Gabriele Donati spoke about his work with TimeRepublik, the world’s first purpose-driven social network. TimeRepublik offers a global online platform for users to provide services in exchange for TimeCoins that can be used to purchase other services on TimeRepublik. With a global reach, TimeRepublik built a strong online community of users that value their social network platform. Lately, People Helping People podcast episodes are focused on how to build a stronger audience and community around your business, so this conversation with TimeRepublik reflects that theme.
Alongside building a community, the business is shifting expectations people have for in personal interactions. Gabriele described TimeRepublik’s function as “a digital platform where you can exchange time instead of money.” He followed up, explaining that there’s an idea of taking money out of the equation: “It’s because we are more interested in creating relationships between people rather than transactions.” Gabriele emphasized the process of building trust between users, and how those bonds open doors. Unlike currency exchanges that can be “one and done”, the service-exchange approach on TimeRepublik starts a mutual effort on both sides to fully communicate.
In the beginning, the platform was made to be global one-on-one exchanges, then, the team realized how powerful the exchanges become when given a common space. Users of the platform can create groups/ communities to connect with people of a similar interest. Groups allow for people to find each other much more easily, while strengthening the bonds in the interactions.
Gabriele gave an inside look at a project involving principles of TimeRepublik within companies. In the project, staff were placed in a small group and told to offer a service of one of their passions, not what’s considered their traditionally “professional” skill”. Gabriele gave an example of what happens when people gloss over what is considered a passion, talent, or hobby. Sometimes society is so clear on sticking to an imaginary limit we place on ourselves that we forget the things that help our different traits shine.
On the actual platform, people are more than happy to help once they identify their talents. Gabriele jokingly expressed how the team needs to remind users to post requests for help themselves. People come willing to help, and almost forget that they can request a service. Gabriele shared that the trend is mainly from users being excited to be on the platform, and he also mentioned that part of it may come from stigma.
Gabriele expressed that culture sometimes relates asking for help as a weakness, which creates the unnecessary stigma. Another reason for the trend connected to the thought that once you ask for something, you are immediately indebted to give something. We both agreed that society can choose more empowering perspectives. By allowing someone to help you, you are gifting that person the moment of happiness they get from helping you. There’s a mutual reciprocity, which leads back to the relationships and trust needed in community building.
If you would like to learn more, visit their website.
Adam: [00:00:00] Welcome to People Helping People, the podcast to inspire greater social change and give you ideas on how to take action. I'm your host, Adam Morris. Today, we're speaking with Gabriele Donati who co-founded TimeRepublik, Switzerland with his high school friend, Karim Varini after learning about the power of time baking and exploring how to grow a global community on the internet.
TimeRepublik, founded in 2012, prides itself on being the world's largest time bank and the first social network that actually makes you happier. They have over a hundred thousand members in a hundred countries with people connecting and sharing their time. What fascinates me most is their approach to building a successful community online.
This is a question that so many social entrepreneurs have when they're launching their business. So I'm excited to dive in. Gabriele welcome on the podcast.
Gabriele: [00:00:47] Thank you for having me.
Adam: [00:00:48] Can we start off, can you tell us a little bit about TimeRepublik?
Gabriele: [00:00:52] TimeRepublik is really a digital platform where you can exchange time instead of money. So this is like the shortest version that I can give you. The idea of taking money out of the equation. It's because we are more interested in creating a relationship between people rather than transactions.
So today technology is an amazing tool to create transactions, but they're forgetting about the relationship part, which is basically our goal.
Adam: [00:01:18] Why is this form of TimeBanking helpful for individuals?
Gabriele: [00:01:22] Time But 10 banking has been around for many centuries, actually. The modern inventor it's Edgar Cahn, is actually in DC is still alive is 86 years young. I think, around there. And he basically creates a time banking mostly to help the disenfranchised. So it became a more of a movement of volunteer movement to help the elderly do or the veterans or disenfranchised. This is a great idea for us because, when we decided to create a space where money was out of the equation, as I said, we did it really know time banking, and then researching it, we found out this, the system was already available. And the amazing things of time banking is that one hour it's equal for everybody involved.
