Introducing the Kola Nut Collaborative – Goodbye from the CTX!

Dear CTX members,

The Chicago Time Exchange is transitioning out of being. After many years of fruitful events and great exchanges, interest in the timebank has waned, many key stewards have moved elsewhere, and there simply isn’t the infrastructure in place to keep it going. We feel very comfortable with transitioning out- because we believe there is a new, vibrant and exciting timebanking opportunity in Chicago – The Kola Nut Collaborative.

The Kola Nut Collaborative came into fruition in 2017 as part of a course in permaculture hosted by Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living. Pre-launch best practice exchange began in 2015 with Cowry Collective in St. Louis who helped them envision a broader outreach campaign for building energy around timebanking and social commons in Chicago.

Its guiding vision is to make the valuable social infrastructure (communal bonds and relationships) more visible within our communities. Its mission is to promote and sustain a robust timebanking infrastructure to support non-monetary exchange within local communities.

Membership in the Collaborative may be initiated by completing the online application through their Hourworld website. The annual membership contribution is $25 for individuals, $35 for households (covers up to three members), and $50 for organizations. Each tier also has an hour contribution which is explained in depth on the membership section of our website.

The request for a monetary contribution may be different from how CTX was administered, but is a sustaining practice which allows the necessary funding to continue growing the timebank, printing literature, and paying for web hosting which allows us to be visible to the global community. The Collaborative has structured a reciprocal agreement for transferring CTX members which waives the membership contribution for the first year and enables you to explore the new interface to determine if the service meets your needs.

The Collaborative invites your input and participation in development. It aims to create a resilient organizational structure which will ensure the continuity of timebanking in Chicago well into the future. Therefore please share your thoughts on the type of organizational structure you think might be most beneficial and what role you wish like to play in shifting the organization in that direction.

We really would like to encourage you to consider joining the Kola Nut Collaborative and keep Time Banking in Chicago alive! Michael, the steward of the Kola Nut, has offered to transfer over hours for any CTX members who are interested in joining Kola Nut. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to reach out to Michael at


Meet a few CTX organizers!

CTX has been quiet for a bit –  we have had some internal shuffling of organizers, folks leaving the state, moving on to other awesome things… but a few of us are still here and we wanted to say hello! We’re are looking forward to working with CTX’ers to make sure that the CTX is an active and vibrant time bank that serves all! We hope you will join us!


Chris Petit (left) is co-coordinator of Mutual Aid Networks with the Dane County Timebank. He is also a facilitator, whose interest lies in dialogue that explores what matters to people personally and collectively in their communities and utilizes Art of Hosting methodologies (circle, world cafe, etc.) and approaches (appreciative inquiry, etc.) to move organizations and communities from hopelessness and blame to engagement and empowerment. He is currently a member of the Core Group for the Greater Chicago Dialogue and Deliberation Community of Practice. He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member in Renewable Energies and Sustainable Living Program at Oakland Community College. Previous to working with DCTB, he was the principal and founder of Regenerative Design, LLC., an architectural design and energy evaluation firm. He has also designed and managed energy audit programs for municipal, commercial, and residential buildings.

Samantha (center) is a millennial idealist residing in Chicago’s Uptown community. Looking to put sociological theory into concrete action, she is drawn to work that enables community-driven visions and supports local decision making, currently working with the Institute of Cultural Affairs in Uptown. Samantha is a coop enthusiast; she lives in the ICA GreenRise intentional community and owns/volunteers with food coops in Chicago. She is an introvert and may be described as contemplative and careful with her words and actions. Her ultimate goals for herself and her communities are to live authentically, equitably, and self-aware. Additional passions include cats, cooking local foods, and cycling.

Seva Gandhi, (right) a Chicago native, has been in the field of community development as an organizer and facilitator locally and abroad, for the past 8 years. Currently she is the Director of Programs at the Institute of Cultural Affairs, a non-profit in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Trained as a social worker, Seva has spent the past few years organizing the accelerate77 project and the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network, connecting local neighborhood sustainability initiatives throughout the City of Chicago. Seva spends a lot of her time thinking about the pervasiveness of systemic social justice issues in our society, and the role of individuals and communities mitigating them.  Seva’s interests involve international rural community development, increasing access to local, organic, and affordable food, and riding her bicycle.

Sustainability Hub Day, Saturday June 20th

Greenrise Community Sustainability Hub Day

Saturday June 20


4750 N. Sheridan Rd

–VIEW & DISCUSS the film Food Patriots with director, Jeff Spitz
–MINGLE & MEET people from Uptown & surrounding communities
–EXCHANGE giveaway items at a free market
–SHARE & LEARN skills with community members
–TINKER at the community glue workshop
–& MORE!

Check out the full schedule here!

RSVP to attend or host a workshop or volunteer for time hours at

Email Samantha at for more info.

Facebook event page

Join Us April 30 for CTX Action Planning!


Come join the conversation on how we activate the CTX in Chicago!!

When: Thursday, April 30th

Where: ICA GreenRise at 4750 N. Sheridan

When: 6-7:30pm

Who: YOU!!!

