Community building and localization solutions
Hometowns is a Go Local plaform to share, exchange and build a sustainable world.
HomeTowns is a bridge from online communities to real world, local communities. Our mission is to engage and build resilient sustainable communities to address global issues associated with climate change, the economy and social justice. We will do this by creating a personalized, central hub for people to share resources with others in their community, to easily access local information, and to increase their sense of place within their geographical region.
Communities, connected, sharing resources with easy access to solutions are powerful. HomeTowns is an immersive, web-based environment that connects communities to local solutions. The integrated HomeTowns web and mobile platform brings together locally-focused information, websites and apps and aggregating that content in one place for a user’s daily routine. HomeTowns is taking the global local, by localizing information and presenting ways for people to engage with others to save money, share resources and build relationships that go beyond the virtual.
Reasons for working in this topic, project or business:
There is an urgent need for people everywhere to collectively understand and respond to the global causes and local consequences of powerful, interlinked changes to Earth’s natural systems caused by human actions. Hundreds of websites now exist to inform people about these matters, yet their impact is slight in spite of the extraordinary importance of these changes to the stability and longevity of our modern civilization.
Cool Planet Labs has been formed in an effort to radically change this situation. It will do this by creating a new type of social media platform whose goal is to connect people around powerful localized solutions that give people a sense of personal power, responsibility and effectiveness. By providing interactive tools in a socially connected environment, Home-Towns.org desires to bring energy, excitement and thoughtful discussions into all communities, much as Facebook has done with individuals across the world. HomeTowns Communities span political or other boundaries of cities, towns, suburbs, and rural areas. This enables "Belongers" to focus on the essential social, economic, and environmental challenges that are affect their own Community, now and in the future.
Root causes of the problems in this field and main barriers:
Global climate change, over-consumption and social alienation are related. Current strategies to educate and mobilize people on social and environmental issues are fragmented-- Those that have solutions often address a single issue but do not take a holistic approach. Individuals are forced to cobble together information. The result is often overwhelm, passivity and denial. People check out instead of in.
What is needed to overcome barriers to implement solutions:
A powerful web based platform that connects people to their local communities.
Through the HomeTowns platform people will learn about services and actions they never knew were available to them, such as peer-to-peer car sharing, tool sharing, community projects and activities. Advances in smartphone and Internet technology have made these localized transactions feasible and convenient, but not accessible. The biggest challenge is finding out they exist. Sites such as MeetUp, Eventbrite, GoLocal, Craigslist, etc. are great ways for people to meet in person and build community, but how do people remember to check to find all the events and services that are available to them? Actions such as investing in local banks and credit unions, shopping at local small businesses, renting a ZipCar, carpooling, shopping at farmers’ markets, investing in a new local service provider and sharing things instead of purchasing them. These kind of actions can have a powerful social and environmental impact, benefiting the local economy but how can we remember to go there first? The personalized interface complete with reminders and customized alerts on your HomeTowns Homepage solves this problem. An elegant mash up of all the best tools in existing community sharing applications is part of what our core technology will provide.
Specific needs and/or support requests:
Helping us build a web based hub in your community.
Suggested best local solution for this topic:
Yes. Contact us to discuss opportunities for partnerships.
Suggested best global solution for this topic:
Building Local Economies
"Fostering the emergence of a new economic system, one that will move our society in a more positive direction, is at the core of our work. It is through gradually displacing failing structures and systems with economic structures that benefit everyone that Localism succeeds.
At a deeper level, the BALLE community is changing how we think about the purpose of business and the economy. Together, we are changing mindsets from “every-man-for-himself” to an understanding that real security comes from community – from sharing not hoarding, from partnership, not domination."
Best practices and policies:
Transition Towns model.
How we can best utilize the web to educate, connect and mobilize people to build local resilient community.
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