HE/DE la guía a la ciudad amueblada

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HE/DE la guía a la ciudad amueblada: the guide to the furnished city

Murcia, SpainMadrid, Spain
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

HE/DE is a fun and engaging multimedia guide whose purpose is to encourage Spanish creativity in the challenging times that arose after the deep economic and social crisis that hit the country, challenging its users to create and spread culture out of something already existing: abandoned furniture.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if abandoned furniture on the streets can help spanish people live better and greener lives?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Spaniards are used to abandoning their furniture anytime, anywhere and any day near public disposal containers, even in the city center. This is really bad for the environment. In times of wealth, the only people to collect abandoned furniture were non-resident students, artists, gypsies, and a few DIY repairs. Now that times are harder than ever, those people affected by the economic crisis, and rising unemployment have embraced this practice.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

HE/DE aims to create a network to encourage creative people to search, find, share, collect, refurbish, and sell furniture abandoned every day on Spanish city streets as a fresh and innovative form of sustainable livelihood, and not only as a way of subsistence of the poor. The app also invites people to share and participate to workshops and DIY-events that will help them develop their creativity. Furthermore, users may sell to other users the pieces of furniture they restored. HE/DE features a mobile application for iPhone and Android, and a responsive website suitable to work on every device and every screen size. Information is loaded on-site directly by users. The contents of HE/DE can be shared on the leading Social Networks.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

HE/DE relies on the active participation of the members of its community, sharing informations into HECHOS, DESECHOS and TRANSFORMACIÓN CREATIVA sections. DESECHOS are all pieces of furniture that have been abandoned near public disposal containers in the streets. HECHOS are all workshops, shops and cultural centers involved in creative recovery of furniture collected from the streets. TRANSFORMACIÓN CREATIVA is an area in which users insert tutorials, explaining how to creatively and successfully restore pieces of furniture. In this section users can also sell their most creative furniture renovations to other users. Users are able to explore HE/DE's contents through geolocated maps, lists, and Augmented Reality.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Spanish streets are always full of abandoned furniture, even in the city center. Some of people collect and refurbish furniture as a hobby, some others do it as a way of gaining money. These people not only have found a creative way of surviving during the deep economic and social crisis that hit the Country, but they are also cleaning Spanish city street from bulky wastes. An alternative economy is taking its first steps, but not without some embarrassment of the poor. HE/DE recognizes the value of this practice and aims to give it more dignity, providind a network and a highly interactive platforms, through which the community can share, collect, refurbish, and sell furniture abandoned every day on Spanish city streets as a fresh and innovative form of sustainable livelihood, and not only as a way of subsistence of the poor.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The world is social now, and the good habits HE/DE promotes in order to avoid waste and in support of Spanish families and their needs can easily spread and become social, among with the natural imposition of a new cultural model of reference. HE/DE understand that its target market needs more than just furniture. In times of economical and social crisis like the ones Spain is currently experiencing, there is a need for ethic. HE/DE seeks fair and responsible profit, enough to keep the company and partners/investors financially healthy for the long term, but not to keep its users unsatisfied.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The success (even if in many ways undeclared) the practice of collecting furniture from the streets already has in Spain, is giving hope to the belief that a positive outcome lies ahead. HE/DE will capitalize on the opportunities in the abandoned furniture market through two main customer divisions: charging users with a small percentage on all refurbished furniture they sell; charging companies with fees for advertising on HE/DE.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In times of wealth, the only people to collect abandoned furniture were young people, artists, gypsies, and DIY enthusiasts. Now that times are harder than ever, those people affected by the bursting Spanish property bubble, the economic crisis, and rising unemployment have embraced this practice. All these people can sell the furniture they refurbished through a dedicated section of HE/DE, while having fun. The guide also contribute to the elimination of oversized wastes from the streets of spaniard cities, a purpose in which Spanish municipalities and local governments are interested in.
Team

Founding Story

The idea behind "HE/DE la guía a la ciudad amueblada" started at the end of 2011, with a simple observation: Spanish city streets are always full of abandoned furniture, even in the city centre. I was a student at that time, looking for an occasion to develop a social innovation through Information and Communication Technologies. For me, an Italian designer living in Spain, the fact that people in Spain were so used to throw away furniture in the streets really was an unusual habit, but at the meantime I was fascinated by those who were used to collecting and creatively refurbishing it.

Team

I am the founder and visual designer or the project. At this point, finding the right team is crucial, so I'm currently looking for socially conscious partners/team members who believe in social innovation, willing to contribute unique talents and essential skills to make HE/DE successful. If you are interested to get more information, willing to contribute to the project, or get involved as a partner please get in touch with me!
About You
About You
First Name

Luta Valentina

Last Name

Morciano

About Your Organization
Organization Name
Organization Country

, Madrid

Country where this project is creating social impact

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Impact
Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

Once implemented and developed, the main spread strategies moving forward is to properly advertize HE/DE among the potencial users an make new customers.
The guide is going to be advertized mainly through Social Networks, guerrilla marketing and word of mouth.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Once found, the funds will be used to develope and implement the HE/DE system. Design, users interactions, and every aspects of the guide have been carefully defined, although everything will definitely need to be revised and corrected by a team of professional, including an expert in Interaction Design and User Experience Design (UX).