So no matter what you do, no matter if you're like a surgeon or a musician, your hour is worth the same. And it's not like saying that, were giving you a value or we'd like flattening the curve of the values. We're actually saying we're not so concerning measuring the values of people's skills, but you're more concerned in measuring the relationships. In creating relationships, which for us is the most important thing, because only through relationship, you can generate trust between people.
And once you generate trust, then everything is possible. Really the spectrum of possibilities. Once you know, you trust me and I trust you. It's much greater, you become part of my family, my community, and I opened so many more doors to you once we have that. This is what really time banking is about.
And that's why we adopted the same model for TimeRepublik.
Adam: [00:02:59] I have a question on just like how you build that trust when somebody uses the platform what's that experience like when somebody comes in.
Gabriele: [00:03:06] It's pretty challenging because the barrier of entry. It's much higher than let's say creating engagement.
like on regular social media platforms without mentioning any names, TimeRepublik, it's not necessarily just to, or to post a silly joke or a meme, you really have to be engaged, so you really have to do something. So it's, let's say to start the process and to find the diamond, that, that precious thing, it requires a little effort. And not, once you create an exchange, let's say, because someTimeRepublik, I should say it may be a little bit, how it works. Basically, you registered on the platform, you fill out your profile and then we give you some time coins, which is just a fancy way to call the currency of time.
One time coin equals 15 minutes. And then we basically gift you a five five hours, which is 20 time coins. And then you can start spending those time coins by posting requests. Let's say you need a logo for your business. So you need some legal advice. Anything you need, you can post a request and then you can pay the people that help you with that, with those time coins. It really looks like a service exchange platform, is like task rabbits or like those services exchange platforms. But the service exchange is really the excuse to start something else, Right.
You can, of course, you get something because your logo gets done and pretty nice, because we have some great graphic designers on TimeRepublik, but also it starts a new relationship. You recognize it only once, once you try it. And once you find it, because it's funny because we're so used in the market economy, that anything you do, I, let's say I exchange a fee, a service with you. As soon as I pay with money with feared currency is like saying, Okay, our relationship stops right now.
You get, I got what I want, I pay with what you want and that's it. Bye-bye right on TimeRepublik one's time is involved is exact opposite. We start with a service exchange, you helped me and I get something from you. And instead of stopping, this relationship, I say, Okay.
this is basically we lay the foundations to create something more meaningful, something deeper and not in a new agey way.
I'm not saying, kumbaya now we're friends, as I said, you only experienced it once you try it, because we are so used to get like money for anything that once. You have this awkward moment that, okay, I did something, you did something, and I pay you with this time that, it's really not tangible.
Okay. Is this, what is the catch? What's happening now? You know what and, nothing happens, that's it. We just create something deeper with this person. And we see that. Just how people communicate with each other. Let's say we did a semantic analysis of the word count of the chat, the typical chat on TimeRepublik and typical messages on chat on other platforms.
And on TimeRepublik is like the word count is three times more.
Adam: [00:06:08] Wow.
Gabriele: [00:06:09] So it means that people take more time to express what they need to be more appreciative. And to tell you a little something more about, about themselves, and this is really what we valued. It's, this is why we created TimeRepublik.
And that's how we designed the platform for you to, to do that. As I said, we don't have likes, we don't have a wall where you can post pictures where you can. Know, tell us everything about your life, but we just give you a tool to basically exchange real things with people.
Adam: [00:06:42] It sounds like that generates a much deeper connection between people when it's not just a monetary exchange because you're actually showing up and giving your time.
Gabriele: [00:06:52] Absolutely. And this is, what we're really about. That's what human beings are for, but again, technology, and I don't want to, blame everything on technology because it's a paradox. We are a digital platform, but. We forget that what makes us happy is really helping somebody else.
If you strip down all the BS of relationships between people, what really makes us happy to help you and you get a benefit and, I put a smile on your face. This is really Yeah,
basic human dynamics. We're a social animal, social animal means that, we're helping each other, but what makes us, that's what gives us meaning and purpose.
