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Refuture - rethinking sustainability and making it mainstream

The Refuture app is a simple tool that transforms all of your positive daily actions into points that are ranked against our friends on a social platform. This allows people to track their progress, motivate themselves and their friends, and most importantly see the collective impact they have on the world as a group. Ultimately, it makes it easier for people to do good by encouraging them to do more of what they're already doing right, rather than forcing new uncomfortable behaviours. We believe that the only way to truly take sustainability to the next level is not to go against the mainstream, but to go with it.

Photo of Kaye Han
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After the OpenIDEO Recycling challenge we took the 'Less' project and redesigned it from the ground up, changing it's branding and name to 'Refuture'. The reason for this is because we learned that the majority of people don't resonate to topics about environmentalism and green living; this is due to the depressing nature of the topic, their negative past experience, and being relatively disconnected to the problem. So for the majority of people, once they encounter 'green' they immediately throw up a barrier where they don't feel like they relate. This is very problematic. So Refuture is essentially a sustainability project that looks nothing like a sustainability project. 


Refuture isn't just an app, it's a vision for making sustainability approachable for all. By changing the perception of environmentalism and building the habits for positive behaviours, we're helping to alter the social landscape for adopting sustainable living. So by supporting Refuture you're not just helping one project, you're helping all sustainability initiatives as a greater movement. When consumer desires change, businesses will adapt to meet them, and we truly have a self-feeding cycle for change.


We've gone through all the branding, design and wireframes for Refuture. We've prepared our market entrance strategy and laid out the best path to market using lean start-up methodology. Our experienced app development partners have mapped the app and identified the core functions for creating the MVP (minimum viable product), so we have a clear idea of the costs involved for our next development phase. We need to create the core functions of data tracking/input along with the algorithm to convert the data into points. Once we have this phase completed, we can begin taking Refuture to the world for real usage and testing. 

OpenIDEO x Refuture Indiegogo Campaign

Refuture is now being supported by OpenIDEO to run a joint Indiegogo campaign to make our idea a reality along with 4 others. We are looking to raise $15,000 to fund the development costs of this project and need the community's support.

Please visit our Indiegogo campaign page here to find out more:

If you believe in the Refuture vision, please share this campaign with your friends and family! And if you're really generous, then a donation would be really appreciated. :)

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Richard Zulu


I love what you have done with the refuture app. Very very inspiring. Interestingly, I love the process you are using to develop the app. From the Ideation to the MVP development. As such, I believe the "Secret life hacks collection" is something I will go for. To learn more about your process. Nice work

Photo of Kaye Han

Thanks for the comment, Richard! I hope things are going well with your startup community and iteration process as well! Hope to chat again in the future. Hopefully in person!

Photo of Shane Zhao

Remarkable progress Rob! It seemed like just yesterday when I sat with you on the DIF panel. I remember appreciating how you had spent time framing the larger problem - that the meaning of sustainable living has changed from previous generations to the present. Your original idea of using peer to peer incentives to build better sustainable living habits is definitely shining through.

Hat-tip to constant learning and iterations that your team have done in building Refuture. Can't wait to download the app as a user!

Photo of Kaye Han

Sorry for the slow response, I must have missed the notification email. Thanks so much for your support, Shane. You're the bomb. All rewarding work takes a long time and a lot of effort, I'm glad to be sharing that journey with people like you. :)

Photo of Victoria Dzindzichashvili


This is an excellent idea! I agree that turning recycling into something mainstream, fun, and competitive is key. Also, any way to help people visualize impact is critical. People tend to feel powerless with respect to environmental issues: How much does their water bottle really matter? Is it really going to make a difference if they recycle? It's great to see an app that makes the impact clear.


Photo of Kaye Han

Victoria, I'm glad that you share the same point of view as us. We're hoping this helps to influence people's lives for the better too. Thanks for your support!

Photo of Khanh Ngo

Hi Rob,
I've been following your ideas from last year and they are great. i agree with you on the impact of the name of the App "refuture" may help people to think twice because that makes them think that it directly relate to their life. I also love the design of the app i really wish I could have that apple in my phone soon. :)

Photo of Kaye Han

Thanks so much for your support, Khanh. We're working hard to reach out to others who have the same vision for changing the public's behavior regarding sustainability. Your comment really helps. :)

Photo of Luisa Fernanda

It has been so inspiring to see your journey from participating in the Recycling challenge to have you as one of our pioneer OpenIDEO change makers running a crowd-funding campaign. We can't wait to see this app in the hands of users and get impact stories of how Refuture is changing their behavior around consumption.

Keep the great work!