Mission Statement

The Austin Time Exchange Network (ATEN) provides a complementary currency that enables members to build community through the exchange of services.

The Roots of Austin Time Exchange

The Austin Time Exchange Network (ATEN) is a part of a larger movement of similar organizations operating throughout the nation and world. “Time Banking,” as it is commonly called, is a program that has been growing for over 30 years. It is inspired by concepts developed by Edgar Cahn, an attorney, economist, and pioneer of social change, who had a vision of how communities could empower themselves by looking within to meet one another’s needs. Guided by this key phrase, “We have what we need if we use what we have,” Cahn has written several books and established a non-profit that encourages the growth of organizations that promote this concept and practice.

Currently, Time Banks exist in 30 states in the United States and 22 countries throughout the world. Adding to the Time Banks that already exist in El Paso and San Antonio, the Austin Time Exchange, along with a newly created Time Bank in Houston, will continue to develop a Time Banking presence in Texas. The Austin Time Exchange has been created to promote this program in Texas’ capital city as another way to encourage its dwellers to keep Austin local and unique.

ATEN was shaped to be a community-centered organization. The Austin Time Exchange consists of a group of organizational leaders along with network members who have enrolled in the program after completing application requirements and attending an orientation. The organizers are the group of advisors primarily responsible for overseeing and nurturing the growth of the Austin Time Exchange. These individuals offer assistance and guidance through spearheading program development. The members of ATEN are the center of the organization and much of the interaction, communication, and drive comes directly from its members themselves. It is the act of exchanging that transpires between members that enables the program to exist. It is only through both the continuation of these one-on-one exchanges along with membership growth that this program be able to maximize its potential.

The organizers of the Austin Time Exchange bring their experience with other Time Banks and local community groups in hopes to create a successful Time Banking program in a city that is beginning to embrace it. The program operates independently as a grassroots group without any paid staff members. ATEN has been in existence since April of 2006 and has been received well by those residing in Austin. We currently have over sixty participants in the network and are beginning to expand our membership base to include grassroots groups, non-profit organizations, and locally-owned businesses.