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Enlightenment Forum of E-Commerce (Session 20)

Author:   Date:2024-04-09   Source:    ClickTimes:

Theme: On Time-banking and Community-based Elderly Care

Lecturer: Professor Youhua Chen (City University of Hong Kong)

Host: Professor Ma Lijun (College of Management, Shenzhen University)

Time:10:00 - 11:00, April 12, 2024 (Friday)

Venue: A302, Mingli Building, Lihu Campus, Shenzhen University

Lecturer profile:

Professor Youhua Chen is currently a Chair Professor of Management Science at the City University of Hong Kong, School of Business. His current research interests include medical operation management, logistics and supply chain management, and the application of machine learning in operations. He led a (major) research project on medical management, which was completed the previous year; he is currently undertaking another similar-scale applied project (donated by Bank of China, Hong Kong), promoting a new model of elderly care in Hong Kong. His papers are mainly published in mainstream operations research/management science journals, and in medical informatics journals this year. Professor Chen is involved in teaching operations management, supply chain management, and logistics management. Before joining City University, he taught at the National University of Singapore (July 1997 to June 2001) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (July 2001 to May 2012).


A timebank (TB) has become an international phenomenon with a system of transactions using time credits to create economic opportunities, mutual aid and assistance, and exchange of skills within a community. In essence, TBs are established as networks of peers that exchange time among themselves, resulting in services being performed. TBs particularly suit the elderly care context, where a large range of tasks can be shared by the community, especially by the active elders, with a great potential for leveraging untapped community capacity. However, despite the growing acceptance and awareness of time banking worldwide, most TBs encounter challenges to their sustainability. Time banking is distinct from traditional volunteering because reciprocity is central to TB. Yet, many studies have shown that TB members are reluctant to ask for help but are enthusiastic to offer help. Meanwhile, many TBs face an over-supply of relatively low-skill services. As a result, the number of exchanges that could occur, the range of services offered and the liquidity of TBs are limited. Globally, TBs are facing financial challenges. They need a means of generating sufficient revenue to be financially sustainable. Operating a TB involves complex planning and coordination, putting tremendous pressure on its operators. Lacking adequate resources, including IT support, which is commonly the case, leads to staff burnouts, inefficiency, and instability of TB operations. In this talk, we will share our research agenda and on-going research effort to tackle these issues.

All interested faculty and students are welcome to attend!