The current crisis gives us a few big challenges: while we need companions more than ever, we can’t actually get close to anyone. And we could all use a little help - whether our medical condition forces us to stay inside and we need someone to pick up groceries for us, we need help with digital skills to talk to our families or continue our work, or we just want to practice a language, improve our skills and feel less alone.
Another problem right now is the lack of financial means that the developing economic crisis will bring. While governments are doing their best to support everyone, we have to get used to the idea that money might be tight for a while. And there are some areas of our lives where money is just not the right tool. People often are uncomfortable with getting paid for their help. It is also often hard to put a prize on a service, especially if it is not something we are used to.
And the third main problem is in how we spend our time. We all want to achieve great things and make a long term impact, but sometimes it is hard to stick to it, and to work towards that impact when it is just not tangible right away. Whether it is social distancing to avoid sickness for us and others, or it is cycling to work to get fit and reduce the impact we have on our planet - sometimes we need a little push to do the right thing.
In times of crisis, communities can do amazing things when they come together. We are already seeing examples of this everyday related to Covid-19. And there are great examples how even in times when funds are hardly available, complementary systems can affect real and lasting change. Time Banking is another great example, especially as it puts focus on those activities that we often do not value in money - which are the activities we often value most in times of crisis.
Another inspiration are the things that motivate our actions: seeing people around us do meaningful work encourages us as well. Elements of gamification and incentivization can help us to dedicate more time on things that matter. And digital solutions can help us feel connected to our community, even if we can’t actually get close.
We aim to build an application that can be implemented for local communities (cities, districts) but can have an element of broader connection. The key features include Exchange hours of help within the community “Sponsors” (cities, CSR programs of companies, governments, international organizations) can incentivise how you spend your hours through campaigns and additional rewards Gamification and incentivization of the “right” kind of behaviour
During the hackathon, we aim to build
The solution that enables hour exchange already exists, and is made available open source by its creators - some of them being on this team. During the hackathon, we aim to make good progress on the end-to-end application that enables community members to engage, match need and capacity, and manage their overall interactions - in short the 'heart' of a tailored neighbourhood exchange solution.