The Big Idea 2015 Competition: SOCIUS, making a difference!
SOCIUS is a social enterprise that aims to promote a sharing economy. For SOCIUS, the vision of sharing economy involves a holistic approach to promote environmental responsibility where collaborative community is established. That is, being able to engage in reduction of unnecessary waste by sharing resources and providing an educational platform for members and the general community.
Our vision is to facilitate changes in social behavior towards a tightly-knitted community and sustainable environment, and our mission is to empower the community to take on social and environmental solutions through sharing, empowering and educating.
SOCIUS operates by renting donated items that people use for a minimal fee. We believe that an item that one would choose to discard, another might need. We rent items that people do not use on a daily basis, such as vacuum cleaners, electric mixers, foldable beds, even party kits (such as, shot glasses and party decorations), sports equipment, and travel items. At the initial stage of start-up, the items are received as a form of donation. Items that are donated are then re-serviced and re-used to its full value to those who need it. Our service emphasizes on efficiency so we will also deliver the items directly to our customers, who are university students around Carlton, Parkville, and the Melbourne CBD.
Other than advocating for sustainable living though the sharing and circular economy (which is another word for the reuse, reduce, recycle), our social impact rests on education. We organize social activities and educational workshops for people to gain new skills and knowledge, on topics such as environmental seminars, recycled craft-making sessions, greener living, among others.
SOCIUS also serves as a platform to foster a sense of community, particularly those who experience social isolation. By getting involved in these social events and educational workshops, not only they will be able to be part of the community, they are also empowered to make responsible choices and contribute to the environment. Also, international students sere as our future environmental ambassadors when they go back to their home countries, further spreading the vision and mission of SOCIUS. Another reason we focus on international students is because they have the skills and experiences and coming from diverse cultures and backgrounds that are sometimes overlooked. As our focus is on sharing, these individuals from all over the world can also facilitate the workshops and share their skills and knowledge to others.
SOCIUS, it takes US to make a difference!