Rural Makers: building innovation from your coliving space.

In Living Coliving, we focus on the impact that coliving spaces have, and how powerful a tool they are as experimental places to reimagine how to live better together, creating bridges between rural and urban spaces through technology, emotional intelligence, and entrepreneurship.

Since we are part of coliving communities, we love to contribute so that we developed Rural Hackers. Rural Hackers it’s an initiative we developed with the community of Anceu Coliving, an international network of professionals who want to create an impact in the rural environment. They are all hackers in a broad sense. Hacker is a person who wants to make is an initiative to promote the revitalization and generation of communities in rural areas to overcome the challenges they face:

  1. Emigration of young generations due to lack of opportunities
  2. Rural exodus
  3. Aging population and
  4. Digital divide

And so the Rural Makers project was born.

What is Rural Makers?

Rural Makers is our grain of sand to promote rural innovation. The aim is to develop simple technological solutions in rural communities. It was conceived between the maker Edouard Renard and Anceu coliving. It was a one-week project. It is part of the Makersxchange and Creative Europe EU in collaboration with European Creative Hubs Network, a network that we are members of. Also, it was a pilot policy project, co-funded by the European Union, that aims to define and test policies and actions supporting the mobility and exchanges of experience between the cultural and creative industries, creative hubs, maker spaces, fab labs, and formal and non-formal learning.

How did we develop Rural Makers?

There were three creative sessions between the community of Anceu Coliving and people from the village to generate ideas and co-design the technology based on the needs detected by both groups and we came up with several proposals. Thanks to one of our colivers, we had an impactful brainstorming. Based on detecting our positive and negative emotions first, we identified the challenges we face here, in Anceu Coliving in order to help Edouard to come up with a tech solution.

Edouard Renard is from France and he is a digital nomad that travels around the world while he is working in the Software Engineering field and creates online courses for people who want to learn how to do the same.You can check his online courses here.

After our internal brainstorming session we had in Anceu Coliving, we had a meeting with the people from Anceu Village. We discovered what is the problem they face currently and how can we help through Rural Makers: there is no easy way to detect if there is a leak or excessive water usage in Anceu village. Someone has to check each counter manually. If a leak happens, weeks can happen before it is detected, and this can lead to water shortage in the summer.

And finally, we came up with a technological solution: With rapid prototyping technologies (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc.) Edouard and Agustin developed a proof of concept to frequently send water measurements for each counter, in real-time, to a cloud server. This will lead to a web page where water consumption can be checked, and leaks can be found in hours/days, not weeks/months. 

Check the video below to see how our coliver Edouard found a solution and to understand more about how this project works: