In the Spring of 2014 there will be an entourage of WORK meetings that seek to answer: Does a time bank system to pay back our student loans make sense? Because we all work unpaid internships and volunteer jobs anyways, is there a way to place value in the work we do do? Below is a general outline of the form the conceptualization workshops will take on in order to understand where this project may go.
The WORK meetings are open to the public and will take place around a large rectangular table with reserved seats for invited key players selected because of past work and research that relates to debt, time banking, alternative currencies, and corporate lending. The guiding thesis as of now is: Does a time bank system to pay back our student loans make sense? Is the value of our labor worth the value of our money?
A detailed agenda will be handed out in the beginning of each meeting to guide the topics of discussion. During the first meeting, the WORK intern will present a powerpoint presentation outlining where the project was in its early stages as 'a barter with sallie' and where it seeks to go as 'Hey Sallie: TimeDebt'. Agenda points may include topics such as: 1) defining the academic credit system versus the banking credit system, 2) defining what our education is worth and our ideal work situation that was shaped by our studies (whether we are currently doing that work or not), 3) what work we do that would qualify as work to credit back to Sallie*, and 4) how to get Sallie involved.
The meetings will take the form of conceptualization workshops where a whiteboard will be of use to map and grid necessary points, decisions we make, and action steps as we move forward. The goal of the meetings are not to solve the student debt problem but rather to brainstorm on the notion of time banking our student debt and re-valuing the work we do in our daily lives even if not paid with mainstream money. They are a chance to share personal stories on our daily work and burdensome debt as it relates to our lives. Minutes will be recorded and emailed to participants to guide potential future meetings.
Business casual attire is suitable. Pens and notebooks are necessary but not mandatory if one's method of remembering is different than others. Homemade donut holes and coffee will be served.
*Sallie Mae will be the focus in the early stages of the project as she is the most offensive lender in the U.S. The hopes are that this system could be replicated for other private loan lenders as the Hey Sallie: TimeDebt system develops.