A. Listen once. How does the bank work? Choose the correct description.

1   You pay money into the bank, and receive help is return.

2   You help somebody, and the bank pays you.

3   You help somebody, and then somebody else helps you.

B. Listen again and choose a, b, or c.

1   Tallinn is one of the world’s smart cities because ___.

      a   the people who live and work there use a lot of technology

      b   the people are very clever

      c   the government wants the people to be more intelligent

2   The Bank of Happiness makes it possible for people to ___.

      a   borrow money cheaply

      b   get services without paying for them

      c   buy property in other countries

3   Which of the following could you post on the Bank of Happiness?

      a   I’m looking for a partner.

      b   I need somebody to lend we €1,000.

      c   I need somebody to give me English lessons.

4   Airi Kivi started the Bank of Happiness because she wanted ___.

      a   people to help each other

      b   to make people richer

      c   to help people who didn’t have jobs

5   In the Bank of Happiness, if somebody takes your dog for walk ___.

      a   you then need to take their dog for a walk

      b   you don’t need to do anything for them

      c   you need to do something for them

6   The principle of the Bank is that ___ makes people happy.

      a   having a lot of money and possessions

      b   having a lot of friends

      c   helping other people



3 You help somebody, and then somebody else helps you.


1 a   2 b   3 c   4 a   5 b   6 c


P = presenter, A = Airi

P   The capital city of Estonia, Tallinn, is one of the most beautiful cities on the Baltic coast. It’s one of the world’s ‘smart cities’, which means that technology plays an important role in people’s lives and in business. But some people in Tallinn are using the internet for something very unusual. It’s called the Bank of Happiness, but it’s a very different kind of bank. Nobody pays money into the bank, and the bank doesn’t lend money to anybody. Instead, the Bank of Happiness is a forum where thousands of people from Estonia, and other countries too, connect with each other, and they offer or receive services completely free of charge.

Here’s how it works: you register and then you post what you’re offering or what you need – it’s really easy. For example, people offer to do the shopping for somebody, or walk their dog. Other people post things like ‘I need someone who can fix my car’ or ‘Can anybody translate an email into French for me?’ But the most important thing is that nobody pays any money. Everything is free.

The bank was started over five years ago by a thirty-nine-year-old Estonian woman called Airi Kivi. She’s a psychologist and a family therapist, and her goal was to make people think and act with their hearts.

A   I thought, we need something like this Bank of Happiness, where people can meet each other and help each other – do something cool. The Estonian economy was also having problems at the time. A little bit later, I thought, wow, the Bank of Happiness is perfect for this economic crisis. A lot of people are unemployed and they can use our bank.

In the Bank of Happiness people don’t need to pay each other back. For example, a teenager will do the shopping for his old neighbour, and maybe the neighbour can’t do anything for him in return. But then perhaps the neighbour will post a comment on the site and tell people about what the teenager did, and then another person, who sees this, will probably do something to help the teenager. The principle of the bank is that it’s not money and things that make people happy. What really makes them happy is doing things for other people.

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