So technology is not doing that anymore. So Facebook, promised us like in 2005 that it was going to connect the world and everybody thought that everybody would be much happier. We've connected. Wow. I can connect with everybody. And the first part is, they did it amazingly because that's what they did.
The, 80 billions people on Facebook. So this is great. As I said, I'm not criticizing Facebook at all because the first part was fundamental and they did agree the second part to make us happy. It's. It's just, it failed us, there's just not enough to connect with technology.
It's just not enough to create, do those connections. You really have to go a step further. And this is, what we're trying to do with TimeRepublik to create basically a social network with purpose, which is a paradox nowadays, because social media is basically purposeless or leveraging on the dynamic that everybody knows, like narcissism, voyeurism. And so forth that just creates more alienation and more solutide and loneliness and depression. There's plenty of studies that shows that kids are much more depressed if they spend eight hours on Instagram to show to look at people's lives.
Adam: [00:08:55] That makes a lot of sense. One of my friends, Jay Clouse recently was talking about this where, everyone, he follows on Instagram. He's curated to be like people he looks up to. And so people that are much better than him. And, he's doing great stuff, but he said, all of a sudden he has all of this, anxiety around his own performance because he sees all these other people doing really much better.
It's very easy to forget that you are where you are and so that makes a lot of sense. But I think this point that you make we're really happy when we are helping somebody else. Like that is a really important point. I've been involved in a course called Creativity and Personal Mastery.
And Dr. Rao has this, the spiel where he says, anytime that you're in a fight with somebody or angry or upset you're living and then a me-centered universe where you're focusing on yourself, and if you shift that to another center universe where you're looking at, Hey, how can I contribute to somebody else and take yourself out of that equation then, know, all of a sudden there's nothing to get angry about because it's not about me.
And so it makes the sense that, Hey, when you're helping somebody, all of a sudden, it's not a transaction of what am I getting? It's you know, you take that, oh, I'm getting this and I'm giving money. And all of a sudden it's we're sharing time.
Gabriele: [00:10:08] Yeah.
As I said, it takes a little longer and it's not as challenging as I said, we've been around for nine years, as I said earlier we did all the possible mistakes. Like every startup, but we still around, so it means that we're doing something right, is we will actually creating something that people need.
Otherwise, people wouldn't use it. But it takes a lot of effort. And at the beginning, we wanted to scale like Facebook or like Instagram, right then. We would see, like only two people using it. Then the 20, 2000 and 20,000 is never enough. But, it's, once, once you realize that the community in TimeRepublik or people that you're dealing with is so much more powerful.
It's so much more meaningful, you can get things done. I replied to this request three days ago. Was this girl, I think in Portugal, she posted a request that she wanted to create a round table to talk about spirituality in general. She was not very precise. And I replied to that request because I've been doing some reading lately that I wanted to share with her. So she replies back to me like the day after saying, listen, I got overwhelmed by your replies. So what I'm thinking of creating like a zoom meeting. So we can all get together. So I don't have to do this one one-to-one exchange so we can all share together. And that's what we did. We met on Monday and we spent like an hour and a half just talking about these things.
And and then she decided to create a community on term Republic on that topic, because it was so successful. And it's incredible. The people you meet, the level of. Of thinking and intellect that these people had. I I was talking to strangers on every corner of the world and going pretty deep into the discussion.
And I said, man, this is incredible. It's something that I never experienced on any other platforms. Of course you hear it from me, I'm the founder and CEO TimeRepublik. It seems that I try to sell your product, but, as I said, you just have to try it and see it for yourself. You constantly meet people that just want to, To do better and to go to the extra to, to express, something that is much more meaningful than, sharing a naked picture, half naked picture on Instagram next to a swimming pool.
To me, it's it's the said every little exchange is very magical for me and I don't want to sound like corny or cheesy, but it's, really when I see these things happening, that before TimeRepublik, just, this things were not happening, like a guy in San Francisco with a kid in, in, in Casa Blanca, Morocco.
