Axel Meta, 19, representing the Sharood team, was sponsored by Telefonica to attend one of the most important gatherings for young leaders, where they connect and inspire people with projects and ideas in organizations of all sizes.
Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, told us that if we put our mind to it, we can use technology to change the world. This is exactly what we aim to do with Sharood. We use the power of online tools to improve offline life. From my point of view, the potential of the Internet, especially on mobile, is to help make the structures of our society more accessible to everyone: This can be to have access to education, contact a representative or to meet your neighbors. What is striking for me is that in the age of hyperconnectivity, most of us have not taken the time to know our neighbors. We, at Sharood, want to change that. If we feel part of our community, the way we act and behave in society will improve because we understand at a deeper level that we are all part of this world, there is not much space left for individualistic behavior if we want to make it a better place.
Let me introduce you to Sharood. It is an app that connects people via food. If you're cooking you post the meal on the app (currently only available in Amsterdam), your neighbors see that you're cooking and can join you for your breakfast, lunch or dinner. To make the sharing fair, so that everyone who gives to the community also gains from being part of it, Sharood has its own virtual currency called Cookies. You spend the cookies you earned cooking to eat at others houses for free.
At OYW I was inspired to hear about how so many young people are improving their city, country, or the world in so many creative way. Regarding my cause, I was also able to get a lot of feedback from potential users, potential partners and experts in community building. In fact, just while waiting for the opening ceremony to start, I discussed with a team that coaches children for educational purposes in a slum in Kenya, how Sharood could benefit their community by being a replacement for a fridge! That's right, people can’t access fridges there but they do have access to Internet. They could share the food they are cooking with their neighbors and know that the next day they don't need to get food because someone else will share with them (we have to see how it'd actually work in more detail in the coming weeks).
During the Summit, I discussed with some speakers how Sharood can help build a stronger community in Pittsburgh by integrating not only refugees with the locals, but also the locals with the locals. Sharood could even be implemented in the Telefonica district in Madrid so that employees save time by not having to cook everyday and at the same time can meet other colleagues. The fact that everyone was involved in a different cause in society allowed us to see how we can make our overall impact bigger by collaborating. These ideas are not officially in place, but we are very enthusiastic to start a conversation with these One Young World Ambassadors on how we can begin integrating Sharood in their communities.
Besides that, meeting other people making a difference in their communities who sacrifice part of their life for the greater good was really reassuring that the effort is worth putting and that if we are the one privileged from the system. It is our responsibility to use our opportunities to make the world equally good for everyone.
I want to thank everyone who I've had the pleasure of meeting, you have already contributed to my cause and I hope that I was and am still able to contribute to your cause in the coming period