About Trade School Evanston

Trade School Evanston is an open learning community run on barter where anyone can teach. We provide an alternative to traditional learning where people eager to teach can reach an audience that is able to afford the class. We also provide the tools and facilities necessary for this environment to work and thrive. We give you the structure; the content and coursework is up to you. Our goal is to share and disseminate knowledge while bringing communities together for fun as well as personal and collective benefit. We hope you will attend our classes and leave them feeling smarter, more empowered and more connected.

How Does It Work?

Teachers register their class through our online form or by contacting a representative. The teacher of each class decides what items they will accept as trade for their efforts. Classes are open to anyone for enrollment, and can be browsed on our home page. While we do vet classes before making them publicly available, almost any subject is valid class material — practical skills, artistic skills, esoteric subjects, family recipes, physical education — virtually anything that can be taught to a class. We just ask that the class be geared primarily for the purpose of educating others rather than personal promotion.

How Did It Start?

It all started in late 2009 in New York, when three of the five co-founders of the company OurGoods (Louise Ma, Rich Watts, Caroline Woolard) were given an opportunity to work with GrandOpening, and had a wild brainstorm session about many possible barter storefronts. They decided that “barter for instruction” had a lot of potential, and set off creating Trade School New York, which hosted it's first classes in February of 2010. Trade School Evanston started when four individuals saw the power of offering education for barter and decided to organize a trade school for this mission. These four — Emily Lake, Julia Garfield, Jen Daniels and Brian Allemana — are committed to bringing this vision to life with the help of the many teachers, students and organizers who share the desire to empower others through accessible education.