the time you spend to maintain an online journal and post routine updates to it on the public forum(s) of your choice.
Throughout the course of our day, we often bookmark online postings and publications encountered through online searches, recommendations from contacts, newsfeeds, etc. Not only do these hold our attention, they may very well be of interest to others who do not know about them—which is easily the case given the number of new websites launched every day. Although none of us can come close to scratching the surface of what’s out there, we can share what grabs us as global timebank members and make it available for others to check out.
The GAVNet TB will credit you for the time you spend collecting bookmarks and posting them to the public forum(s) of your choice.
Writing/Research/Publishing: Content Curation
Late in 2021, a group of seasoned veterans in community activism decided to express their concerns on a global stage about the urgency posed by the consequences of climate change and the inadequate measures taken thus far by governments and corporations worldwide to address them. To press their point, they targeted Earth Day (April 22), 2023 for a global “flashmob” whereby those who refuse to accept continued inaction gather in their localities and unite in their statement of resistance to this demonstrated lack of enthusiasm throughout much of the public and private sectors. The group distributed a letter that outlines five “immediate actions” they would like whoever reads it to take.
The How's The Weather? initiative as a "member" of the GAVNet TB will credit you for the time you spend 1) distributing the How’s the Weather? letter to your contacts and 2) forwarding information to email@example.com about organizations whose purpose is to address the consequences of climate change for inclusion in the Resource Connections table.
Writing/Research/Publishing: Information Distribution
Primary interests in this initiative include learning more about the following:
The GAVNet TB will credit you for the time you spend contributing to the development and application of a survey instrument / inquiry process that addresses these questions.
Writing/Research/Publishing: General Research
Writing/Research/Publishing: Survey Assistance