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, the sharing economy is disrupting the old economic model and reinventing how we consume. Comoodle is a website that applies this idea to cities to build a strong culture of sharing and to transform the way that people work together for community benefit. By providing an online space for municipal, community (NGO), and private assets (“stuff, space, and skills”) to be shared, Comoodle empowers the local authority act as a facilitator rather than only a provider of services. Comoodle encourages citizens and community groups to use public assets, like tools or buildings, to provide community support services that are increasingly outside budget capacity.
Following a series of pilots, Comoodle launched to the public in spring 2017. To date, more than 200 successful trades of “stuff, space, and skills” have been completed between community groups, businesses, and the local government.