City of Messina to join international time-banking exchange: Timerepublik

Michel recently pointed me to an item published in the Italian daily Avvenire which reports a decision by the Messina city council to join the global electronic time-banking exchange Timerepublik.

The City Council’s decision, the article says, came about through contacts with the local time bank and is seen as an effort “to provide incentives and reward to those citizens who voluntarily do service for their community, such as keeping streets and beaches clean or taking care of public gardens.”

There have also been contacts with other Italian cities like Bologna and Naples, according to Karim Varini, co-founder of Timerepublik, an internet-based time exchange. Timerepublik ( was established fairly recently – at the end of 2012 – and according to Varini it has aspirations to become a platform that connects already existing time banks internationally.

So what is Timebanking?

According to Timebanks USA, “TimeBanking is a medium of exchange. Like money. Except that it was purpose-built — designed in 1980 by TimeBanking founder Edgar Cahn to reward “decency, caring, and a passion for justice.”

The idea is simple: I earn a time credit by doing something for you. It doesn’t matter what that “something” is. You turnaround and earn a time credit doing something for someone else. For example, an hour of gardening equals an hour of child-care equals an hour of dentistry equals an hour of home repair equals an hour of teaching someone to play chess.

TimeBanking builds on the magic of “pay it forward,” one good turn leading to another and another and another.

Through pay-it-forward, TimeBanking joins unused resources in a community to needs that are not being met.

TimeBanking encourages giving without measure and receiving with an open heart. People who jump in to the pay-it-forward exchanges that TimeBanking encourages often report that the experience is life-altering. Their lives become transformed in ways they could not have begun to imagine.

The page from which these quotes are taken ( into much more detail on how time banks are usually run and what is important if you want to join or start a time bank in your area.

There is also a press release by Timerepublik on the decision of the mayor of Messina to use Time banking to activate the local community into action. Here’s the link

Digital innovation and sharing economy lands in Messina, Sicily

“Let’s make a change, starting with the people”, that’s what they said during the latest mayor election in Messina: let’s do it by involving groups, single citizens and let’s wake up civic pride among the people of the city, who have often been called ‘dormant’. Now, the Municipality of Renato Accorinti, the new mayor of Messina, has found a way to help the people volunteering and serving the community. How? People will be paid with a different kind of money:

The municipality has, in fact, published a resolution that endorses the cooperation between the Sicilian city and TIMEREPUBLIK, a digital platform that shares many of its main features with time banks.

The website (, publicly launched on September 2013 and allows its registered users to pay for services and favors with time instead of money. Users offering their service to other users will be paid in ‘time units’. TIMEREPUBLIK embraces more than 300 categories of ‘talents’ in its database and growing. These ‘time units’ will be stored in a personal ‘time wallet’ and could be spent whenever and for whatever service you might need. TIMEREPUBLIK’s community currently counts approximately 10,000 members from over 80 countries, who can exchange more 20,000 talents.

2 Comments City of Messina to join international time-banking exchange: Timerepublik

  1. AvatarGaetano Biondo

    Dear Bob,

    The city of Messina will offer their municipal spaces – that usually rents out– for events, coworking spaces, etc… It will also offer its expertise to help people to expedite or simply educate about bureaucratic issues. Plus, to promote tourism, they will also offer tickets for Museums to Tourist Guides, but this is just the beginning! We are testing this new application with them and hopefully we will grow together.

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