Banyan Workspace's exciting new partnership with volunteering platform Time Auction

Introducing Our Exciting New Partnership With Volunteer Tech Platform Time Auction

©Time Auction A Time Auction event hosted by former HK Chief Secretary Anson Chan (far right)

One of Banyan Workspace’s core principles is the belief that we all have a responsibility to give back to society. After a year spent witnessing rampant job losses and social trauma, we are therefore thrilled to kickstart 2021 by launching our new partnership with Time Auction, an innovative young NGO that helps boost charitable volunteerism while simultaneously helping young people find their feet on the path to future business success. 

No matter what your skill set, ideal industry or personal ambition, Time Auction can help you gain work experience, practice your skills, develop a dream business network and give back to your community all at the same time. Read on to hear the story of this amazing Hong Kong start-up and find out how you can join the volunteering revolution!

What is Time Auction?

In very simple terms, Time Auction is an up-and-coming technology platform that connects people with skills with people who need help. But this is much more than a regular job seeking website. It is an innovative volunteering platform which allows participants to earn “credits” for the number of hours they work. These credits can then be redeemed for the opportunity to attend inspiring events or workshops within their chosen industry, hosted by some of the most respected and influential people in the world of business, politics, media or social activism. By “auctioning off” such experiences, the volunteers’ reward for donating their time is priceless.

What’s the story?

Time Auction started life as a part-time passion project by young professionals Fion Leung and Suet Yi Wong, recent university graduates who were passionate about Giving Back. After talking to friends, they realised that many of them felt the same way – they were working hard to get “good” jobs to pay their rent but didn’t feel passionate about their chosen careers. They tried to fulfill this desire for social responsibility by volunteering for local charities and NGOs, and they came up with the Time Auction model as a way of encouraging other young people to do the same.

The original concept was to create something that encouraged people to volunteer their services to charities in exchange for something they wanted, such as a new iPhone. After a couple of months, they quickly realised that the “prize” that volunteers really wanted after completing their hours of volunteering was far more valuable than a superficial commodity. They changed the model to allow participants to work towards redeeming an experience or opportunity, one that they might not have the networking contacts or financial support to otherwise achieve. In this way, the Time Auction founders discovered a way to join together their twin passions of encouraging volunteerism and helping young people increase their chances of achieving their professional dreams.

How does it work?

Like all successful initiatives, the premise behind Time Auction is a simple one. The organization hosts events led by inspirational leaders of industry, notably people who have made a career out of something that they are passionate about, from a successful tech entrepreneur to a Michelin-starred chef. Usually based around a lunch or dinner, the number of attendees is capped at 15 people, ensuring that everyone gets a chance to interact with the guest speaker and ask the questions they want.

The opportunity to attend such an event could be sold for a great deal of money, but seats at these Time Auction events are not available for purchase at all. Instead, people have to earn their place at the table by volunteering ten hours to a charity of their choice. It is a perfect win-win for everyone involved; for each event, the guest speaker donates 1-2 hours of their time and gets to meet a range of passionate, enthusiastic young people and inspire social impact. The 15 attendees have contributed at least 150 hours between them to charities, gaining valuable work experience, building their resumé and earning the priceless opportunity to talk to an experienced mentor in an industry they are passionate about.

Who are the Guest Speakers?

It is the quality of the guest speakers which have made Time Auction a success, so much so that it is now active in seven cities around the world. The company targets those who have calved out a career for themselves in an area that they are passionate about, often despite heavy competition or seemingly insurmountable challenges. Examples of past speakers in Hong Kong include Ray Chan (CEO of 9GAG), Allan Zeman (entrepreneur and “Father of Lan Kwai Fong”), Angie Lau (lead anchor at Bloomberg Television), Peter Cornthwaite (CEO of WWF) and Anson Chan (HK’s former Chief Secretary). Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for the attendees to learn from the very best, the guest speakers also consistently report positive experiences of their events, enjoying the positivity and enthusiasm of the students and young professionals who make up the bulk of the attendees.

Who can sign up?

Anyone can sign up to volunteer with Time Auction, from high-school students to retirees. All that is required is that you sign up for a minimum of 10 hours worth of volunteer work with a registered charity or social enterprise approved by Time Auction. You can either choose from the many project requests continually uploaded on to the Time Auction platform, or you can pick your own project from any registered charity or NGO around the world that fulfills the organization’s charitable criteria. 

Whatever skill set you have or interests you are passionate about can be useful. For example, if you are competent at film editing, you could volunteer your time and skills by helping a local NGO edit a short promotional video for their website. If you are a strong swimmer, you could volunteer your time helping physically disabled children learn to swim. Each hour that you put in is logged by Time Auction. Once ten hours of volunteer work have been completed, they can be redeemed by you to attend a Time Auction experience of your choice.

Visit Banyan Workspace’s Time Auction page HERE and see how you can forge a new career path in 2021 while helping others in need!

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