Timebanking is a means of exchange used to organise people and organisations around a purpose, where time is the principal currency. For every hour participants 'deposit' in a timebank, perhaps by giving practical help and support to others, they are able to 'withdraw' equivalent support in time when they themselves are in need. In each case the participant decides what they can offer. Everyone's time is equal, so one hour of my time is equal to one hour of your time, irrespective of whatever we choose to exchange. Because timebanks are just systems of exchange, they can be used in an almost endless variety of settings.
Timebanking has been around in the UK since 1998. Since that point it has witnessed extraordinary growth, being applied to many and varied settings across the public, private and community sectors. And it is not just a UK phenonmenon. The timebanking journey began in Japan, and has now spread to over forty countries in six different continents.
Timebanking still remains an approach that is far from fully formed. Not a day goes by without timebanking being applied in a new setting, or across a new boundary. No two timebanks of the 290 or so there are in the UK are the same. We are constantly learning about how and why timebanking as a means of exchange can make a difference to society. In many ways we are only just scratching the surface of our understanding and experience of this new way of doing business.