- a neighborhood or community organizer in the Chicago area?
- seeking to develop your facilitation skills for working with groups?
- interested in building skills within an international learning community?
- wanting to build relationships with others involved in their community through a shared learning experience?
The Time Salon: An Offers & Needs Market Orientation
Are you interested in the Offers & Needs Market facilitation technique? Are you curious about the Offers & Needs Market Facilitator Network cohort?
Join one of an upcoming series of Time Salons for an orientation to both the technique and timeline of this developing network.
We will move through a facilitated Offers & Need Market culminating in a brief orientation with Q&A around why the Kola Nut Collaborative is building this cohort and how you can participate.
March 5th; March 11th; March 19th; or March 25th
Since 2017, the Kola Nut Collaborative has offered facilitation, infrastructure, and technical assistance to community partners to implement time-based service and skills exchange through its timebank platform, in-person and virtual gatherings, and pilot initiatives. We employ many different facilitation techniques to help participants grasp timebanking as a concept. The Offers and Needs Market (OANM) was first adopted in 2019 for our member orientations. It has been by far our most impactful tool we have for communicating timebanking as a concept and collective practice. OANM sessions have been facilitated by Kola Nut for Chicago Food Policy Summit, Rising Tide Chicago, Chicago Urban Permaculture Salon, the Co-op Ed Center, Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group, Co-op Power Climate Justice Summit, and New Economy Coalition Educators Working Group. In addition, these practices have become a regular offering to add texture, connection, and community at the opening of general meetings and community gatherings.
Both timebanking and the Offers and Needs Market (OANM) hold great possibility for building social cohesion and connection within Chicago neighborhoods. Unfortunately, there are not enough local facilitators experienced in the full design of this process who can help embed it into the regular practice of their organizations. The Kola Nut Collaborative has received the support of Field Foundation in order to expand the number of experienced OANM facilitators in Chicago enhancing the social infrastructure of organizations across the city. We have partnered with Post Growth Institute to develop a cohort of 20 practitioners who will have the opportunity to experience an OANM training with organizers from Scotland. This rich international cultural exchange is intended to provide a community building experience for the local cohort while connecting them to organizers from a different context who are using a common facilitation framework to address their unique challenges.
While this training is rooted in OANM, we are evaluating a mix of additional tools against available funding that would allow this cohort to leave having completed at least three to four concrete skill building activities together. Our potential partners include PeoplesHub, Institute of Cultural Affairs (Technology of Participation), Interaction Institute, Highlander Center, Training for Change, and Acumen Academy. Due to the generous support we have received for implementation of this program, we will be offering the training at a modest participant cost which we expect to be held by the host organization which is sending participants to the training. Specific program details are included below as well as a link to the application.
- This program is only for those based in Chicago. We look forward to evaluating this pilot and sharing our learnings with other cities seeking to develop a similar offering.
- This program is only available to those who have an established relationship to a home organization or collective where they will be developing their practice. We hope to build the infrastructure and capacity of communities by skill building the people already deeply involved in organizing within their community.
- There is a modest cost of $100 attached to the application. We expect this cost to be held by the community which is invested in supporting the skill building of these cohort members. These funds will all be reinvested in projects completed by members of the cohort at the end of the training. Sliding scale and scholarship options available.
- Everyone who applies will be contacted about their application, but we can only accept 20 participants for this round of programming. Organizations or collectives who are sponsoring participants can send a maximum of two members to ensure space and a diversity of ideas within the cohort.
- The cohort will be working together over the course of nine months between April and December with the final three months being focused on design, implementation, and reflection.
- Application Deadline extended to March 15th
About The Kola Nut Collaborative
The Kola Nut Collaborative is Chicago’s only time-based service and skills trading platform—otherwise known as a timebank. A timebank is a mutual support network where neighbors can list the skills and services they would like to offer to members of their community and request support or assistance from others with things that they need. Timebanking has been employed in St. Louis, Madison, and cities throughout the US to help community residents build social fabric and cultivate deeper relationships.
The Kola Nut Collaborative was established by its founding coordinator Mike Strode in 2017 while working with Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living and Healthy Food Hub to cultivate food access initiatives connecting farming communities in Pembroke Township to neighborhoods in the south and west sides of Chicago. The timebank was conceived as a strategy to incentivize the creation of new food distribution hubs in neighborhoods that lacked access to fresh produce. While it was not an appropriate match for that project, Mike continued to develop the Collaborative to meet the needs of other partners including Chicago Learning Exchange, Chicago Park District (North Park Nature Center), Environmentalists of Color, Comfort Station, the Co-op Ed Center, and several other social endeavors throughout the city.
Our mission is to promote and sustain a robust timebanking platform which enables neighborhood residents to connect their skills & capacities to unmet community needs in order to make social infrastructure more visible throughout Chicago especially economically marginalized Black and Latinx communities.
OANM Facilitator Network Overview
Our current project is focused on advancing a practice called the Offers and Needs Market (OANM) developed by Post Growth Institute. The Offers and Needs Market is a 90 minute facilitated gathering which allows groups of community members to quickly explore and map the range of offers and needs present within their block club, neighborhood association, or community organization. The OANM Facilitator Training offers the following benefits and outcomes.
- Discover a simple, clear way to guide communities through tough times.
- Learn how to facilitate inclusive meetings where you are relaxed and in-control.
- Feel valued as a community facilitator, with a marketable process that can generate income.
- Energize your life with new leadership skills that bring forth the best in others.
We have found this to be a valuable step for communities to engage in advance of presenting the timebank platform because it goes to the root of asset based community development and makes the practice of timebanking much easier to understand. Through OANM, the skills and capacities already present within a community can be immediately connected to the needs while surfacing other opportunities to connect with our neighbors which we did not know were available to us.
- Develop a cohort of 20 experienced OANM practitioners embedded in local community organizations
- Build stronger relationships among this cohort personally and organizationally by sharing skills and resources
- Expand the use and impact of timebanking practice within Chicago communities
- Ground ourselves in community building which centers equity, reciprocity, & self-determination (solidarity economy)
- A network of connected practitioners who can make the Offers and Needs Market (OANM) process more available across in Chicago
- Stronger general facilitation practice for Chicago organizations
- A culture and practice of skill and resource sharing which transforms communities
Our Timeline & Process
Our cohort will be meeting bi-weekly for the duration of the project culminating in a series of Offers and Needs Markets hosted by members of the cohort in their respective organizations and communities. The bi-weekly meeting date and time will be scheduled once the cohort is fully formed.
Funding will also be available throughout the program to support project implementation for members of the cohort in their respective communities. This funding can address technology, technical support, accessibility, or other needs as they arise with building out the OANM process or expanding the opportunities to practice facilitation for the cohort.
Orientation & Planning
Offers & Needs Market Training (5 weeks)
Training is already scheduled for for the following dates and times: April 1 (Thursday) from 3 pm to 5 pm and April 8, 15, 22, 29 (Thursdays) from 12 pm to 2 pm. Participants should evaluate their schedules to ensure these slots are available before applying since this will be a core element of participation in the program.
May thru September
Acumen Academy (Human Centered Design)
Institute of Cultural Affairs (Technology of Participation)
Mapping Our Futures
PeoplesHub Thriving Groups
Peoples Movement Assembly
Training for Change
US Solidarity Economy Network (SE 101)
October thru December
Plan, design, and host at least 3 Offers & Needs Markets
OANM Facilitator Network Resources
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