Re:Challenge Engages Students for Re-Use

Targeting local communities

Creating opportunities to share, re-use and recycle is an important step in a cirular economy. But how is this carried out on a local community level? In a project that started already in 2016 and was scaled up throughout 2018 HoloHouse was the project manager för Re-Challenge, a creative platform to explore circularity in companies and in the society. During the first phase in 2016, the company comprised organisations such as City of Gothenburg, Familjebostäder, Bostadsbolaget och Hyresgästföreningen. HoloHouse worked with 30 students in 7 different assessments regarding loal reuse and sharing systems in the local communities of Brunnsbo, Bergsjön, Hammarkullen, Majorna, Rannebergen and Torpa.

Intepreting re-use in a broader sense

The surveys that the students carried out showed that was high interest in local reuse and upcycling in various parts of Gothenburg. The incentives to share, re-use and upcycle is not only of environmental concerns but also economical.

Martin Ahrin-Larsson, former project manager för Re:Challenge think that the definitions used are more important that what one think.

"It is important how we talk about circularity and re-use. The students involved found some terms difficult to understand and relate to. Thus some definitions were changed to draw more attention from younger generations.

The physical place is also important. They have to be close to where the students spend their days or to other common venues. Venues for re-use of clothes for instance can be in close vicinty to schools, universities or sport arenas.

Cross-sectoral project

One of that the project was a big sucess was its cross-sectoral approach. Students from different universities and programmes worked together to find solutions. A lot of this co-creation was done in the form of work shops. Olivia Sandström was one of the project managers, responsible for the initiative in the Gothenburg area of "Majorna".

"It has been incredily fun and interesting to combine so many students with fresh ideas and new perspectives. I am really glad I got involved in the project and hope to work more with circular economy in the future. I also hope that the initiatives that we now layed ground for will continue to grow."

Viktiga lärdomar om samverkan

One important objective of the project was to let the students come up with ideas of how to organise and finance re-use centers - a bottom-up approach. That was, however, a bit tricky to know before assessing the opportunities and needs in the local area and the local actors that can be involved. Martin Ahrin-Larsson underscore the complexity of the issue.

It is a fairly large task to navigate between the different actors and combine different interests to joint action that can be implemented over time. Several of the actors involved were also non-for-profit, making the financing issue harder. Other aspects the project had to solve was which business models to build on and how to make sure they were developed over time. It would be great if the project could develop over time and deal with problems and issues as they appear, refining the business model and updating the constellation of actors involved.

Resultaten i Re:Challenge första runda har legat till grund för en ansökan från Göteborgs Stad om uppstart av fyra kvartersnära återbruksverksamheter i Göteborg.