Timebanking pioneer Dr. Edgar Cahn gives talk at Fanon Resource Centre

Dr Edgar Cahn the founder of Timebanking gave a talk about his work and held a question and answer session on during his visit to the UK.

Dr. Edgar Cahn is a civil rights lawyer and social innovator. As an activist, he has made impacts in areas as diverse as hunger and malnutrition, poverty, indigenous people’s rights, public services, community health, public housing and social welfare.

Certitude and it’s partner organisations have set out to develop Time Bank opportunities and approaches, particularly in our mental health services, as a way of supporting people to help themselves and help others.  To this end we partnered in April with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Lambeth to second 2 highly experienced Time Bank staff to work with us for 3 years to lead on the development of timebanking within Lambeth and throughout our services.

*Dr. Edgar Cahn is a civil rights lawyer and social innovator. As an activist, he has made impacts in areas as diverse as hunger and malnutrition, poverty, indigenous people’s rights, public services, community health, public housing and social welfare.

Much of Edgar’s work has focused on ideas of the core economy and co-production: finding ways to tap into the vast array of human capabilities and connections which go unpaid and unnoticed by the market economy. His major innovation in this area has been timebanking, which now operates in 22 countries and has been running in the UK for over a decade. Edgar founded TimeBanks USA and the US Time Dollar, of which he remains president, and wrote a book No More Throw-away People (2004) which explains the thinking behind timebanks and co-production.

Edgar started his career in government as a speechwriter for Attorney General Robert Kennedy under President John Kennedy. His next role was in the Office of Economic Opportunity in the White House, under President Johnson, where he helped launch the National Legal Services Programme as a means of helping Americans living in poverty. After leaving government work, he founded the Citizens Advocate Centre in Washington DC as watchdog to challenge government treatment of American Indians, and collaborated with American Indian scholars to write Our Brother’s Keeper, the Indian in White America, which helped get self-determination to be recognised as national policy.

In 1968, Edgar published Hunger USA, the first exposé of hunger and malnutrition in America, which launched a major national campaign, supported by his own litigation work. Edgar is also the founder of the Antioch School of Law (now called the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law) which puts social justice at the heart of legal education.