Sustainability
Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

I am open to any kind of partnership offers.

Closing the Loop
How does your project primarily ensure that feedback delivers results?

Create an environment where people give feedback freely.

Please elaborate on your answer to the above question.

HE/DE a is user-generated content mobile social media who relies on the active participation of the members of its community to create highly interactive platforms through which the community can share and discuss hechos, desechos, and the most creative furniture renovations.

Feedbacks from people are essential for the success of this project. In fact, information regarding abandoned furniture in the street, cultural center involved in creative recovery of furniture collected from the streets, and tutorials showing how to restore furniture, is loaded on-site directly by users.

Languages: In what languages are you able to read and write fluently?

English, Spanish.

2nd Round Questions
Thinking about your feedback loop; what information are you trying to get from whom, to whom, and to bring about what change?

HE/DE’s mission is to help users find furniture products through geo-located information. These products are either not available on the market in the way HE/DE’s customers want them, or are too expensive or not environmentally friendly enough if obtained from retail stores.
HE/DE will be on market in the form of a dedicated website and mobile app, providing users with “cool” yet cutting-edge technologies permitting the geo-localization of abandoned furniture and DIY events/workshops, as well as the possibility for them to operate a small business by selling refurbished furniture.
A recessionary economy would not have a major negative effect on the cash flow. Even during a recession, Spanish people generate “trash” that, if not collected, must be removed to a landfill, so HE/DE will have the best products available for the most discriminatory yet conscientious consumer in Spain. This is a recession-proof and environmentally friendly business that flourishes in good and bad times. Also, users are aware that using the app can help preserve the earth's resources, and public sentiment is strongly in favour of reused furniture or products that are made of recycled/re-used materials.

What is the purpose of your feedback loop?

Creating broader awareness of issue/movement building

If other, please specify
What mediums or mechanisms do you use to collect feedback? (check all that apply)

Website, Other.

If other, please specify

Mobile app

Could you briefly describe the way you collect the feedback?

HE/DE counts on the active participation of all members of its community, offering them three different yet related experiences with furniture:
- HE/DE invites users to share geo-located information about abandoned furniture they find on the streets into the DESECHOS section. This way, Spanish landfills will be less full of wastes and all re-usable material will be collected by local population;
- HE/DE invites users to share the location of DIY related events, shops, cultural centers involved in creative recovery of furniture collected from the streets, and workshops that will help them develop their DIY-creativity into the HECHOS section;
- HE/DE invites users to share a tutorial for each DESECHO they collected from the streets of Spanish cities thanks to the guide, explaining how they creatively and successfully restored these pieces of furniture and selling them to other users (optional) into the TRANSFORMACIÓN CREATIVA section.

What mechanisms are in place to protect people from retribution?

Secured protection on information

If other, please specify
What are the immediate benefits or incentives for people to provide feedback?

Other

If other, please specify

Collecting and selling abandoned furniture

How do you ensure new and marginalized voices are heard?

Incentives (monetary or other) targeting specific groups

If other, please specify
What are the incentives for the intended recipient to act on the feedback?

They understand that feedback is necessary

If other, please specify
How does the feedback mechanism close the loop with those who provided feedback in the first place?

Reports on collected information

If other, please specify
How is feedback published/transparent?

Other

If other, please specify

On a website and mobiel app

Give two concrete examples of how feedback loops have brought a program or policy more in line with citizens’ desires.

It is a small example, but thanks to the Internet big companies have to take more into consideration the opinion of their customers. Before internet, complains about defective products, immoral business decisions or not environmentally friendly policies were more difficult to discover. Now, people just have to post complaints on companies' facebook pages or start an online petition.

If there was one thing you could change to increase the impact of your feedback loop, what would it be?

A key factor for the success of HE/DE is its promotion, based mainly on making the right information available to the right target user using word of mouth and feedbacks from people to people, emphasizing the fact that HE/DE is a social innovation device that is also fun. However, at an early stage word of mouth is not enough, and to increase the impact of HE/DE's feedback loop I will have to promote it using classic advertising too (on magazines and blogs, for example). Advertising it is not cheap, but it is a necessary evil.

What are your biggest challenges or barriers in “closing the feedback loop”?

Lack of incentives for people to provide feedback

If other, please specify
Are you aware of The Feedback Store?

No, but I can see myself using it as a resource

What are the main uses you can envision for the Feedback Store?
What is the one thing you would most like to see changed to improve the competition process?
What are you doing to make sure that feedback providers know that they are empowered by the information they can give and that they know exactly what the information they are providing?