Digital Labor

Francis Jervis


Francis Jervis, the founder of TimesFree, is a doctoral student in Media, Culture and Communications at NYU. His thesis examines the startup and venture capital ecosystem from an anthropological perspective. Francis holds an MA in anthropology from the University of California, Davis, and a BA in Classics from Peterhouse, Cambridge.

TimesFree is a platform for babysitting co-ops and other time sharing groups that makes it easy to exchange time with trusted friends, instead of paying for everyday services. By strengthening local mutual aid networks, the app is a way for a real sharing economy to make use of mobile-based technology to lighten the burden of administration for co-ops, and avoid the potential for “recessions” and other forms of market failure. TimesFree grew from a project with Prof. Helen Nissenbaum (NYU Steinhardt) on the design of new technologies to record and exchange value, and the app uses an algorithm developed in a class with Prof. Arun Sundararajan (NYU Stern).