We’ve had a very eventful few weeks here. This report will cover our Wisconsin statewide gathering Time For a Healthy Wisconsin: How TimeBanking and other Cooperative Practices Can Help Build a Healthier State, plus the following week’s Deep Dive Discussion: How we’ll apply what we’ve learned and Tech Collaboration Lunch Discussion.
We chose to hold those three events in close proximity to each other so we could build on our increasing connections, knowledge and understanding while it was all fresh, plus we had Greg Bloom in from DC to help out with the events and learn more about our local efforts.
First up was the statewide gathering in Stevens Point Wisconsin. This was officially the opening of my tour and the rolling Sharing Economy conference!
We gathered with a couple dozen timebank organizers from around the state. We had people from Winnebago County, Chippewa Valley, Watertown, Green Bay, Marathon County, Rock County, Milwaukee, Brown County and Portage County – and of course Dane County, whose timebank hosted the event. Last-minute issues prevented our friends from Viroqua, Richland Center and Ashland from attending but we’ll be sure to connect again in the future.
The focus was on health, defined broadly. Four breakout sessions were offered, including Food Security, Inclusive Communities, Energy Independence and Health and Wellness. We’ll provide the notes and slides for you to learn more.
Friday May 10 was a roundtable discussion with timebank organizers and coordinators to learn what they’re doing, their various stages of development, and what their support needs are. Then we did some timebank exercises and communication and stakeholder engagement training.
Saturday May 11 began with a brief panel presentation with Gary Messinger, Kristin Sage and Stephanie Rearick from DCTB and Susan and John Olson from Milwaukee Area Time Exchange. I gave a brief overview of the global picture of timebanking, then we focused on how each of us is using timebanking to meet specific goals including inclusive communities, health and wellness, energy conservation and food security.
Then we broke into two groups for 1-hour workshop sessions.
Food Security: Slides and notes to be added
Inclusive Communities: Notes here
Health and Wellness: Video of notetaker summary
After lunch we came back together and each reported on our breakout sessions, then held a group roundtable discussion. People are interested in continuing to support each other in a mutual aid network, and in hosting more frequent gatherings in various locations. We will find a way to stay in touch to make this happen.
And last but not least participants shared what they gained from the day. Video here.
The next event, our Deep Dive Discussion, was designed to bring people together during this point in our collective learning journey in order to check in about what we’ve learned so far and how we intend to apply these lessons. One very important factor in these discussions is that Madison Hours local currency, going since 1995, is currently winding down and becoming integrated into the Dane County TimeBank. Our intention is to identify the most important functions that this tool has been filling and work to fill similar goals in ways that fit elegantly with our mutual credit model. We have also been exploring innovative ways to incorporate cooperative saving and lending models that could serve as new means toward self-sustainability both for our community and for the system itself.
And to close out the huge week, we held a lunch discussion to explore who we can collaborate with our local tech community in order to build the tools we need to have a robust, thriving system that can generate and reward good work. Ten participants enjoyed a meal together while discussing ways we can benefit each others’ work. We had a professor for UW-Whitewater who has IT interns to place, several programmers who are finding things in the timebank that will make programming for time credits feel very valuable to them (including a cupcake baker!), an entrepreneur who is creating a co-working space and his own vision for generating good work that solves community problems. Notes here
Thanks for reading! More updates to come… especially as the tour really starts cranking up now. And this report will be more fleshed out over time as we compile more of the slides and video that were created for and at the event.