Small World - Facilitating behaviour change for increased environmental sustainability.
Over half of the world population (4.1 billion people) currently live in an urban setting, and is set to rise to 7 billion by 2050. This type of population density - laid out on a backdrop of an ecological and humanitarian crisis brought about by two hundred years of Industrial overconsumption and pollution - calls for an important opportunity to reimagine our lifestyles and how we utilise our resources.
The sharing economy and 'collaborative living' benefit people and the planet through borrowing rather than buying, reducing and reusing products, and activating participation and social connection within communities.
After extensive research into the current local and global sharing economy (including interviews and surveys, service safaris and the Five Why's design thinking technique), the following barriers to uptake were identified as the most important to solve:
A lack of awareness about existing collaborative living platforms
Concerns of trust and reliability of other participants prevents engagement from potential users
Small World is a mobile application that aggregates, reveals, and enhances opportunities for community sharing and collaboration within the user's local vicinity. It uses a vibrant aesthetic and an Augmented Reality mode for a captivating user experience.
New ways of fostering convenience and social trust have been considered - such as dynamic search parameters, a Thank You system, and mutual connection display.
Nearby offerings are revealed via animated pathways and colour-coded categories: to borrow, available for free, skill share, events, and to barter.
Current digital platforms and websites only allow users to set their search parameters using a selected radius (eg. being able to see offerings within a 5km radius). Small World enables people to tailor their search area dynamically - so that student who takes the bus to and from university can find offerings along their path.
Users can leave public Thank You's on a user's profile after an interaction to share gratitude, while simultaneously helping build an ecosystem that people can trust through that feedback.
Small World combines the offerings of smaller peer-to-peer sharing networks (Ripe Near Me for surplus food, Meetup for skillshare events, Freecycle for household items, The Clothing Exchange for garments) into one place, creating the critical mass and opportunity required for a better quality user experience.