More than half the world's population lives in cities, often in highly individualistic societies.
We all have our own living space and possessions that we don't share - most of the time, we don't even know the people around us.
We're each accumulating the resources necessary for our day-to-day lives: a drill, a ladder, a blender, even though the apartments around us likely have those same things already.
And despite having people around us all the time, urban isolation is a "little understood, life-threatening public health challenge." 1
Communication is the simplest form of connection. Connected people can easily share what they have and help each other when in need.
The more resources we share, the fewer items need to be produced, transported, and purchased. Sharing increases resource efficiency and reduces our carbon footprint.
And, of course, people who are connected feel less alone.
We give people a simple, discreet way to talk to neighbors living in their building. We hope to enable people to achieve the following four simple goals.
Making things generates ~31% of carbon emissions worldwide
People who're connected can share tools, appliances, etc. instead of each buying one
Making a drill causes over 100kg of CO2-equivalent emissions 2, about the same as a flight from Berlin to Munich 3. Making things accounts for about 31% of global carbon emissions worldwide 4. We can reduce this by sharing one drill between multiple apartments in the same building. With Connected Living, you can easily ask your neighbors for something you need instead of buying it yourself.
Global food waste is responsible for 4.4 Gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions per year
Sharing food reduces waste but requires a lot of trust. It's easiest with people you know who also happen to be near you
"If food wastage were a country, it would be the third-largest emitting country in the world",5 after China and the US, at around 4.4 Gigatons of CO2 equivalent emissions per year. Connected Living builds relationships and trust between neighbors and opens the door to sharing leftover or surplus food.
Loneliness is a growing issue in urban societies, and its effect on human well-being is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day 6
A channel of communication to the people in your building is the first step towards more significant connections and encourages the development of a more interconnected community
Loneliness is a growing health epidemic. We live in the most technologically connected age in history. Yet, rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s 6— the effects of loneliness on well-being rival those of obesity and smoking 7.
However, connected people report lower levels of anxiety and depression, as well as higher self-esteem and empathy for others 8.Connected Living encourages what the name implies - a life with a connection to others.
Humanity continues to face environmental and other global crises
“Getting to know your neighbours is an important first step in community disaster preparedness” 9
Recent years have seen the world facing crises at an unprecedented scale and frequency. The COVID-19 pandemic caused lockdowns and interrupted the global supply chain. Heatwaves, fires, hurricanes, and floods are getting more frequent due to climate catastrophe.
Recovering after a crisis, we rely on the strength and support of those around us. The capacity of a community to recover is called "resilience". Environmental writer and analyst David Roberts observes that the key ingredients of resilience are people "living in close proximity and sharing common spaces, [who] know and take care of each other. The greatest danger in times of stress or threat is isolation. " 10
Most of us don't even know the names of our neighbors. The first step we can take towards building a community is being able to talk to each other. If we can build that first connection, we can help transform a group of people in the same place into a community, making us all more resilient in crises.