Two months ago, 17 of us met on a super snowy day and envisioned what an activated CTX might look like. We want to start taking action steps to help get us toward our shared vision.  Come help shape the CTX and future activities!

All are welcome!! Please RSVP to sevagandhi (at) gmail (dot) com if you plan on attending.


Happy Huggy Hygge Party, Sunday March 15th

The CTX, Links Hall and At the Table present

The Happy Huggy Hygge Party,

this Sunday March 15th!!

3111 N. Western
6-9pm and it’s Free! (like the love in your heart:)


The HYGGE needs YOU to make its tiny lights twinkle!!

Search your soul to see WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP – and bring a little bit of that to share: at a skill table, the talent show, through creative response/documentation or your warm, engaged conversation with friends old and new.

6-7pm: Potluck and Open Mic sign up
7-9pm: Open Mic Talent Show
Ongoing: Tables for people to share skills, teach talents and hang out!

On the physical plane, TABLES are needed (whatever you can bring) and CANDLES (let your little light shine!) Also GOOD FOOD to share for the potluck:)

There will be a FREE TABLE! Bring any decent stuff you want to circulate into the community and take anything that strikes your fancy!! Spring cleaning = sharing:) (Anything left over will be donated to the Brown Elephant.)

Questions? Inspirations?
Contact Lara Oppenheimer at laraoppenheimer at gmail dot com

Crowdsourced community party, YAY!

All our tiny lights together will bathe our hearts in a glorious warming glow:)

Visioning the Future of Time Banking in Chicago, Feb 15, 1-3pm

You and your needs & superpowers
are hereby invited to 
a visioning session on the future on Time Banking in Chicago!  
This Sunday, Feb 15th
The Chicago Time Exchange is a web-based skill pool where the currency is time and everyone’s time is equal.  It’s a co-created community economy where you can request what you need and offer skills out of your abundance and passions.  It’s one way for us to connect resources across the city and reimagine community support outside of capitalism and the market.
The CTX currently has close to 400 members!  The potential here for vibrant community economy* is VAST.  Let’s activate Time Banking in Chicago, grow this living system and have more of us sharing stewardship of the CTX.
All are invited! Bring your visions, desires & talents and JOIN US!
Looking forward to merging needs & superpowers for the creation of the world we want to live in:)
*What can a hoppin’ timebank really DO? Check out these short videos about the timebank in Portland, MA and the one in Louisville, KY and get inspired!!

The 2nd Annual Happy Huggy Hygge Party – FOR REAL now…


Let’s try this again!


Links Hall and the Chicago Time Exchange and YOU

will bring happy back at the 2nd Annual Happy Huggy Hygge Party!

Community + potluck + a talent show & skill shares + little twinkling lights = hygge!! (say hyoo-gah)


 Sunday, March 15th

6-9pm (note earlier time, it’s Sunday, y’all!)

Links Hall, 3111 N. Western

Free! (like the love in your heart:)
BYO yummy food to share!
Constellation Bar is open! ONLY $2 PBRs
6-7PM: Potluck, Open mic sign up and ongoing skills shares
Starting at 7 PM: Presentation of talents and skills
Ongoing: Tables for people to share skills, teach talents and hang out
Check it out the six things that make us happiest:
1) Intimacy/making love
2) Sports/running/exercise
3) Theatre/dance/concert
4) Singing/performing
5) Exhibition/museum/library
6) Hobbies/arts/crafts
Come share what you’ve got for #2-6.
(You are on your own for #1 but who knows, you may meet a friend:)

Read your freshest poetry! Teach us clapping games or ways to say “beer” in five different languages! Delight or defy us with your best/worst jokes! The possibilities are ENDLESS…

You are GUARANTEED to meet one new interesting person, learn one new thing and laugh at least one time, open-mouthed with astonishment and delight.

Questions? Inspirations? What to help out and get time credits on the Chicago Time Exchange?

Contact Lara at laraoppenheimer (at) gmail (dot) com.

Local Culture, Economy and Knowledge – Brown Bag Conversation Friday November 14

International Alliance for Localization – Strengthening Local Culture, Economy, and Knowledge 

Join us for a conversation with Bayo Akomolafe  and Manish Jain – two of the founders of the International Alliance for Localization: a new forum for global collaboration to support place-based solutions on a planetary scale. The IAL is a network of individuals and organizations dedicated to exploring new approaches to today’s ecological, social, and economic crises – approaches that respect and protect cultural and ecological diversity while expanding international dialogue and exchange. 

This short film provides a framework: Localization for People and the Earth.

Share ideas and local efforts for building community across the city, region, nation and connect globally.  Meet Stephanie Rearick and Chris Petit ofThe Mutual Aid Network:cooperative designed to pool and steward value and reward good work with cooperative economic tools such as timebanking, business-to-business mutual credit, and cooperative saving, lending, and investment.

Bring your lunch, your experiences, your ideas and your questions for a provocative and inspiring conversation!


Friday November 14, 2014 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM CST


Elevate Energy
322 S. Green St., Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60607