will barter for skills

This post is also featured on Greenopolis.

Skillsharing is hot right now. Maybe it’s because most everyone is on a budget or perhaps there’s been a great awakening where people feel compelled to share resources, time, and abilities.

If you’ve never been to a skillshare, here’s the gist: A group of people with various skills come together in the spirit of sharing. The skilled people teach a group of eager learners who either pay a small fee (like $10) to learn new skills or barter with their own skills or services.

Back in October, I attended the Brooklyn Skillshare and learned some great skills which I’ve since applied at home: upcycling glass bottles into vases, drinking glasses (and more) and making butter and ricotta. (You can check out the results here.)

Learning how to cast silver jewelry at the Brooklyn Skillshare.

If you’re interested in trying out one of these skillshares and you live in NYC, you’re in for a treat. From now until February 28 at Grand Opening (139 Norfolk St), you can learn a new skill every night at Trade School – as long as you’re able to give (barter) in return. There are some really cool skills being offered up, including foraging and preserving foods, fabric-making, community engagement, and composting.

Once you’re bitten by the skillsharing bug, it’s hard to quit. In fact, last year, after learning how to make soap, I felt compelled to teach others at a soap-making party. You can read more about my case of soap fever on the Handmade Soap Coach blog.

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3 Responses to “will barter for skills”

  1. wildelycreative Says:

    I’ve been bartering skills for some time now.
    I write an article, a blog post, I set up a website and in return I get a product, service or learning experience that I want. It’s a win-win situation for many small businesses to access this kind of service. And I get to work with people who have shared interests, which is having a knock-on effect of expanding my social circle. I don’t skill share in the way you’ve described. I’ve never come across a skillshare group like this in the North of England.

    Skill sharing has changed the way I look at business and my expectations of the need for financial reward. Money will buy me “stuff” but it never made me happy. Sharing and trading skills with small businesses is much more rewarding. And the contracts that do pay are enough to cover everything I need.

    I saw a tweet once that said “What’s a blogger?” A one word answer was heartily retweeted with mirth and ignorance – “Unemployed”. It is not unemployment – it is a viable business structure for a new paradigm to which humanity IS awakening.

    Money may not be the root of all evil, but sharing and community have been an essential part of human survival and evolution since the dawn of time.

    • Liz Says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Karen. I love the application of bartering, creating a new economy that doesn’t rely on paper money but on community.

      There’s also a network called the Time Bank, maybe you’ve heard of it. In NYC, it’s called TINY or the Time Interchange of New York. A person posts the skills they’d like to share and someone else who is sharing skills can take you up on your offer, earning you points for any other service available in the network. Here’s their site if you’d like to check them out: http://timeinterchange.wordpress.com/

  2. wildelycreative Says:

    Thanks Liz – What a great idea!

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