Northfield, MN: Community Exchange Brings Barter Into The 21st Century

November 29, 2011
Azna Amira and Corey Butler Jr.
Publication: 
Northfield Patch, Huffington Post Dispatches

NORTHFIELD, MN:  Need a babysitter, a body massage or a bale of hay?  If you live in Northfield, chances are you’ve already posted a notice of need on the entry walls of bulletin boards throughout the city.

But what if there was a way to exchange goods and services at home with just the click of a mouse, using units of time instead of money?

There is a way.

Putting the time in

Transition Northfield has launched Northfield Community Exchange, an online program that matches those with needs to those who can fill that need; the hours required to provide the service or goods is put into a “time bank” to be used for other transactions. You can do it all by computer, so there’s no danger your notice will be lost among posters for the latest lost cat or local concert.

“You shouldn’t need money to fill the basic needs of shelter, food, clothing, water—that’s what community is for."

The advent of the exchange puts Northfield on the cusp of a national and international movement for moving currency away from our global banking system.

According to Bernard Lietaer, co-inventor of the euro and author of The Future of Money: Creating New Wealth, Work, and a Wiser World, the value of barter transactions—exchanges that do not use money—totals more than $6.5 billion in the United States and Canada, and is increasing three times faster than normal exchanges.  

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