Timebanking is a means of exchange used to organise people and organisations around a purpose, where time is the principal currency. For every hour participants ‘deposit’ in a timebank, perhaps by giving practical help and support to others, they are able to ‘withdraw’ equivalent support in time when they themselves are in need. In each case the participant decides what they can offer. Everyone’s time is equal, so one hour of my time is equal to one hour of your time, irrespective of whatever we choose to exchange. Because timebanks are just systems of exchange, they can be used in an almost endless variety of settings (taken from Timebanking.org).
The pricing system built into money assigns a high value to things that are scarce and a low value to things that are commonly available. It assigns a high value to activities that make money and a low value to activities that don’t make money. That means that the “tool” we are using to fix the problem can never adequately value certain activities … caring, learning, imparting values, sharing helping others”. Money devalues the very things we need most in order to fix some of our most critical problems (Cahn, 2004, p.41)