In May of 2012, Katy Locke awoke out of a dream in which she heard a voice which very clearly stated, “Time Bank.” In the previous couple of years, Katy had been learning about time banking and other forms of alternative currencies within the context of her active participation in Transition Keene Advocates – the local version of the International Transition Movement. The focus of local Transition organizing is to bring greater resilience to a given community.
Serendipitously that very same evening, Katy met Linda Hogan, Social Architect and Educational Director of hOurworld – whose mission is to promote Time Banking around the world. What are the odds?! After chatting with Linda at length, she came to the conclusion that, what could be more resilient than a service exchange system based upon the currency of time? From that day on, Katy’s main focus within the Transition Keene Advocates initiative was to promote time banking in Keene.
In the fall of that year, Katy drafted a proposal for an Antioch University New England Collaborative Service Initiative (CSI) project to conduct a feasibility study on launching a time bank in Keene to serve the Monadnock region. On December 1st that proposal was adopted by an extraordinary team of 4 graduate students who proceeded in 2013 to bring unprecedented levels of commitment, creativity and expertise to the project.
On April 16, 2013, the CSI team outlined their working model for the project they named, “One Monadnock: the region’s service exchange” and described it as a “re-conceived Time Bank.” Watch as they share the story of how their investigations led them to develop the model, include key ingredients, design and implement community outreach strategies and craft promotional materials to communicate their message.
In the now almost 3 years since the CSI Feasibility Study findings were released, The Monadnock Time Exchange has come into being. A steering committee was formed over the summer of 2013, and 6 of the 8 members attended and hOurworld weekend training event in Providence, RI hosted by Lisa Conlan Lewis of New Hope Time Exchange and led by Linda Hogan. There, steering committee members learned the nuts and bolts of time banking while enjoying the benefit of networking with other time bank enthusiasts from all over the country.
On March 21st, 2014, the Mondanock Time Exchange (MTX) held a “soft launch” to initiate its “Pilot Phase” at the Keene Unitarian Universalist Church (KUUC) as part of its month-long series on economic justice. Church members were invited to join the time exchange and help pilot the software upgrades designed by the CSI student team.
On October 1st, 2014, MTX opened its doors for formal membership, and in January of 2015 incorporated as a 501(c)3. In the year 2015, the new MTX board contracted 2 part-time staff members, Katy Locke as Executive Director, and Susan MacNeil as Membership Coordinator, and held 2 public events: a showing of Time as Money at the Keene Public Library, and a celebration of MTX’s 1st Birthday Party at the KUUC. A little over a year later, MTX now enjoys over 50 members, and has recently adopted its first Organizational Partner – KUUC – and its first Organizational Member – Badger Balm of Gilsum, NH.
In 2016, MTX looks forward to increasing both its membership, individual and organizational, and its impact to bring greater resilience to the Monadnock Region.