Lots of kickoffs last week, plus year in review and things to come


If you read last week’s post you’ll know that we had a whirlwind of a week, with kickoffs for all kinds of projects at all kinds of scales – and in my mind, that’s what makes it manageable – that the work is very similar across different scales, and fits together like Russian nesting dolls.

First, on January 10, we held the Knit a Network 90-Day Wrap-Up Challenge revival meeting. People from around the country plus the UK joined us to plan for a 90-day process to wrap up work begun in Fall 2012, to pull together across affiliation, discipline, and geography in order to use the tools and philosophies we espouse to better support each other and steward our knowledge and resources.

SunPrairieCareTeamKickoffNext, on Wednesday January 15 we held a kickoff for our new Neighborhood Care Team that we’re building in and around Sun Prairie (a smaller city inside Dane County and outside of Madison where much of our activity is based). This was lovely! We’ve been working with 23 families to create timebanking circuits and resources to meet the needs of the family members with different abilities. Katie Pajac, the person we hired to run this pilot, is doing a fantastic job and we’re blessed to have really sweet, fun and engaging families to work with. We talked about ways we can make more connections through the timebank, the needs participants would like to meet, and plans for future events where we invite the community more broadly. We’re off to a good start, building slowly through people’s existing networks. We have a cooking class going and will be focusing on generating more opportunities for social and recreational events, ongoing learning, transportation help, employment skill and opportunity building, art and music.

On Wednesday we also met with lawyer David Sparer to discuss how to incorporate our first Mutual Aid Network. Preston Austin, Michael Hernke, Lorrie Hurckes and I participated in the meeting and explored questions of: classes of membership, their rights and responsibilities, how securities exchange laws might apply and how to steer clear, how to connect the coop with the TimeBank’s existing non-profit organization, board structure, etc. etc. The next steps are to write up scenarios of likely activities and envision how each piece would function. The legal work group of the MAN Design Team will meet in the next couple weeks to dig in.

photo 1-2On Thursday January 16 I led a marathon Builders Workshop, Year in Review/Ring in the New. The first hour was a retrospective (of closer to 2 years, actually) to help lay the groundwork for where we are now. This segment was billed as optional, and there was a break in between this and the Ring in the New segment so new people could arrive comfortably. The next two hours went into the new projects and models we’re developing and plans for moving forward. You can see the slides, which include notes and lots of links to more information, here. And more thorough notes by the great notetaker Morris Sadicario, are here (Year in Review) and here (Ring in the New). And here are videos of the year-in-review presentation, part I and II.

Friday I hosted a small discussion with neighborhood women business owners. They’re excited to get engaged in the timebank and also excited to pursue ideas of business-to-business mutual credit, savings pools and more. It’ll be fun to explore the bigger picture with them as they get more involved.

photo 3And finally, last but not least – Saturday was the Allied Coop’s PowerTime II Kickoff party!photo 5 On Saturday January 18 we held a party – on a cold and snowy day – with cake, awards for our original coop partners, an overview of our new PowerTime II energy project, and best of all, the premier of the energy conservation video we made in the neighborhood. Starring residents, shot and edited by residents, and looking smashing!!! Today we have our first training for PowerTime II enphoto 4ergy consultants. They’ll be earning timebank hours going door-to-door and inviting people to participate in the coop, then offering energy consultations for those who want them. We’ll build toward eventually being able to weatherize buildings and assemble and install solar panels and water heaters. We’re excited!

So as you can see there’s a lot going on. It all fits together like Russian nesting dolls, which helps make it manageable. But we’re actively seeking help and will need a lot of it in order to work on the large trans-local scale we really want to work on! We hope you’ll join us. Either way we’ll be doing great stuff here and sharing it with the world. Your participation makes it more likely to spread far and wide and fast.

As always, thanks for paying attention


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