I love CES

You recognise a good idea when you get to know one. Some of the details might be still a bit hazy but you love the idea all the same.

For personal and research interests, I joined my local Community Exchange System (CES) called Stadin aikapankki, freely translated “the time bank of Helsinki area”. CES is a great idea. I am still a beginner but I love it.

A quick introduction to community exchange systems met globally. They are based on the exchanges of services between members: private people and groups. Most importantly, no money is used. Instead, members have some sort of procedure to keep track on exchanged services and members’ exchange balance. The brilliant thing about CES is that my personal account enables changes between people I didn’t know before. Thus, I can provide member A with a service B and get a service D from a member E.

So far I received my account details and information about offered and needed services. I have also put out what I can offer. To my great delight I was contacted about a translation task and I have now received my first “payment” called tovi, as one hour of work equals to one tovi.

The hardest part for me has been to figure out what I could ask through my CES and use my tovi. So far I have added a request for help in the garden, as we have to turn the land for cultivation. Anyone who has dug clay ground hardened by the winter knows how it is: hard work and backache. Thus, help is appreciated.

One of the most interesting requests I noticed was written with three sentences: “I am building a house. I need an architect. A student is acceptable too.” I am very curious about this house project. What are the plans like? Seriously, could one get a house built nowadays with using only community exchange services?

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