Neighbory: The World's Small Town
A service sharing platform supporting the engagement of people on the move and host societies in community building with digital currency.
Neighbory transforms people on the move and host societies into good neighbors to build a secure, engaged, and cohesive community where people know, trust, and help each other in the mutual giving spirit of small towns.
What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)
International migrants bring with them tremendous potential to contribute to the economy, society, and cultural diversity of the country of destination. However, host countries often do not have a platform in which migrants and receiving societies can collaborate to build a cohesive community sharing the benefits of immigrant integration.
Neighbory is a mutual giving platform that adopts the neighborly spirit of small towns, which fosters inclusion and upholds human welfare to encourage community building. Every member--either migrant or native--is considered a neighbor that can give and receive service; and every service is considered humanitarian action that is rewarded with digital currency Hylp.
Neighbory's give-and-take economy is based on time banking. All services are treated equal, no matter the market value. One hour of work equals one Hylp. One hour of caring for elderly migrants earns one Hylp; one hour of teaching language earns one Hylp. Each Hylp can be used to obtain one hour of reciprocal service from other members.
To illustrate Neighbory’s system: Local A provides one hour of legal work to help Migrant B, and earns one Hylp. Local A can then use that Hylp to receive one hour of accounting services from Migrant C. Now Migrant C has one Hylp to spend on one hour of resume writing assistance from Volunteer D or from other members. And so on.
Neighbory facilitates social integration through three collaboration drivers:
1. Community-builder. Social features that bring migrants and local people together, encouraging collaboration to achieve the goals of integration.
2. Matchmaker. Aggregates sets of skills, matches givers with receivers, and automates the exchange.
3. Motivator. Rewards altruistic action with community currency that enables people on low incomes to avail of services that would otherwise be unaffordable to them.
Neighbory turns the world into a small town and transforms migrants and locals into neighbors.
A quick look at how Neighbory can turn the world into a "small town" and enable people on the move, host societies, international volunteers, and organizations to become good neighbors and reap the social, cultural, and economic benefits of effective immigrant integration. Please see the attached Neighbory Quick Look.pdf below for a clear version of the infographic.
The concept is based on Time Banking (please watch the video) where a person with a specific skill set trades hours of work with another person with a different skill set. There is no money involved; the hours are the currency. Neighbory, however, offers a modified mutual giving system where every action is considered humanitarian action for immigrant integration, which is rewarded with the digital currency Hylp.
(NOTE: We do not own the video. It is only shared on Open Ideo for reference.)
Geography of focus (500 characters)
Our solution is built primarily for the United States because it has the largest number of international migrants (around 50 million). Saudi Arabia, Germany, and the Russian Federation are our second target areas (around 12 million each). Third are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (almost 9 million).
Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)
Without a clear access point for cooperation, migrants remain vulnerable and are likely to face exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous individuals, including human traffickers. Local sectors struggle to see issues with clarity and fail to engage in effective immigrant integration.
Neighbory weaves migration and community integration together in a manner that engages migrants and host population in dynamic cooperation that is as local as possible and as international as necessary.
What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)
Neighbory can produce positive outcomes for community members. Participation in mutual giving can help enhance a person's self-esteem, confidence, and skills. It expands social networks and friendships as it increases community involvement.
Social integration subsequently produces community growth and improved quality of life. Neighbory provides opportunities for members to engage in meaningful activity to develop new skills and social contacts, which may also link to improved health and wellbeing.
What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)
The engagement of migrants and native populations in community building can reap the benefits of dynamic social, economic, and cultural integration.
Mutually beneficial exchanges between members can create social capital and can bolster the local economy. One of the best sources of social capital is an engaged and sustainable community, and Neighbory's core principle of reciprocal giving connects and strengthens community networks, developing social capital that allows members to share in the benefits.
What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)
Neighbory believes that anyone—regardless of race, gender, age, skills, or location—can be a good neighbor to anyone. Nobody is so unskilled he has no help to give, and nobody is so skilled she has no help to receive. This reciprocal altruism can turn the world into a “small town” where people, migrants and natives alike, know, trust, and help each other.
Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)
International immigrants often represent overlapping relationships. As they become a part of the receiving country, they simultaneously maintain and strengthen ties to their countries of origin.
Contexts of immigrant integration also have a strong influence on migrant activities. For example, if international immigrants find themselves discriminated against, they often band together and adopt a defensive stance toward host societies. If there is no discrimination, migrant activities become more individualized.
Most of the needs of immigrants for services are largely similar to the needs of the mainstream local population. However, the impact of ethnicity requires that the delivery of services has to be in culturally sensitive manner.
Immigrant integration accounts for international migrants' ability to adapt to the host society’s prevailing social and cultural standards while influencing and changing them at the same time, creating a hybrid community.
Immigrant integration is like putting oddly shaped interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to complete a picture. It is necessary to recognize the imperative of cultural sensitivity and linguistic accessibility in the delivery of services to immigrants and their inclusion in community building.
How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)
Neighbory enables the community to hurdle barriers to immigrant integration in three ways:
1. It creates a hybrid culture that reduces the social distance between international migrants and natives, taking into consideration the disparate requirements, capabilities, and aspirations of not only people on the move but also those of the citizens of the host nations;
2. It handles the complexity of managing a sustainable community engagement system with a give-and-take ecosystem that fosters inclusion, encourages reciprocal altruism, and makes both migrant workers and natives a part of the solution; and
3. Its reward system addresses the Value-Action Gap, a behavioral phenomenon that results in sizeable discrepancy between people’s knowledge, values, and intentions to engage in humanitarian service, and their observable positive action, which often becomes the pitfall of many volunteer organizations.
Just like Time Banking (please watch video), Neighbory aggregates the skills, assets, and needs of the community through its own give-and-take economy and matches service givers and receivers. All works are treated equal, no matter the market value. One hour of work equals one Hylp. The service provider receives Hylp from the receiver. Each Hylp can be used to obtain reciprocal service within the community. (NOTE: We do not own the video. It is only shared on Open Ideo for reference.)
Neighbory applies gamification strategies, or gaming mechanics, including leaderboards, trophies, and badges, to create its own give-and-take economy, connect and engage people, and make community building fun. The platform's basic two-way system is this: Member A provides one hour of service to help Member B, and earns one credit of Hylp. Member A can now use that Hylp to bid one hour of service from Member B or from other community members. And the exchange goes on and on.
What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)
Still looking for partners.
What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing
Arriving and settling at a destination community
Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing
Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources
Idea Proposal Stage
Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.
Group or Organization Name
Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)
Gil De Palma, Neighbory's creator, comes from a family separated by international migration. There are around 2.3 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) working abroad. His three sisters, now American and Canadian citizens, are among them. He created Neighbory to help international migrants, including his siblings, deal with immigrant integration issues even at a distance.
Type of submitter
We are not yet a registered organization but looking for collaborative partners
Organization Headquarters: Country
Organization Headquarters: City / State
San Juan City