Trade School Halifax is a self organised, barter based education system designed to engage people from all backgrounds, ages, and abilities. We typically offer 1-2 workshops per week in a wide range of topics.
The project is rooted in the idea that everybody has skills to share, and anyone can be a teacher. As organisers, we create partnerships with community venues, facilitators, and a network of participants. After creating a space where an exchange of knowledge can occur, participants can then compensate facilitators with material or non-material items. The teacher is asked to choose those beforehand for bartering. The element of compensation recognizes the facilitator’s investment in their own education as well as their time and energy commitment. The requirement for these items is that they must be easily acquired in society (for example a packet of seeds or a recipe). The barter concept appreciates everybody’s contribution and emphasizes on the subjectivity of non-monetary value. It is sustainable because it focuses on sharing resources and building community through intrapersonal transfer of knowledge.
Essentially, we want to provide a platform to promote alternative education. The workshops make education accessible but also question what education is, how it can be delivered and who can be a teacher. We strongly believe that skill sharing without hierarchies is possible. Creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation will have a healthy and sustainable effect on Halifax. Our city is unique in that it carries the charm of a smaller town. However, with the influx of urban development, the city is getting bigger and more widespread and we need to put intention into fostering community. With our Trade School we can bring the community even closer together but also open it up to people who have yet to find their way into it.