The roots of Time Banking extend back to the creation of Time Dollars™ in 1980 when Dr. Edgar S. Cahn, co-founder of the National Legal Services Program, author of “Our Brother’s Keeper,” and founder of the Antioch School of Law, suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 46. Recuperating in the hospital and “feeling useless,” he dreamed up Time Dollars as a new currency to provide a solution to massive cuts in government spending on social welfare. If there was not going to be enough of the old money to fix all the problems facing our country and our society, Edgar reasoned, why not make a new kind of money to pay people for what needs to be done? Time Dollars value everyone’s contributions equally. One hour equals one TimeDollar. Seven years later (in 1987) at the London School of Economics, Edgar developed his theoretical explanation for why the currency should work.
Timebanking was founded by Edgar Cahn upon Five Core Values.
We are All Assets: Everyone has something to offer. No one knows or does everything, and everyone knows and can do something.
Some Work is Valuable Beyond Market Price: Work needs to be recognized and rewarded. Everyone benefits when we work toward raising healthy children, building strong families, revitalizing neighborhoods, living sustainably, and fostering social justice. Timebank Media is an initiative of Transition Town Media, an organization that focuses on local resiliency in all areas of Media’s infrastructure: food & water, economy, transportation, energy, business, currencies, the environment, and — of course — community.
Helping Works Better as a Two-Way Street: When neighbors help one another, we are all stronger. The community we create offers a greater reward than simply the sum of the work done.
We Need Each Other: Alone, we are limited in what we can achieve. Networks are stronger than individuals. When we work together, we can build the world we envision. That’s why we are working so hard to re-weave community.
Every Human Being Matters: There are no throw-away people. Everybody has something to offer, and has unmet needs as well.
TimeBanks USA has been working ever since to expand the idea of this alternative economic system, and Timebanks are now active throughout the United States and internationally as well. Every Timebank is unique, however.