A Little Bit of MTX History: Part I

The Monadnock Time Exchange now has start-up funding, a website, an upgraded database, a growing band of early adopters, an active steering committee, a fiscal sponsor, and a promising future of both growth and community service.

How did this promising new regional initiative come to pass? It happened because a lot of people and organizations helped make it happen. Here’s the first part of the creation story for the Monadnock Time Exchange.

October 17, 2012: Showing Fixing The Future at the Colonial Theater

A large number of community groups came together to show Fixing the Future, a great film on rebuilding local economies and community institutions that can improve the quality of life of communities across the country. A big part of the film includes an eight minute section focused on a “time bank” in Maine called Hour Exchange Portland.

The Fixing The Future documentary was shown that week in over sixty cities and towns nationwide. In Keene, it was hosted by the Badger Company, City of Keene Cities for Climate Protection Committee, Colonial Theatre, E2Culture & Facilitated Change, Hannah Grimes Center, Keene Young Professionals Network, Monadnock Buy Local, Monadnock Conservancy, Monadnock Food Co-op, Monadnock Sustainability Network, Monadnock Regional Transportation Management Association, Monadnock Rideshare, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Vision 2020, and Transition Keene Advocates. Over 250 people showed up from around the Monadnock region and time exchanges were part of the excited buzz of conversation in the Theater after the film.

November 13, 2012: Time Exchange Webinar at Antioch University New England

At 1 pm in the afternoon, twenty-five people from the Monadnock region crowded into a second floor classroom at Antioch University New England. They came to take part of a nationally produced webinar about how to organize a local  time exchange cooperative, a nonprofit institution that creates an easy way for community people to exchange self-produced goods and services with each other by swapping time instead of cash. Most of these folks had been at the Colonial Theater’s showing of Fixing The Future.

This follow-up webinar event was co-sponsored by Monadnock Buy Local, Antioch University New England, and Transition Keene Advocates. The webinar featured Stephanie Rearick, the Founder and Director of the Dane County Time Bank in Madison, Wisconsin, and was produced as part of the BALLE Community Capital Webinar series. People ended up being pumped by the presentation, especially when Transition Keene Advocates announced that it would follow up and convene a working group to organize a Monadnock time exchange. Several people at the webinar expressed interest in joining this new time exchange organizing group… and several of these folks did.

April 16, 2013: Antioch Students Report On Their Monadnock Time Exchange Feasibility Study For Transition Keene Advocates

As part of the Transition Tuesday series of educational programs held at Antioch University New England every month 2013, a team of four Antioch environmental studies students presented their research findings on how to create a robust time exchange in Keene and the rest of the Monadnock region. This was part of a collaborative service initiative they did for Transition Keene Advocates under the direction of Katy Locke, TKA’s board president.

You can watch the video below of their presentation, as they share the story of how their investigations led them to develop a “re-envision time bank”  model for the Monadnock region, which included key organizational ingredients, a software redesign, community outreach strategies, and even some sample promotional materials to communicate the message. The launch of the Monadnock Time Exchange in March 2014 owes much to Antioch students Ryan Assi Assiu, Erika Stimpson, Christine Badalamenti, and Monica Pless.

You’ll just have to wait for the Part II post to learn what has happened since.

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