OurGoods, Blending Bartering and Education in New York City

The New Yorker writer, Nana Asfour, uncovered a great story of bartering last week.  OurGoods offers evening classes for adults on a wide array of topics - including economics and business, canning and preserving foods, grant-writing, history, and many more.  The enthusiastic teachers are compensated by students in services of some kind.  The students can barter anything they wish, like filing receipts, running errands, or offering some other skill or handmade good as long as the teacher agrees to accept it.
Source: OurGoods via The New Yorker

Last year the program was a big success, leading OurGoods out of its location in the Lower East Side to a more roomy location on Prince Street, in partnership with the Whitney Museum.  Classes began on March 25th and will run through April 17th.  Some of this season's classes include: “Kant to Kiergaard: The Philosophy of Plumbing 101”; “It Doesn’t Come Out Brown: The Basics of Distilling Alcohol”; and “Monday Painter/Sunday Banker."

With more opportunity to diversify skills, OurGoods is helping the local community build stronger resistance and independence from outside markets.  Bartering skills and goods brings out more trust in communities.  As the organization's homepage reads, "OurGoods runs on mutual respect."  Here's hoping that the OurGoods formula is passed on to other communities.

Link to the original article by Nana Asfour at newyorker.com.

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