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Local: Community Market App

A digital community market that allows you to buy directly from the source.

Photo of Daniele
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"According to published studies, a typical food product is handled an average of 33 times before it is ever touched by a consumer in the supermarket." USDA Economic Research Service

At Local, we strive to create stronger, happier, healthier, and economically-prosperous communities by ensuring that high quality products are grown, produced, bought, and used locally. For us, “high quality” products are those which are built to last, use non-toxic materials throughout their entire production process, and are made by companies that follow low-energy habits and have impeccable respect for the human rights of all their employees and other humans along their supply chain. To achieve these goals, we use an app and website to provide the location of companies and farmers near you, reviews of their products, and an easy and transparent payment service from bank account to bank account. This reduces the waste of extra packaging, purchases of unnecessary goods and transportation during mass production.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Since the beginning, one of our main focuses has been to meet local farmers and business owners face-to-face (especially at Farmer's Markets) and ask them what they would like to see in an App. Through surveys, questionnaires, visuals, etc. we have received enough feedback to create our first round of prototypes. We will continue to meet with farmers/small business owners in our community and beyond to ensure that our App is valuable for both them and their customers.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

-Asking farmers and sustainable small business owners around you what they think about the project. -Man power! We have a big team of amazing people, but are looking for more help-- especially in Finance. -Impact investors. Anyone you may know who would be interested in hearing more about our business.

Tell us about your work experience:

We have a team of 15 people who have experience in a variety of industries. Each of us have vastly different backgrounds, but all have a common interest: changing the way our system works. Our society continues to feed the big corporations, which in turn destroys the small ones. We want to change the way we shop completely and encourage buying directly from the source.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • A student collaboration
  • An Individual

How far along is your idea?

  • It was in the works before this challenge – it’s existed for 2-6 months


Join the conversation:

Photo of Hannah Butland

Hi Danielle,
I enjoyed reading your OpenIDEO app idea since I am very interested in technology helping consumers. I have read similar app ideas and believe connecting people through media is the most effective way to get people involved. Social media and apps have immense impacts on consumers, especially, in a generation that’s never without a phone. Your app, Local, has the potential to attract a wide variety of consumers. People interested in helping small businesses would be able to find locals easier. Those who enjoy the peace of mind in buying non-toxic chemical free produce. By giving these customers a way to connect with local farmers, it will increase the stock flow of the small business involved. Increasing stock flow helps the business make money, which benefits the economy. These are all the reasons this app is a great idea. I find that this app is more beneficial towards helping local farmers than it is helping lessening food waste. Food waste is the problem we are currently facing so I encourage you to find a way to use this app to help local farmers and lessen food waste. This increases our relationships with businesses that surround us but does it transform our relationship with food? I was reading another OpenIDEO called “Innovating ways of minimizing food waste from farm to table”, which explained the importance of harvesting, transporting and storing the produce to help decrease waste. I think your ideas could work hand and hand. Together your ideas would make a bigger impact and change the game in buying from local farmers.

Best of Luck,
Hannah Butland

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