About

Trade School is a non-traditional learning community that runs on barter. We celebrate local wisdom, mutual respect, and the social nature of exchange. It works like this...

1) People offer to teach a class about something they know.

2) They decide on a list of barter items they're interested in receiving. Barter items can be in the form of goods or services, both tangible and intangible. For example: jars, music tips, clothes, vegetables, or help with something like finding an apartment.

3) Students sign up for their class by agreeing to bring something from their list.

Our Story

The Trade School network is a collective of self-organized barter-for-knowledge schools across the world. Trade School began January of 2009 as an experiment by a group of New York City artists who built OurGoods (Caroline Woolard, Rich Watts, and Louise Ma). They received an opportunity to work with a storefront, and came up with barter for knowledge. Over the course of 35 days, more than 800 people participated in 76 single session classes. Classes ranged from scrabble strategy to composting, from grant writing to ghost hunting. In exchange for instruction, teachers received running shoes to mixed CDs to flowers. In 2012, Or Zubalsky joined the team and built an open-source web platform to share with interested local organizers. 

Today, a collective of local Trade School organizers in different cities across the world organize the project.