I use these examples because it's great. It's just like senior graphic designer in San Francisco. They work for a big firm, but he's on TimeRepublik. Gingerly, sharing his talent. And this kid in Casablanca is a 17 year old kid. That is a tour guy, like local tour guide that did it like a business card to distribute at the airport to tourists that would come to Morocco that needed, a business card and a logo.
And this guy in San Francisco basically designed them. It's corporate identity and it's, it's beautiful because you have this cross continental across like age and, you put people together that, you couldn't put them together before. Of course you could, to Facebook.
And they said, but with this extra level of wanting to create something better, it's just wonderful for me. It's just, as I said, it's magical. Every little exchange is magical.
Adam: [00:13:37] If it's, equal footing with the amount of time that you're putting in and the amount of time that you're getting from somebody else that takes away that, that question of hey, what's the scam here? Or what's, what's the catch and it's even, it's, we all have same amount of time during the day.
Gabriele: [00:13:54] Yeah. And then it's, of course it's the biggest criticism of people that don't know time banking. Always the same thing. Okay. But why an hour of my time has to be an hour of your time. Why, I'm a doctor and I study like 20 years and an hour of my time has to be of course, much more valuable than an hour of a person that is cleaning the toilet.
And again, they're missing the point and I understand why they're missing the point, because we always trace the parallelism with the market economy. It really looks like a service exchange platform. It really looks like we're creating a market of like demand and an offer and we're trying to, create an alternative market.
But it's I said before, it's really tricky because it's really, it looks like exactly the same, but just the first part is the same. It's just, as I said, the exchange part, which is, we take it to to the next level.
And as I said before, it's just the excuse. And then what you can create later. It's it's really what. What, Edgar Cahn, which is the inventor of TimeBanking puts in a beautiful way, basically saying that all current economic planning basically augments an economy that is much more important, right?
It's, it's called home family neighborhoods, civil society. There is a children and that, makes a democracy work and so forth. And really that's TimeBanking, , it's like saying, Okay.
the market economy is great to value and to remunerate certain dynamics, GDP, it's positive when you have four wars.
And it goes up and that's, it's Okay.
I'm not criticizing the system. I'm not here to criticize. If, to say we're better. But I'm saying did forget that there is a, at least a third of the economic map that is not accounted for that. Nobody's really valuing. As I said before, the families healthy, dynamic, healthy neighborhoods, healthy communities that are making things work. And that's what time banking is measured. So it looks like market economy looks like a service exchange platform, but No.
It's really trying to measure and to mine, those beautiful best human practices and giving them a market in order to boost them and to scale them. So this is a little bit what it is about.
Adam: [00:16:12] Now you mentioned that over the last nine years, you've had a lot of learnings just of developing this community. Oh, what were some of those major roadblocks that you had to overcome?
Gabriele: [00:16:24] So we naively started TimeRepublik and we launched globally. Who said, Okay.
we have this amazing idea. Let's exchange time. And we were hoping that the old world would embrace it. We translated the platform in 12 languages. And then, we waited for a month, two months, three months, and nothing was happening.
No, of course something was happening because, randomly, we would have people, but we went very thin and very very wide in a way. So we. We realized that the idea is great because some people are using it and they're giving us great feedback, but we have to be more focused with, what we wanted to do.
And then throughout the years we realized that one-to-one exchange. So as strangers or exchange with strangers is good, but we need something else. And that's when we started to create this module that is called what it's called today, communities. So basically giving a tool for people to create their own community within the bigger global box of TimeRepublik, like a Facebook group, if you want.
Yep. You're on a global Facebook, but you can create your interest group or your private group. And then you can engage people that are, think alike. They have the same mindset or they're part of the same group. And and then you expand from there. And this is what we started shifting.
We pivoted basically from this, global platform one-to-one exchange into more creating smaller communities and smaller pubs that then they could communicate with each other. And this is, yeah, this is the best thing we ever did because, it's we could really see like they need from from our user that's physically what, where they needed it.
And this is what, we launched two weeks ago with this new module and it's going very well. So this is more or less in a nutshell what nine years, but we can go more in details if you're interested, but it's very hard to do to make that long story. So short.
