HUMANE – Hull’s Urban-Scale Mutual Aid Network Economy, Hull, UK

Hull has developed a new vision for tackling poverty that concentrates on long term cultural change as opposed to short term, fragmented response. This approach draws on the time and assets of local people and organisations in a community wide response. Each society has under used resources, e.g time/buildings and unmet need for these same things. The solution will link these units through mutual aid, co-production and ownership, inclusion, collaboration and social innovation and build a second layer collaborative economy where these values are practised and embedded in organisational culture, creating opportunities for citizens to co-produce and access goods and services independently from local and central government. The collaborative economy will provide urban resilience independently of the fate of government and the mainstream economy and can compensate in times of economic crisis as this is likely to increase the spare capacity of labour within the secondary economy and the demand for its goods and services. The solution will work with the local and national Timebank to promote its principles of asset based, mutual aid and co-production as key elements and use the TB as a network building organisation and with TimeBank UK (TBUK) to support scale and reproducibility. The solution will see the TB working with Hull’s complementary local cryptocurrency (Hull Coin) to create an exchange mechanism that will demonstrate how co-operation and interchangeability of non monetary currencies can strengthen inclusion by decentralised mutual exchange. A partnership with digital technology providers will also demonstrate opportunities to use emerging technologies to support local communities and exploit this tech for social good. The skills built will be transferable to the mainstream economy. The solution will deliver cultural change at a time when the city is leading the way on culture as the City of Culture 2017 to encourage participation and ensure we achieve the required critical mass.