The ‘ShareBristol’ Community-Exchange Scheme rewards localism

ShareBristol is a social enterprise: a membership account, app, and card scheme for residents of Bristol which operates to incentivize acting in your city’s interests. With right backing and buy-in from the council, its partners, local organisations and businesses it would be up to Bristol to agree what could be rewarded or exchanged. Activities - recorded, shared and optionally published - might cover:

  • Volunteering
  • Goodwill and community-minded input
  • Co-operation: working on community results together
  • Green actions
  • Sustainable travel choices
  • Local, independent retail shopping
  • Energy use (using green suppliers etc.)
  • Visits to local attractions, venues and events

Sounds a bit utopian? Maybe not. The big supermarket chains and retailers have expanded their businesses around this concept. But why should they manage all the 'greenie points'? Major-chain Green Points could be converted to Bristol Points. Points earned become ‘Bristol Pence’ and can be converted into Bristol Pounds. You can nominate or donate points to a person or cause. Your account can populate a section in your CV

Not only could this idea be linked to the Bristol Pound but also to the city’s version of the Oyster card. It would of course be linked to your Bristol City Council account by your registration on the electoral roll, (this includes students), to maximize benefit to the member and to the local economy. There could be account types or status: Resident, Trader, Junior, Student. Visitors could have Guest membership.

Naturally there is a social-media aspect: involvements and activities can be shared, rated etc.

Why the contribution is important

  • Many activities and choices would benefit the local business and social-economy. Travel operators would be key to this succeeding.
  • It would support joined-up thinking, acting and operating – citywide – especially though its links with a developed City Council account.
  • Young People would enjoy and be encouraged by their own collaborative involvements, working with the city's partnerships for Children & Young People.
  • The Bristol Pound scheme could increase its relationship with other local and community-based point-earning scheme-strands. Like a club card, ShareBristol would convert points to Bristol Pence, and then Bristol Pounds. More than retailers could be in the scheme but £BP would benefit.
  • Points would be kept in the local economy.
  • Though we might feel good about acting altruistically this would be another reason to act for the city and people of Bristol, wouldand support people in doing so.

by user465122 on December 22, 2013 at 12:29PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.7
Based on: 4 votes


  • Posted by user792671 January 02, 2014 at 18:54

    I agree with the idea, but who decides what particular ideas earn points?
  • Posted by user465122 January 03, 2014 at 10:29

    Bristol itself would decide - by voting and polling etc. Some 'rewardables' would be shortlisted through Council and Neighbourhood Partnership processes, academia, youth links and economic partnerships, and so on. You'd have to start somehow straightforward like Travel, Local Trade, Community Action etc.

    It would be fun as well as rewarding.
  • Posted by user411811 January 13, 2014 at 11:02

    I like this idea but I can see it easily being swindled. The people in charge of deciding the points would need to be 100% trustworthy, and plentiful if the scheme is to make much of a difference. I think the possibility for abuse is rife here, as these people will essentially be generating money, and that strikes me as risky. Or there's a larger committee based process for deciding a job's worth, which would slow the whole scheme down to a crawl...
    I'd love for this to work, and see it as a possible answer to capitalisms short-comings, but think it needs a cast iron system in place to stop abuse. Sorry to be devils advocate, as I think if any city could pull this off, it's Bristol.
  • Posted by user848220 December 24, 2014 at 10:17

    Thank you for submitting and sharing your idea. As a first step in our long term strategy for volunteering, we have identified two major priorities for action – reading amongst some of our most deprived children and reducing social isolation amongst older residents who have lost a loved one. Our ‘Service Plan’ for Bristol is just the start of our effort to build on Bristol’s excellent record of active citizenship, volunteering and self-help. I would like to see a city that encourages everyone to give some of their time and energy towards making this great city an even better place in which to live, learn, work and play.

    We know that Bristol 2015 have been talking to other projects hoping specifically to reward volunteers in Bristol and we understand both of these projects are intending to involve the Bristol Pound. Bristol 2015 will be creating a wealth of volunteer opportunities for all, across the City. For more information about Bristol 2015’s volunteer programme, visit:[…]/
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