Fear the economic crisis? Here’s why you’re always rich


Fear the economic crisis? Here’s why you’re always rich


The side-effect of the capitalist economy is financial interpersonal inequality. It exists in every country and most people don’t even question that on a daily basis, as if it was something inevitable and obvious.

However, it’s quite easy to realise that it doesn’t necessarily have to be so common, once we understand that this gulf is based on the primary misconception of the value and trade. Most of the highly developed countries augmented the notion of value in society, making money a default measurement of it. And, as we all know, money isn’t something that everyone can access in the same amount. Yet, there is one currency that has become largely underestimated and even ignored over the last decades. It is renewable and equally deposited to every single human on the planet every single day: Time.

We all get a passage of 24 hours per day, and then it’s up to us what we do with this time.

But how can we efficiently trade time to create “revenue”? Read the article to find out 🚀

Image quote

Story Time

Beliive is the world’s largest collaborative network that uses time as a currency to enable collaboration and equal opportunities among people. HOO KOO E KOO was responsible for rebranding and creation of new visual language for the company. Lorrana Scarpioni (the Founder and CEO of Beliive *see the full bio at the end of the page) was a speaker for THE CONCH a speaking series by HOO KOO E KOO run to share knowledge, networks and resources with the aim to accelerate our mission of building a better future for humanity and the planet.

Beliive was born from the experiences of Lorrana in her childhood when she observed large social and economical inequalities resulting in unequal chances for people from different neighbourhoods in Brazil.

What in particular influenced the idea of creating Beliive was her interest in documentary movies presenting the mechanisms ruling the international monetary systems.

In the communities experiencing the scarcity of financial resources, there is still the abundance of other resources and there’s a lot to trade, but because there’s no money available, the trade cannot happen as it does in the capitalist system. However, because of this trade potential, it is possible to enable abundance within the community through complementary currencies. Which, as aforementioned, can be time. Once people recognise that even despite the lack of financial wealth, they're still rich in other assets, they can start developing an abundant mindset, which is the first step to lift themselves up from poverty.

Time is equal

Time trading, or, in other words, TimeBanking, in practice means a trade of skills. For example, if one person willing to learn graphic design is a native English speaker, and the other person who is a graphic designer needs to skill up in this language, they can teach each other, exchanging the skills that both of them are after, using the currency of time. Similarly, if one person is very empathetic and a good listener, they can offer their time for people who need to tell someone about their struggles, and in turn, that person can access the service of someone else who’s good at telling jokes and can make them laugh for hours.

Typically, TimeBanks were functioning on the local level, serving small communities and offering exchange in the physical environment, such as fixing a bike for babysitting, etc.

However, in the current world, especially now when face-to-face contacts are limited due to the pandemic, online connections are thriving. The global network makes it easy, fast and accessible to exchange your assets with anybody in the world.

Beliive draws from the Internet all that’s best in it. Every person within the system is receiving a credit (hours) and when these credits are being traded, it creates the value exchange. When one person offers their time, they gain 1h credit for each 1h spent on the service. Then they can use this credit to access any chosen teaching on the platform from any person. The core drive for the community is passion — it gathers all kinds of professions and interests, but people mostly share only what they’re passionate about, which creates a specific environment full of mutual inspiration and motivation.

TimeBank in a way expresses the value of higher consciousness, based on the notion of the community of trust where each person is striving to be their best self. It also puts emphasis on equality, since time is the currency that’s available to everybody in the same amount and with the same accessibility.

An economy expressing reciprocity

Giving and receiving is the core interpersonal interaction on which everything is built — from relationships to businesses and governments.

Our society is largely divided into givers and takers, and the problem with the givers sometimes is that they keep giving, but never to themselves. On the other hand, takers tend to only take, but they never give back.

We don’t realise that this interaction should be a cycle, as it is in nature, so once we take, we should give something, and once we give, we are allowed to take. Without this, there comes a moment when some people have already taken so much that there’s nothing for others to take, or — as we observe now — planet can’t give us any more.

TimeBanking comes as a solution to this problem and is actually recreating the cycle — once you gave 1h of your time to teach others, you gain a credit, which you can use to give back to yourself — by learning something new from others. The whole idea is that reciprocity feeds this cycle of abundance which can create more opportunities.

Since the COVID outbreak, Beliive has seen over a 140% engagement increase on its platform. Two factors came in: the financial crisis and much more free time. While there’s a scarcity in the economy, the platform is enabling the abundance of knowledge, innovation, ideas, and creativity — all the values that are out of reach of the traditional GDP measures but are still so crucial to the well-being of nations and communities.

sharing economy

This all leads to the point where people are able to perceive time as much more valuable than money, and really implement the sharing-economy mindsets. It can go as far as lending money to someone, let’s say 1000$, and instead of receiving the full amount back, claiming 700$ and 2h of time credit on the platform, or their time and skills in the area that we are currently seeking assistance in. For this kind of exchange, one element is crucial: trust.

Regaining the global balance in the economy is only reliant on our ability to restore the balance in our mindsets.

We don’t have a crisis of resources, we have the crisis of trust.

Abundance is created when trust is fostered. Currently, there’s very little trust in institutions and communities, so when trust is restored, as it’s being done in Beliive, it can create many more opportunities for communities.

From competition to collaboration

The whole idea of collaboration over competition is resembling the notion of the community functioning as an organism — understanding what are our needs, and where they connect with what we can give so that you can exchange it with someone in the opposite situation.

The chances that in your city or somewhere in the world there is a person that can offer what you need, and who needs what you can offer are so high, that it’s almost certain you can make that transaction happen.

TimeBanking has the power of creating unity — people start to recognise each other’s value through a currency that is equal for everyone, and they’re entering the ecosystem with the commitment to share the best they have — not to compete, but to collaborate.

This kind of approach has the potential to become a part of new financial systems, where time would be treated as a currency. It can significantly improve the quality of life for many people and help them realise that they’re abundant, and their time and skills are something that can sparkle self-sufficiency as a way to be less dependent on the government.

So, the next time you’ll think you don’t have enough money to learn new skills or access what you need, think again — you already have everything you need.

Lorrana Scarpioni

Lorrana Scarpioni is a Global Shaper and former Global Agenda Council member in Creative Economy for the World Economic Forum. MIT Technology Review Innovators under 35 chose her as one of the 10 most innovative Brazilians of 2014, BBC Global elected her one of the 100 most inspiring women of 2015 and she was on the Forbes under 30 list in 2017. Founder and CEO of Beliive — the world’s largest community of time exchange.

As the guest of THE CONCH speaker series for HOO KOO E KOO Tribe Members, Lorrana talked to us about Time Banking and how complementary currencies can unlock abundance in times of crisis.

See what our first talk was about here.

Thank you for reading!

This article is based on the talk by Lorrana Scarpioni at THE CONCH speaker series for HOO KOO E KOO Council Members.

With love, HOO KOO E KOO