COVID19 has hacked the whole system and the way we function as society. We no longer believe that we can control the problems are about to come and the issues people are going to face. Europe is going thought a health, social and economical crisis.
We are facing the consequences of the virus with uncertainty. We won't stay in a massive lockdown forever but we still don't know how often we will have to modify our behaviours and build systems to face the coming crises.
Our daily working, studying and leisure routines have totally changed. Remote is the new black. We believe that the crisis won't destroy the physical experiences. In the long run, we will use blended learning and working systems to face this new paradigm. Due to this, we are spending more time than ever at home.
At the same time, people are moving to big cities to look for new opportunities. We live in smaller spaces with more population.
We have realised that the anxiety levels of people have increased in the last few months. Families are starting to miss the time they used to spend outdoors and the social connections they had. At the same time, there is a feeling of impotence among people. We really want to help solve the problem but we don't really know how to do it.
Satisfying our need without being mindful about environmental impact has lead us to build a system that doesn't work. We need to focus our attention building new strategies.
We think that we could take this time as an opportunity to develop healthy habits among families. In fact, this is not going to last forever but for sure it should make us question our daily decisions. Home is a great place to start our green lockdown.
This would push families to build a more sustainable home and create green spaces in their communities to find the connection we have lost with mother nature during the lockdown and establish a healthy relationship with ourselves.
What it does
We are specially focusing on families that live in cities and have small apartments. In fact, it's difficult for them to connect with nature and people. We envision green spaces at home and sustainable communities. This will be done by indoor or outdoor mini gardens and areas. At the same time, users living in reduced homes can also make this happen sharing spaces in their community and contacting people with our app.
It's important to understand that green spaces and plants have significant benefits for our health and can help fight climate change:
-Nature reduces stress and improves mental health. -Nature boots our immune system. -It can also be a great way to improve the eating routines of our family and build greener and healthier alternatives. -Indoor gardening can also improve air quality and make people more productive at their workspace.
GOME will be the tool that will make this happen. GOME is a mobile app that allows people to approach the sustainable lifestyle with the learning by doing methodology and build greener homes & communities. This app will include the following features:
- Challenges to take, points to score and levels to achieve.
-Family Footprint calculator- Calculate your carbon footprint.
-Follow other families to review, like and comment their eco-challenges and lifestyle changes.
-Green Coach: Guidance on how to become greener.
-Share community spaces with other families:build your indoor or outdoor garden, compost, etc.
-Buy sustainable products in our marketplace.
How we built it
We based our problem and solution on a design thinking process.
Firstly, we started with the empathy process. We made some interviews, create user persona profiles and empathise with their feelings, actions, etc. during this crisis.
Secondly, we defined the problem we wanted to solve using a clear design scope: who is our target? what do they need? why?
After that, we continued with the ideation process. We made a brainstorming to generate new ideas. We picked the ones that were interconnected with the solution and the user.
The next step was to make a prototype. In our case we have decided to make a mobile app. This is part of the revolution we want to create. We have used AdobeXD, Photoshop, etc. to create this mockup.
Finally, we have tested our app and idea with potential 5 users and they have given us useful feedback and insights. We have included the asked features and improvements in our app and create a final mockup.
At the same time, we are using agile methodologies like business model canvas to establish our business model.
We have created a video explaining the problem and the solution and we have included the mobile mockup.
Challenges we ran into
We started solving the next challenge: Parents of families that live in urban areas need a way to disconnect from work/study routines because isolation and lack of outdoors activity have increased anxiety among family members.
Researches found that the anxiety and depression levels of the studied people during the lockdown were high. 38 % of the interviewed participants reported high levels of anxiety and depression.
At the same time, the world is facing a huge migration to big cities and urban areas. 60% of global population live in cities and the 90% of the population growth will also take place in cities. This means that cities hardly represent the 3% of the global land but they generate the 75 % of the total carbon emissions. This trend will keep accelerating as time goes by.
Moreover, new pandemic situation will appear in the next years. At the same time, climate change will lead to several challenges and disasters.
The home concept must be changed. Green home is the new black.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
-We have designed the idea from scratch during the weekend. The process has been based on designing with our prejudices and creating something meaningful to face this crisis.
-We have created social media platforms in just 24 hours.
-We have designed an interactive prototype and test it with potential users.
-We have created a movement more than a project. We think this could potentially change people's life.
-We have used several agile methodologies to define our business model.
-We have created a video with a powerful message.
What we learned
-Testing the prototype with potential users in essential when building it.
-Next time, we need a wider background among the team members: phycology, environmental sciences, programming, etc.
-Talking to different mentors will give us several insights and tips to improve our project.
What's next for MAR
-Build powerful presence in social media platforms and start building our community.
-Make a second testing of the app and create the first official version of it.
-Find more team members: Developers, phycologists, etc.
-Start contacting sustainable brands to learn more about their point of view and interests.
-Partnerships and investment