Food is one of our most basic needs and food sharing has long been the bedrock of human civilization, so it’s not surprising to see so many inspirational examples of food sharing appearing around the world. The increasing availability of information and communications technologies (ICT) through webpages, blogs, wikis, Facebook and apps is changing the face of many of these existing activities and also stimulating a new generation of enterprises.
The international SHARECITY team are exploring a set of questions around the influence of ICT on food sharing, what we call ifood-sharing:
We’ve already identified such ifood-sharing across a range of activities and developed an ifood-sharing spectrum, including the sharing of food itself (from seeds, through to compost) and food-related stuff (including kitchen appliances, gardening tools and other devices), to the sharing of skills and spaces for growing, cooking and eating. These activities also adopt diverse ways of exchanging food from informal activities and gifting or bartering, to more formalized social enterprise and for-profit models.
By focusing explicitly on food sharing activities enabled by information and communications technologies (ICT) we are looking to identify activities within 100 global cities to populate the SHARECITY100 Database. The database will both map the practice of food sharing globally and form the basis for identification of cities for in-depth ethnographic analysis, leading to the development of City Profiles for comparative analysis of food sharing in cities.
At this stage of our research and in the spirit of the collaborative co-production we are now reaching out to you, the sharing community, to gather information for the open access SHARECITY database. This will help us build an accurate picture of ICT-enabled city food sharing around the world which we can then share with everyone. The cities we are currently investigating are listed below, and each is a linked to a spreadsheet where you can check out what we have already found. If we are missing any important food-sharing activities in your area please let us know by filling out a quick survey located here!
A scoping study conducted by the team has already identified a dynamic landscape of activities across Europe and North America, but so far identification of activities across Asia and the Middle East, Africa and South America has been limited. While this may be a function of our focus on ICT-enabled food sharing and the persistence of a global digital divide, it certainly is also due to a lack of local knowledge and language skills on our part. Please do help us go global!
You can also join the SHARECITY community and receive updates from our blog and research by forwarding your examples and details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks for your engagement and we look forward to sharing our findings with you all.
The SHARECITY team.
Central & South America
Porto Alegre, Brazil
Asia & Middle East
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