Adam: [00:18:21] No, I, this is something I'm very curious about because it's something that comes up in conversation. A lot of people starting out and being like, Hey, you know what? I want to build a community or be part of a community. How do I find that? How do I build that? How do I make that community engaging and successful?
Gabriele: [00:18:40] This is like work requires so much work. It's not just a tool, a great platform that gives you very powerful tools. But at the end of the day to create community? you have to meet face to face. You have to start small. And when I say small, it means really small.
There are some very successful communities that started on TimeRepublik, but now have thousands of users that like for six months or even a year, you were exchanging between 10, 12 people. So it's extremely important to start small, to make sure you set the tone of your community, that people know exactly what you're trying to do, that your goals and your vision are extremely clear.
And you basically, curating that community 24 seven. And this is really, the media is no shortcut. As I said, I was naive like that. When we started that, I thought, we creating a great tool and everything's gonna grow by itself. and that's not in the works,
Adam: [00:19:38] It's like planting a garden almost right here. When you start off and you have empty soil, you've got to give it a lot of time and attention. You're planting seeds, and then you're watering the seeds and you're pulling out all the weeds and you're being very intentional about here's what I want to grow.
And being able to communicate that clearly, but also to be the force for making sure that what you want to grow is happening. And then it sounds like over time, it's okay, great. You have an apple orchard. And then you're taking care of the trees, it's a different type of effort when you have an existing orchard, as opposed to when you're starting.
Gabriele: [00:20:15] Absolutely. And that's a beautiful analogy and that's exactly what happens when you try to create community, the tool, the technological tool. It's great after, because once you create it and you moderate it and you really curated your community. Then the digital tool gives you like the scalability effect and the network effect that you wouldn't have without technology.
We know it's the chicken or the egg, but we know that it's the egg, right. You really have to start small to grow little by little. And then, you have the tool that makes you like, expand. And this is, again, this is. Something that we thought about it a lot because, when we start looking into time banking, we've seen that, traditional time banking I worked with are working extremely well.
And they generate millions of hours in this past the 10 years. But, we thought it could be even better. We can really scale it much faster and much wider. And that's, basically why we created TimeRepublik, not to be in competition with time banking and this amazing local organizations, but to really tackle the problem from, we said the cloud down basically from a digital world down to the ground, while the traditional time banking to do the, they get their hands dirty right away and they really work on the ground.
But then for them it's very hard to expand and to scale. So we thought that if you would tackle the problem, from the opposite direction. Maybe we could meet in the middle and really create like a serious movement and really to create change and try to make a better world, like you said before. So this is, our strategy and of course, to try to target also a younger population, because if you want to scale. Man, you have to change the perception, that time banking and volunteering is this boring thing that you don't get anything in return and only older people do it or people with disabilities. no, man. It's it's not like that. What we're giving you is a tool for you to understand that you're a human being and for you to understand that what counts is, it's really, getting together with somebody and help each other, little bit where we are.
Adam: [00:22:28] It seems like with those communities, you can focus that attention around particular topics. So it makes it easier to find out , here's how I can actually participate , both to help out as well as, here's how I can contribute.
Gabriele: [00:22:41] And you're also helping people to find purpose. Our first business model, because of course we're, unfortunately we cannot pay servers and developers yet only with time coins. So we have to generate some sorts of revenue to, to keep the dream alive.
So we created this business model which is a bit to be a business to business model. We decided because at one point a bank, a large bank in Italy by countries or some Paolo, which is the largest bank in Italy, the third largest in Europe. So it's like a giant entity. They contacted us and they said, listen, we have these organization that is helping us to engage our employees. And we discover about you or the local newspaper. And we wanted to see if we could collaborate. Their biggest challenge, like any larger organization from 2000 employees, it's considered a larger organization. They have this basically cancer that they basically, they cannot engage or to ask the extra from from their employees because they're not emotionally, not really actively engaged with the company.
And that doesn't mean they don't work well. They work nine to five doing amazingly. But, in such a competitive landscape, they need to extract more from their employees and companies. They try everything, monetary incentives. They try to throw a party every month and so forth, but nothing seemed to work. So we start to think about it. And then we said, okay, let's try to create basically a white label type Republic for the company. So it's a closed group. We're basically we force every employee to offer what they really love to do their passions, their hobbies, not their professional skill.
