This is the story of a pioneering civil society project that shares money to unlock human potential. As a member of the Ting community, you can draw money from a joint account to pursue your own dreams. Ondine Riesen, co-founder of Ting, about the vision and power of the innovative network.
Strangers gift you money for six months without knowing what exactly you'll do with it?
That's a question the Ting community is often confronted with. The simple answer is yes. The differentiated one is: Ting is based on trust because it is not the control factor that determines the major development steps. Therefore, Ting questions pure meritocracy and believes in human potential.
The Ting Effect
The basic assumption of Ting is: If (just enough) money is freely given, without performance requirements or time stress, then new things can emerge. Some questions behind this assumption are: How do we create sustainable success in everyday life, less financial pressure, or more time for individual development? Are potentials and ideas lying dormant for economic reasons? The basic attitude at Ting: No matter who you are, you have huge potential, and we support you! And the numbers show the need: 160 months (more than 13 years) of community income have been paid out so far, and currently about CHF 25'000 is shared monthly. But the goal is not primarily the profit in a monetary sense, but rather the profit for society. We want to get to know ideas and projects that are stuck somewhere in overcrowded heads. We want to liberate them, to inspire and empower the makers.
Has it been worth it so far? You bet it has: We can tell of wonderful examples. Evelyn, for instance, has founded a sustainable do-it-yourself pattern label thanks to community support: Lyn Studio. Or Florian, who launched a platform for Swiss food cooperatives. Or Muriel, who created a coaching program tailored for makers. The list is long and can be tracked online at any time.
A bit of Ting history
Ting was created about three years ago. Have you heard of unconditional basic income? It's a radical vision that, according to initial research, has a lot of potential for a more satisfied and productive society. Ting can be seen as a little sister, it is not completely unconditional, but we launched it as an experiment for the future. Currently supported by the Migros Pioneer Fund, the motto is: Better go for it, observe and adapt than just dream. Or: Together, there is more in it for everyone. Ting now has over 370 members, and new ones join every day. Ting is driven by a diverse and interdisciplinary core team. We all really believe that a trusting mindset and collaborative actions can make society more sustainable.
"Our belief is that there are many ideas in society. But often the people behind them don't have the energy, the time, or just the resources to focus on those ideas."
Ondine Riesen, Co-Founder Ting Community
After her Master in Fribourg (politics, history, human rights), Ondine gained a variety of experiences in the federal government, journalism, and the nonprofit sector.
She is the co-founder of Ting, the link between community and team, organizes inspiring events, gives interviews, and represents Ting in public. And a fun fact about her is that she loves her self-chosen hometown, Biel, even more than bus rides in autumn.
How does Ting work
It’s actually quite simple: many different people pay money into a community account, and this money is disbursed back staggered to the community as temporary basic income. All those who have an idea of their own can draw money from the joint account. This idea (in Ting lingo “development”) must meet four criteria. It must be intrinsically motivated, should have a positive effect on the biography, should contain a value for society, and has to be legally compliant. To implement this redistribution of funds, Ting makes use of the so-called apportionment procedure (similar to the Swiss AHV). There are three membership forms: Enable, Boost, and Transform. What makes the difference? As an Enabler, you invest in people without return; as a Booster and Transformer, you can draw the mentioned money.
A lot of digital for a lot of people
Anyone who now thinks of dusty machinery with high overhead costs: you’re so wrong. The majority of processes at Ting are digital and automated. For example, who decides who gets to draw money? Everyone in the community! Everyone who wants to can participate as a reviewer. Digitally, reputable, democratically, and anonymously: the diverse community decides self-determined on the use of the community money. And that's not all: Every member has access to a forum for exchange and a cockpit with graphics to drool over. The entire knowledge about community development, income, and expenses as well as other entrepreneurial aspects are thus available to everyone and not just the core team. Full transparency thanks to the digital space. Hurrah. But why? When the technical-administrative processes are automated, on the one hand, money is saved for the community and on the other hand, everyone has more time for what is really important: the people. This creates a strong network that not only shares money but also experiences and knowledge. We also organize frequent get-togethers, collaboration- and community events and are constantly evolving to connect more people with similar values.
Diversity makes for a resilient community
The Ting members are very diverse. An aspect that is extremely important to us. Ting is ideally meant to fill gaps in the system and is therefore open to everyone. On the one hand, Ting should help everyone who falls through the cracks in the process of finding forms of funding, grants, and self-financing. On the other hand, it also breaks social patterns. The percentage of women at Ting is, for example, high. We have many female members who apply for the money. Most of them apply for money for their personal development, that is, for further education or training, or for self-employment. No wonder a need is felt here: many women are modest because that's how we were socialized. It is harder for us to stand up confidently and say: I have a great idea, and now I need money. Our members, who only support and do not receive money (= Enablers), also come from very different corners: Whether future-oriented thinkers with a heritage or full-blooded entrepreneurs in search of a meaningful donation portfolio, up to average earners - the bunch is very diverse. And that makes us equally happy and thankful.
"Ting is like break dancing. Everyone gets to be in a circle for a change while the others cheer."
Ondine Riesen, Co-Founder Ting Community
Ting - in a nutshell
Ting is the community that creates space for change. With monthly contributions, we generate common wealth, which is available to all members as temporary income. This redistribution creates space for new ideas, innovation, and reorientation. We share money, invest in people, create time, advocate for more opportunities and shape the future. Interested in the concept of Ting?
Watch the video below in German or join the community online 🔗 Ting Community