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Service Exchanges

The lack of youth employment doesn't depend on a lack of demand of services, but rather on financial limitations in the economy. The next step needed might need to be building the infrastructure for a complementary economy of service exchange.

Photo of David Relan
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There is so much talk about finding ways to allow youth to find existing employment possibilities, and I believe that making the job search easier does not hurt. However, it strikes me that what is missing in a recession is not a lack of demand for services, but a lack of money to pay for them. A lack of work does not mean that there are not things to be done, and instead of using the monetary system to delay the transfer of services in an economy, it should be as possible to trade services between individuals. 

This is the network generation, and through using the infrastructure in place - facebook, linkedin, and other social networking sites, as well as looking at integrating a spatial representation of these possibilities as other concepts have highlighted using things like google maps, it should be possible to develop a system to transfer services and skills even outside of the immediate social network where this most commonly takes place. 

How will your concept support young people as they transition into the world of work?

This is an alternate transition, and one which does not depend on the anticipation of an increase in the size of the job market. This will enable youth to trade their skills with the community - to do things which they already have an interest in, and perhaps already do for free, in exchange for services which they currently do not have the money to buy.

What online or in-person components of your concept will best support this transition?

Google maps, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+.. Social networking and mapping sites will help create this type of infrastructure. Mostly it depends on a shift in mentality on what work and employment are.

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Photo of DeletedUser


Hi David. To be honest, the first reaction I had to your proposal was that financial limitations are not the reason the main reason for not hiring. Some companies are sitting on record high amounts of cash, Apple has more cash on hand than some countries. There has been piles of cash on the sidelines for the past 4 years, at least.But I'm glad I kept reading...

A network of service exchanges, I think, could spark some innovation. This is especially true in early stage companies or companies that do, in fact, have the financial limitations.

An idea worth discussing.

Photo of David Relan

For sure, it's not the only reason. Though I don't think that Apple is a good example to use as an index. If companies mirrored Apples performance I don't think we would be facing these challenges. I think the problem is that there are not financial resources sufficient for hiring, or to compensate for doing. In these cases I think that financial compensation could be replaced by a compensation of exchange.