We set up this group and then we created the first workshop to explain what it is about. And we had about 20 people coming to the first work shop. And and in a way we were super enthusiastic, you have this group, you can share all your hobbies, what you really love to do, what you do during the weekend and so forth.
And then you would see their eyes like this, looking at you what are you guys thinking? What are you guys trying to do? And then, I asked him, so why you don't see it? And they say, man, no, I don't see it because, I've been an accountant for 30 years. I I don't know how to do anything else.
That's the only thing I can do. And I said, listen, you're talking to me and we're talking in Italian. So I'm pretty sure you speak at Tanya pretty well. So Yeah.
Yes, of course. And I'll tell him, that we have about hundred requests a month of people who want to just conversation in Italian or via zoom or via Skype. And then it says, so this is, this could be my talent. This is something I could share on term republics, of course. But then, like the spark, like in their eyes and little by little, it said, man, I think playing violin also for since I'm six years old and I'm pretty good.
You think I can teach violin too? Somebody said, man, yes, that's exactly. what is this about? I'm sure you, in your resume, you had your soft skills, right? You wrote your soft skills and nobody ever reads the soft skill. Not to mention utilizing that it's oh, I can really do that.
And then, a new world opens up and you realize that, they're so like brainwashed that, and they're so accustomed to just do one thing. And, the company is asking me to do one thing. So I'm the accountant. And everybody knows me as like the boring accountant. And whenever I call somebody, let's say at five on Friday, nobody answers because they know that they, I'm asking for numbers and there's something beautiful happen.
So we launched this pilot and people start, exchanging and exploring and after a month or so the same accountant. Contacted me personally. And it tells me, listen, now I understand now I really understand. And the stories that, somebody posts a request that they needed, like to know a little bit more about violin lessons, because the son of discipline, he wanted to always want student violin at the the boring accounted reply to the request they made during lunch break and him being like, Leveraging on something they really love to do.
Once, you ask about your passion, you become evangelists. So you give the extra emphasis and you go the extra mile to explain and everything, the other person, which was the I forgot what it was, I think was in the creative world. If it was the graphic designer for the bank, or I don't remember what it was, but I remember it was, more than the art creative part.
They became so close, they invite him over for during the weekend to meet the kid. They did the first lessons of Eileen and the became really close. And after that, every other weekend, they would invite each other's family over for a weekend for dinner and they created this thing.
So this is really in a nutshell, what would time banking can do. And this, it seems I'm saying something that is out of The ordinary, it's something like over a, it's romanticized, but this is really what's happening. And so suddenly, the boring accountant is seen within the community of the employees as something great.
Somebody that is gradient some hidden talents that nobody knew and new, new type of Exchange can be born from there. And also the benefit that the company has. And that's why we've been so successful with that model is that the company by having a more engaged community as a return of investment too, because now when, once the boring accountant is calling me at five on a Friday, and I know it's him.
Now I have a deeper relationship. I have something else to share. So I answer the phone and I'm helping him more then before, because now I know I'm under a different light. And so this is really, it is in a very micro level, but this is what's happening on a micro level and this is what we're trying to do.
And it's, what seems to work.
Adam: [00:28:38] I really love about that is just this idea that you can bring things that are unique to you that you enjoy doing and just say, Hey, this is what I love. And you can share that with somebody else. And it's not like you're being told, Hey, you need to do X, Y, and Z because I'm paying you and that's your job.
You can show up with who you are and that unique skill that makes you you and use that to connect with other people. So that's, that sounds really awesome. Cool. Has that business model changed over the years?
Gabriele: [00:29:12] Yes. It's just changed because. As great as it is to have a corporate client, in order to have a corporate client, you really have to structure yourself to be, corporate. And for example, the, we signed the contract, your bank, and some Paolo after basically a year since the first encounter.
So the cycle is it's really long and it takes a lot of effort. So we said, it's great because it's really, it's, once you have a corporate client, it's cool in terms of money and and the insecurity, but that's not where our heart is. So we really wanted to focus on, on, on the B2C business to consumer model and by introducing the community model, which I explained before.
