A Whole Lotta Building Goin’ On…


We’re just getting into the thick of a couple big months of work and I want to share some of the progress we’re making.

First – the new and improved version of Build is up!!! Thanks to Marc Brakken for doing a beautiful job of programming and designing it. As always, it’ll be a work in progress forever, as more people use it and let us know how to keep increasing its usefulness. See for yourself, it’s much prettier and easier to navigate, with more instructional features (including video) and collaboration tools coming soon. We’re all starting to use it more to work on and document our projects here at the Dane County TimeBank – check out the Wellness Project and Building Build to see it in action.

We’ll be sending invitations to more people to post their projects in the next few days. And will be working with those who are already using it to get more of their collaborators using it too. We’re very excited about all this.

Second – today is our fifth Builders Workshop, titled “TimeBanking and Poverty: Creating Abundance in a Challenged Economy.” We’ll be highlighting initiatives in Greece, Spain, Oakland CA, West Virginia, and our own Dane County TimeBank, then working with participants to find ways to increase our effectiveness here. We expect lots of folks from our county government and social service organizations, plus our members and others interested in doing things better. I’m particularly excited to share a lovely and inspirational video highlighting Ruston Seaman and New Vision’s great work in West Virginia, using timebanking to convert homes to solar energy. Edge Brussel of Lansing Michigan created this video to premier at the workshop – thanks Edge!

Third – we’re happy to be participating in and helping facilitate the Knit a Network 90-Day Challenge, where timebankers from around the world are working to identify, catalog and build on the abundant resources we have for sharing knowledge, tools and support.

Board for BBW Game

Last but certainly not least – we’ve just finished the Alpha version of our Build a Better World Game and have posted the files to share. We’ll still be doing some tweaking and adding tools and instructions for larger versions of the game (the Build a Better World Real-Life Adventure) but it’s there and ready to play. Like everything else in life and in our project, this is meant to always be a work in progress. The point of the game is to give players an opportunity to practice matching people, assets and needs to work toward a common goal, and to work together to overcome obstacles. After players play the Board Game and then do some of the activities in real life, as the Build a Better World Real-Life Adventure, we want them to make their own improvements to the game and share it back. This is a way for us to learn together and explore many different approaches.

Thanks for reading. Look for Builders Workshop #5 to be shared here soon (and check out #4, on Wellness, at this blog)

Enjoy your September,

p.s. stay tuned for the Sept. 20 and Oct. 18 Builders Workshop 2-part series, “Healthy Community Economy” where we’ll explore various tools being employed to create abundance in different sectors of the economy, then see how we can apply them here in Dane County.

p.p.s. and consider coming to the Economic Democracy Conference here in Madison Wisconsin October 11-14. We’re helping coordinate the local action track. The conference is looking to be amazing!

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