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  • Marta Barreiro

Time Banks: Banking as if Time Mattered

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde wrote: “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing”. More than a century has passed since he made that statement and it stills remain more current than ever. We go mad trying to find the price labels in every item/service that we buy, but do we stop for a minute to think about its value and the time it has cost to produce it? That is why Time Banks are today an initiative which is as utopian as needed.

Time Bank in Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal.

Time Bank in Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal.

How do Time Banks work? It is quite simple: you have to apply to the closest bank time near your place, then offer a service and ask for a service in return. The currency used in this transaction will be one hour of your time. It is a good way to get to know the value of the goods we consume, isn’t it?

Time Banks started working in Portugal 14 years ago, but it is a global initiative that spreads the message that “time is more precious than money” and people are more precious than time. Timebanking reminds us that by helping each other we can create a fairer and more inclusive world, in which we can forget prices, but never our own values.

To know more about Time Banks and alternative economics, take a look at the following links:

-edX Course “Just Money: Banking as if Society Mattered”

-Time Banks webpages:

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