The bHive Villages platform is live! If you live in the City of Greater Bendigo you can subscribe now.
Live somewhere else? We’re opening Villages up Australia wide in the coming months.
Villages connects groups of neighbours together to build community, run events, communicate with each other and share stuff and skills. Villages is real sharing. It’s gifting, not consumption. You can share tools, furniture, veggies, fruit and your time, skills and meals.
When you subscribe to Villages you set up your personal Village. You can add people who live within 1km of your house to your Village (as long as they consent). You can then add your friends from across Bendigo. These people will see your posts, shared items and events and you will see theirs.
You can also set up and join Community Groups that operate across Bendigo. This could be the Toy Library, Bendigo Foodshare and the Bendigo Sustainability Group or interest groups like the yarn bombers or a card playing club. Within these groups you can post, message, set up events and plan things together.
Villages aims to create an epidemic of belonging. It is a digital tool that brings us together. This is important because our modern society is socially isolated and lonely, which is having a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. The early 2000s research of Professor Lisa Berkman showed that having strong connections in our local community is better for our health than giving up smoking, alcohol and fat and adds ten years to lifespan. Relationships built over the side fence and up the street can last a lifetime. We need to be together.
When you subscribe to Villages you can also choose to become a member and an owner of bHive Cooperative Bendigo. You’ll have the same ownership share as every other member, meaning that we will own and manage bHive together. With bHive, there will be no advertising, no selling of data and no bots.
Over the last 18 months bHive Directors have been involved in numerous international and local conversations with developers and platform co-operative specialists to source a reliable and flexible software solution that will support bHive Villages.
Villages is a foundational element of the bHive that once in place can be built upon. Future applications that will plug into Villages will include cooperative sharing enterprises like car sharing, stuff sharing, skills sharing, power sharing and more.