Story 1. How digital technology can help to develop collaborative consumption?

Mikhail Volchak, “Як інфармацыйныя тэхналогіі могуць дапамагчы сумеснаму спажыванню?”, public translation into English from Belarusian More about this translation.

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In the Belarus grass root initiatives plot series I begin with story about project "Razam-Lepsh" (english - together is better) http://razam-lepsh.by/, which main aim is to help people for changing things and knowledge for common good. Recently I've had conversation with Ratmir, who is one of the initiative active participator. He consider not only that another world is possible, but he builds it actively.

"We create a web-service, which helps people to share their things and knowledge and, moreover, to find what they want. It is something like mutual aid social network," - says one of co-founders of the project Ratmir, who lives on the farm near Polatsk (the north part of Belarus) about 4 years with his wife Helga, three horses, three cats and a dog. All this period his home has been visited by different guests and traveler from couchsurfing.org. Even each guest helped to build their cosy place, at the same time young family is glad to invite guests and share opportunity to look on their lifestyle.

Ratmir talk about reasons which were an impulse to start "Razam Lepsh": "When I need some things, I realise again and again that I should ask about it my friends and acquaintances. Then this idea appeared, to collect different stuff and skills, which people would like to share in one place, therefore to reduce time for search actual things."

Remarks: Moreover, Ratmir is an ecoby.info portal keeper. The portal is about eco-collaborative accommodation in Belarus.

Start and team

video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGwJ0kCy6Hs

Today, the initiative gathered community about 200 followers https://vk.com/razam.lepsh . The most actual task is to test the online platform.

The project support people from different social groups such as entrepreneurs, students, farmers, housewives.

More detail you can read in the survey report https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WGxenAZutBOVOOYP0ZKurzCZ3vZPCpI2Tcg_1onWm8Y/edit

The initiative team core consists of two people. Ratmir https://www.facebook.com/ratmir.by who focuses on web-development issues and his collegue Vadzim https://www.facebook.com/vadim.kastritsky , who focuses on common coordination and public relations. There is a plenty of different people, which join to precise part of common work.

Resources

The human time is the most important resource in the project.

For example, web hosting is provided by one of the team praticipator. The all tasks usually are implemented by volunteers and social activists. The online platform are being developed on javascript framework Meteor.

"Razam Lepsh" is a volunteer projects and it use another crowdsourcing platform "Talaka.by", where Vadzim, Ratmir and their team can get variety of knowledge about campaign strategy, publict relation with targets groups, how to present project or how to evaluate different resources. Another significant partner is community for free services exchange http://vk.com/c_f_s_e

Collaborative consumption

When I asked what you believe in the inititive, Ramir answered: " I believe that universe is good where people can help each other and get pleasure from the process. In fact for well-being society we need no so much and collaborative consumption is one step for the prosperity."

By the way, collaborative consumption is a world trend which has tens billions USD money estimation. This type of "consumption" can be with commercial component or fully free from any charge. For instance, when individual is going to have a car trip for long distance and he have free seats in his car. Then, he can find another person (i.e. in such service as carsharing) who would like to move in the same direction and who can share with him petrol expenses partially.

Ratmir adds: "When new neighbour appeared on our farm and all of us needed to build something, we should buy a petrol plane (device to process wood). To buy the tool alone is not effective because it will without deal almost all time. Therefore we agreed and bought it for free family. Now, everyone can use it."

Obstackles

The most hard moment in the initiative is to provide permanent online platform development. From time to time it is suspended because it is necessary to earn money for life. The main solution of the problem Ratmir offers to make regular monitoring of different related events such as hackathons where himteam can involve new volunteers and attention for another communities.

There is one similar initiatives in Belarus as developed by the youth organization Fialta's activists http://stuffmates.com/ . In Russia there are similar projects but they focus on only things or only services, or use their own currency. "We didn't meet initiative which is the same as we do. It is one more reason why we continue to develop Razam Lepsh. We are opened for new partners as well," - Ratmir talks.

Image: http://www.talaka.by/images/f0cd/22f0/41f0/1650/f09c/6e37/51e9/d648/img_5530e80677536.jpg

The most significant for Razam Lepsh is beta-testing and first launch. They would like to understand what point in the prototype will work and what not. It defines their future steps.

Interesting to know

There are four tactics, which are used by Razam Lepsh team, you can use it as well:

1. "It is obvious that there are a few people who can work long time only in enthusiasm. It is usually, when someone burnt (tired and exhausted), we leave him, but don't forget about him. We send news letters and keep him informed about the project deals. And when we need his help again we call and ask to help in the deal."

2. To make more individual contacts and offline meetings, for instance, monthly.

3. To add people's names and pictures in different printed materials. To present such merchandise as t-shirts and signs for volunteers.

4. The basic of any successful interaction is confidence and benevolent.

© Mikhail V

Original (Belarusian): Як інфармацыйныя тэхналогіі могуць дапамагчы сумеснаму спажыванню?

Translation: © rizoma .

License: CC BY-SA 4.0 Int

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