We decided to change the model into a premium model. So basically we give you like a basic module for the communities, which is free. And then together with the administrator of those groups, we create custom tools that they need maybe implementation of a calendar, or like a more extensive dashboard to see the statistics and so forth.
And then we charge a certain fee every month for those custom tools.
Adam: [00:30:27] That's fantastic, as you're developing the business, you'll be gearing it towards new enhancements that serve the community.
Gabriele: [00:30:35] Yes the lean approach, you start with something basic and then you're, you have to be ready to reiterate and to develop super quickly something that. That your customer wants. For example the girl that created this community that we spoke before about the circle, the round table about spirituality.
She invited me into the group. And then since we already created something outside through zoom at the end of the zoom call, they said another person said, okay, let's keep in touch. So let's create a WhatsApp group so we can exchange links. And then the other person, oh no, but I don't have WhatsApp.
Okay. So let's do a Facebook group. And then I said that let's do, it on TimeRepublik on the community, and then that's what she did. But then I realized that, those other platforms are great because they're much more immediate. It's easier to send a link and to create like a forum like thread.
And that's something that actually since yesterday with trying to design. So to have the possibility also on the community page to create a thread like the conversation where you don't necessarily need to create a request and wait for the other person to reply, but it's much more immediate.
And then maybe instead of the like button, you can introduce ways to donate time coins right away. Because if somebody is giving a commented, it actually is helpful. Maybe you want to. Donate some time coins to the person because they actually helped you. So create different ways, different dynamics to give to the administrator of the groups.
Adam: [00:31:58] That's brilliant. So what's the best way for people to get involved with TimeRepublik.
Gabriele: [00:32:03] It's still go on timerepublik.com and register, fill out their profiles and start using it. We weren't sure at the beginning, if gifting time was the right thing to do, because we were afraid that people would come up, they would register, they would gain five hours and they would spend them right away and then they will disappear.
But we seen the exact opposite trend. So we see people that registered, they collect their time coins, but they don't post requests. And there they spend all their time helping other people. So they collect time coins and they don't bother in asking for anything. So you flip the whole thing. On the, on, on its head.
And now we'll have to force people to actually ask for help. Let me say, stop helping please post a requests because I'm sure you need something. So basically we're working on a campaign to push people, to ask for help, which is a luxury problem for us.
So I'm saying the best way is to go to fill out your profile, collect some time coins, and please post a request. I'm sure you need a logo. You need to brush up your Spanish. You need some cooking recipes. You need simple things and that's the best way to start understanding the dynamics of time bank. So this is, the best way to get involved. And then you feel like a community that resonates with you. You can join the community and see how that works.
Adam: [00:33:30] That's funny that you say that because it does sound counterintuitive. But if you think about it, there is like a certain comfort factor in giving, right? Because there's no expectation or no, no feeling that you owe somebody something. There's a feeling if I'm asking for something for free there's almost a guilt factor or something in there of not participating.
But it seems like as soon as you actually participate, you realize, hey, this is the value of exchange. So I'm okay to share up and ask for something and allow somebody to give something to me because I'm going to do the same for them.
Gabriele: [00:34:04] And that's. I should have very good at what you said than I ever thought about it. I thought that the reason why they don't post and that it's culturally as well, because we've seen certain places that they're not afraid to ask for help. And I always thought is cultural, especially in the states where we have to force people to post, because there is this stigma, I think that you need something.
So you've seen us. As like a weak person, that you're needing something, especially in a social media ethos that everybody's like the need, anything they're flying private jets. And they're like on holiday 360 days a year. So I always thought that's the reason why people don't post requests, but maybe you're right.
Also there's that factor that if I post something means I have to give something in return. And and what is the catch?
Adam: [00:34:54] I do understand that difficulty in asking for help. I have a friend who's always been very giving her entire life and then she fell ill and she needed help from other people. And she struggled with that because, just having to ask somebody for help and needing to do that, felt wrong to her. And I remember having this discussion and watching her come to this conclusion that, Hey, me being in this position is the way things are right now. And I do need this help, but by putting myself out there and accepting help, I'm giving somebody else that chance to give. And so in a sense, you're giving somebody that, that gift to be able to help by asking, and that completes a circle.
