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Recognizing Abundance And Trading Time In Three Parts

In partnership with Art.coop


Course Description

1. Welcome!

“Timebanking is an invitation to consider the abundance that surrounds us.” 

Timebanking is part of the Solidarity Economy movement because it is a practice of identifying and celebrating our inherent worth as people who can help one another. The next time you are about to spend a whole day applying for a scholarship or writing a grant that you might not get, stop. and give yourself that whole day – let’s say eight hours – to help your friend make their creative project. Then imagine that, in the future, you can ask someone else in your network to give you eight hours of help on your creative project. In this video, culture workers Ebony Gustave and Rad Pereira introduce us to timebanking’s history and structure.

This introduction consists of a 4-minute video and research opportunity.

2. Mike Strode And The Kola Nut Collaborative

“Timebanking is the seed of being able to build the types of communities that we want, build the type of lives that we want, and be the people that we want.”
–Mike Strode
The Solidarity Economy is recognized internationally as a way to value people and the planet over profits and to unite grassroots practices of cooperative work. Most neighborhoods contain examples of the Solidarity Economy and you might already practice solidarity work – say, when you and your neighbors form a clothing swap or a lending library – without ever giving it that name. In this lesson, we visit Chicago, where Mike Strode and The Kola Nut Collaborative operate a time-based service and skills trading platform, otherwise known as a timebank. If you are interested in seeing an example of timebanking in action, this mini documentary brings the concept to life and introduces the ideas of an offers and needs market where time is a currency.

This lesson consists of a 4-minute video and over an hour of research and reflection.

3. Getting Started: Asset Mapping

“Now you are ready to get your needs met in a community of mutual respect.” 

Now that you know what a timebank is and you’ve seen it in action, how do you do it yourself? There are many ways to name and celebrate the skills, passions, and time people have to give to one another. The Offers and Needs Market and Asset Mapping are helpful tools to allow community members to quickly explore and map the range of offers and needs present within a peer group, a block club, a neighborhood association, or a community organization. Through the exercise outlined in this video and accompanying materials, the skills and capacities already present within a community can be immediately matched with the community’s needs. Other opportunities to connect may also surface, and value may appear in unexpected places. 

This lesson consists of a 5-minute video, an hour-long group activity, and hours of research opportunity.

Course Contents


Ebony Gustave
Creative Architect, Creative Journal Podcast Host
Ebony Gustave (she/her) is a web weaver, community architect, and storyteller. She is the host of Cooperative Journal podcast, an archive of interviews highlighting international examples of the solidarity economy. As a co-steward of its multimedia umbrella, she is bridging the gaps between political education, imagination, co-creation, and actualization. The common thread between all of her work is bringing awareness to, and activating, solutions for collective autonomy, care, and trust
Rad Pereira
Artist, Cultural Worker
Rad Pereira (they/them) is a queer (im)migrant artist and cultural worker building consciousness between healing justice, system change, reindigenization and queer futures based in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn) and Haudenosaunee territory (northern Hudson Valley). Their work in performance, education, and social practice has been experienced on stages, screens, stoops, and sidewalks all over Turtle Island through the support of many communities, institutions, and groups. Their book, Meeting the Moment: Socially Engaged Performance, 1965-2020, By Those Who Lived It, is available through New Village Press. They are building a Native led food sovereignty project called Iron Path Farms.

Mike Strode
Founding Coordinator of the Kola Nut Collaborative
Mike Strode is a writer, cyclist, IT consultant, facilitator, and solidarity economy organizer residing in southeast Chicago whose community engagement work has included ride leadership with the Chicago chapter of Red, Bike & Green; editorial and archival oversight for Fultonia; and co-facilitation of Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group. He is founding coordinator of the Kola Nut Collaborative, a time-based service and skills trading platform which promotes timebanking throughout Chicago. He also serves as a current board member for Dill Pickle Food Co-op.


We acknowledge your time and care.
We acknowledge the original stewards of the land.
We acknowledge our ancestors and your ancestors.
We acknowledge and thank all those who have struggled for workers’ rights and racial, economic, and environmental rights and emancipation. 

Course material: This course was made through a partnership between Art.coop and CreativeStudy. The video scripts for this course were co-written by Caroline Woolard and Mike Strode with feedback from Heather Bhandari, Nati Linares, Marina Lopez, and Sruti Suryanarayanan. We also asked for course feedback from Sylvia Atwood, Julia Clark, Rice Gallardo, Susan Jahoda, Mei Kazama, Nati Linares, Marina Lopez, Ann Tarantino, Sruti Suryanarayanan, and Dexter Wimberly. 

This series is made possible with financial support from the Mellon Foundation.

We stand on the shoulders of those who use solidarity and cooperative economics in the struggle for liberation. These are some of the folks who lead the way for us: Ella Baker, James Baldwin, Grace Lee Boggs, Barbara Dane, W. E. B. Du Bois, the Combahee River Collective, Fannie Lou Hamer, Lorraine Hansberry, Zora Neale Hurston, Paul Robeson, Shirley Sherrod, Nina Simone, Comandante Ramona, Elandria “E” C. Williams, Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard, and many others.