Sharood, fostering communities through food

Together with three fellow students of mine, we developed and launched our app Sharood on our campus in August 2015. Sharood (think “share-food”), is an app that connects people in the same area by matching those who are cooking with those are hungry. The inspiration behind the app came from our realisation of how the individualism of our society can be destructive for its members and a hinder for its progress. By seeking to make the idea of sharing food a routine, we hope to bring a viral change.

To achieve this in our app there had to be a system in place to ensure fairness and a balance in terms of those who cook and those who eat. This is where Sharood comes in through our virtual “currency” system, appropriately called Cookies. Users trade Cookies based on how elaborate a dish or meal is, ranging from one to five. The Cookies somebody earns by cooking allows that person to eat at someone else's house for free, creating a cycle of sharing. In this way, Sharood capitalises on the innovations within the developing shared-economy, not only as a way of being cost-effective, but also as a way to build a community through a common medium - food!

Our university campus is relatively small, 900 students in total, the perfect community to test the concept on. With the newcomers during Introduction Week in August, Sharood gradually caught on. But we encounter more and more issues with students who see sharing a meal with strangers as a challenge that they don’t dare to accept. By going into conversation and sharing stories of successful Sharood experiences, apprehensions usually evolve to enthusiasm! This approach is very energy and time consuming as this click can only be made face to face and individually. But it is worth the effort when we get to capture the exciting variety of Sharood experiences: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIlke6VKGX4

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Comment by Jean-Louis Lamboray on October 14, 2015 at 3:05pm

Fantastic! And of course applicable beyond the student community! I wonder how the concept would catch on in my street?

Also, thanks for your honesty in describing the need for intensive "facilitation"

JL

Comment by Phil on October 14, 2015 at 1:13pm

...once we begin to share food, we begin to discover that we share lots of other things too...a very beautiful idea...thank you for sharing it with us

Comment by Loïs Hutubessy on October 13, 2015 at 2:57pm

thank you for the enthusiastic Olivia and Rituu :) we hope it catchs on quickly here as well!

Comment by Olivia Munoru on October 13, 2015 at 1:25am
Absolutely awesome. I wish we had this when I was at uni. I love so much about it, bringing people together, encouraging cooking (instead of fast food) and the cookies system is a great way for students to avoid eating into their limited budgets. I can see it being a huge global success!
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on October 12, 2015 at 10:59pm

What an innovative way to bring together student community together! A shared meal can make us feel comfortable and spark many conversations. Great going Lois!

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