Examples Around the World


Time Bank system already exists in 6 continents, 33 countries including UK, USA, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Curacao, Slovakia, South Korea, China, Japan, and Australia. This means that alternative economy is a rapidly growing movement all around the world. Zumbara is an important part of this movement.

The history of Time Bank idea is based on gift culture and gift economy.

In alternative economy movement, the time concept was first used by American Josiah Warren in 1827. Warren established the Cincinnati time center as a 3 years long alternative economy experiment with the idea that the value of the services that people give should be determined by the time they spend for the production of that service.

The time bank concept was first used by an American lawyer and social justice struggler, Edgar Cahn, in 1980’s. Between 1980 and 1985, 4500 members from International Florida University Aging Center used the time bank system and exchanged 42000 services.

Global problems like economic mistrust, technology replacing human effort, increasing elderly population, delinquencies in public system, growing deficit spending and degeneration of the neighborhood relationships cause time banking rapidly spread all around the world.

There are different types of applications of time banks around the world. Local time banks are the most common ones. Generally, local time banks are started to strengthen the communities in neighborhood and get shaped in time according to the needs of the community. Local time banks may be small or big, they range from communities with 5-10 members to 100’s of members.

The time bank system that is running in Chicago State Schools is the largest ‘after-school support class between ages’ in USA. Senior students help fresher ones and they earn time credits in return. This application was started in 25 schools in its first 4 years.

Again in USA, time bank system is used at youth courts. In Washington, more than ⅓ of the non-violent crimes committed by young people are solved in youth courts. The jury of young people earns time credits for their duties. The punishments include different responsibilities such as community task, return, jury mission, apologize etc.

In Gloucester Remand Prison, prisoners fix bicycles to be sent to developing countries, they earn time credits in return and with time credits they help their families.

England, which is one of the countries that apply time bank idea most systematically, reached 140 time banks in the first 5 years. National Health Service started a research about how people can use the time bank system and later network of Mental Health Organization started to use time bank.

Zumbara, as it combines the time bank idea and the social technologies, starts time bank and alternative economy movements in Turkey and intends to make the time bank system more effective and efficient and to support this movement to grow faster all around the world.