Gabriele: [00:35:37] Yeah. We have to change the mindset and realize that actually asking for help. You're gifting somebody because you're gifting that happiness moment that. Basically realize itself when the person is allowed to freely help you. So that's what reciprocity is about.
And we have to rediscover that because as I said, we're social animals and we see that reciprocity is it's really the essence of human beings. So it's yeah, and we have to. To the world.
Adam: [00:36:10] If you show up and you offer your time doing the things that you love to do for somebody else. Not only are you helping somebody else, but you're spending that time doing something that, that is important to you personally that you're good at. So there's just a whole nother dimension to that, which is fantastic.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
Gabriele: [00:36:30] Thank you for having me. I I would, that's what I love to do.
Talk about it and learn things and and really spread the word because I truly believe that this could be a game changer. I still believe that money is extremely useful for certain things. It's certainly, works very well for certain things, but for others, it's just this is not just a good measuring tool. It's like measuring a sphere with a ruler. So we have to create a more malleable currency for things like a sphere, and and I think time's a great, was a great currency for that.
Adam: [00:37:06] And if you're you want to live your life as a whole person, I think the world of working, earning money, spending it is very linear. And so it sounds like TimeRepublik is tool for bringing that sphere into being.
Gabriele: [00:37:21] Because at the bottom line, I think what the world needs is more trust. I think at the core of every conflict, every challenge that we have, from small to big, from the fight that you have with your partner or from, a big war, really at the core there's lack of trust. So if you're able to generate a little bit more trust between people and then the city you found like the philosopher's stone, you find something that really turn anything into gold and we believe that you can only do that through relationship by boosting relationship between people.
We live in a society where like technology basically transform any potential occasion to create a relationship into a transaction. If you like delivery or you need a ride or like a sex relationships and like food mobility, it's visibly, there are all things that before technology or not even before 2005, we were doing it. And we were creating a sort of like exchange with a person with a real human being. And then technology came and created this extremely fast access to everything, but it transformed everything to a transaction. Actually it's like something extremely new, that scaled so fast, of course we're binge watching on Netflix because it's right. Hopefully my generation, we have to wait like a whole week to see the second episode right now I can watch four season in a weekend.
So it's great. Don't get me wrong. I do that too. I think everybody does that. But again, it's great, we have to start creating tools that leverage on different dynamics and start to create platforms that are not designed to create these like super dopamine effect. And, it creates this like a gambling, like dynamics. I don't know if you saw that the social dilemma it's pretty popular, documentary about that, but you really have to be courageous and start, building technology and building platforms leveraging on different dynamics that might not generate the return of investment that, Instagram is generating, but it's creating a better world.
I don't feel shame in saying that we want to create a better world because it just really, what. What our goal is.
Adam: [00:39:40] People really are looking for a more human connection. And I know that emptiness, looking at Instagram where you do feel disconnected because there's no exchange. There's no real solid connection there. So on TimeRepublik, if you can come in and build that connection.
Yeah. It's going to take time and effort because the front is what a human interaction is. But by participating in showing up, you are, going find that much more fulfilling.
Gabriele: [00:40:08] That's the ah-ha moment of time banking platform like TimeRepublik.
Adam: [00:40:13] Thanks again for joining me today. I feel like we covered so much just about what TimeRepublik is about. I learned a lot more about time banking. But also we dove into how to build an effective community and looking at some of those things of what people can do to get more connected and just this whole understanding that what fulfils you is what you give. So being able to turn that into building real relationships.
Gabriele: [00:40:38] Great. Thank you. Thank you for hosting this wonderful chat.
Adam: [00:40:43] If you're listening, go visit TimeRepublik.com that's Republic with a K and sign up and get involved make some requests and give some time and see if you can experience what it's about. Thank you so much for listening today.
Once again, that's TimeRepublik.com. And if you want additional resources, you can find them in the show notes on people helping people that world.