Austin Time Exchange Network
The Austin Time Exchange Network (ATEN) is one of the many Time Banks in the United States and around the world which allows local communities to exchanges services without depending on cash for absolutely everything. This has become more important as people find themselves with less cash, strained employment and crunched credit.
Boasting almost 300 members, the Austin Time Exchange is approaching four years of exchanges between members of the Austin community and surrounding cities.
Here is how it works.
If Sally mows the lawn for Jack, Sally earns an hour. She can use that hour for an hour of any service listed on the Time Exchange with any member. Those services include computer help, music lessons, massage and rides to the airport. Sally doesn't have to trade directly with Jack like traditional barter systems, but can exchange with other members in the community.
Why people participate.
Members of the Austin Time Exchange are looking for a stronger community. Under the principles of co-production, they build up a community where neighbors can rely on neighbors when needs arise as opposed to waiting for money to be available.
It doesn't replace the dollar for everything, but it is a tool to give and receive with new friends so they don't have to keep putting off painting that shed, repairing that sink or finding childcare to go on a date with their spouse for the first time in months.
Some members use it to offer up their vocations of entertainment, healing or education to their neighbors. Musicians, artists, filmmakers, computer programmers and other professionals exchange skill strengths or can collaborate on work together.
Small businesses can find the start-up help they've been looking for.
Neighborhood associations can use the Austin Time Exchange to encourage interaction between neighbors. It might be a way to introduce neighbors to each other who otherwise might not meet, as well as learning something new about a neighbor - like, that she can offer those bag pipe lessons you always wanted to take.
Non-profit organizations can use the Time Exchange to find volunteers to continue their mission, sometimes in exchange for services or meeting space. We can often connect with populations that might not otherwise be aware of the local organization and their needs.
Meet and greet
We're inviting old members, new members and those who have questions to come to our Harvest Soiree on November 8th. We will be providing orientations to new members, followed by socializing and discussing our economy over potluck meals. Even if you just want to drop by to ask questions and find out more, we'd like to see you.
5:00 – new member introduction meeting and orientation
6:00 – community-wide potluck – please bring some food to share with others
6:30 – We will have a brief conversation with Treasure City and Consumers Union
Location: 1210 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702
For more information or to request a presentation to your community group or non-profit, contact us at [email protected]
Here's a brief interview with Time Banks founder Edgar Cahn explaining the concept.