Governments at all levels of the United Kingdom are grappling with the effects of austerity. Localities are being asked to deliver more resources to their citizens, with less national support. Meanwhile, community and volunteer organizations have the will, enthusiasm and desire to do more in their neighborhoods, but lack resources – such as buildings, tools and even specific skill sets. These resources are often present in the community, but not readily accessible to those who need them, when they need them.
In business, collaborative consumption is disrupting the old economic model and reinventing how we consume. Comoodle applies this idea to cities to build a strong culture of sharing and to transform the way that people work together for community benefit. Comoodle will be an online platform that allows municipal, community (NGO) and private assets (“stuff, space and skills”) to be shared. Comoodle positions the local authority as a facilitator rather than simply as a provider of services. Comoodle will encourage citizens and community groups to use public assets, like tools or buildings, to provide community support services that are increasingly outside budget capacity.
Comoodle is currently piloting exchanges of “stuff, space and skills” to better understand what can be shared, learn how to best facilitate the exchanges, and assess the value for all participants. These early lessons will shape the development of their online “sharing marketplace,” which will launch in 2016.