I am doing some work in Estonia in a few days time, and so have been watching the wires for news reports from that country. One of these really jumped out at me.
“Estonians to lauch world’s first e-Bank of Happiness” – read the story here. The concept is simple: bring together those who are in need of help and those who can help. In the e-bank one can exchange information on needs, offer help and register good deeds. All for free. It’s basically elance.com for volunteers.
The idea is not only to help people out digitally and online, but for this to extend into Estonia, with people in physical need (e.g. elderly people need help to get to the shops, house sitting while on holiday, looking for a gym buddy, etc) can also use the system. “The Bank of Happiness is an initiative to change the way of thinking. It’s a bank for exchanging good deeds. The wish of the Bank is to make people think and act with their heart. The Bank is meant for all those who value good deeds and have the will to make good themselves.”
You can check out the simple user interface here: http://www.onnepank.ee/en.
I’ll watch it closely, and hope it succeeds. A nice idea, well executed. Let’s hope people support it.