Jobs and society  |  Publications  |  08.07.2011

The New Wealth of Time: How timebanking helps people build better public services

Problems in the money economy and our debt-based banking system have been laid bare by the recent financial and economic crises. This report from the New Economics Foundation describes an alternative means of exchange to keep our communities and public services vibrant: time.

The report describes how timebanking, as a tool to stimulate co-production, is already helping to create better services across a range of areas, including mental and physical health, services for young people and older people, regeneration, housing and criminal justice.
Co-production is a theory based on the premise that people and societies flourish more readily where relationships are built on reciprocity and equity: enabling people to give freely, yet also facilitating the give-and-take of time, knowledge, skills, compassion and other assets. These are not commodified through allocating them a ‘price’. They are abundant, not scarce, in our communities.

Timebanking is a practical tool that enables co-production. Unlike the money economy, timebanking values all hours equally: 1 hour of time = 1 time credit, whether you are a surgeon or an unemployed single mother. Timebanking recognises that everyone, even those defined as disadvantaged or vulnerable, has something worthwhile to contribute.

This report shows how timebanking can help give people more control over their lives, prevent needs arising and grow what we call the ‘core economy’ – our ability to care for and support each other and to engage in mutual and non-materialistic exchanges and civic activity.

Edited extract from the executive summary.

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