Voluntary Exchange Connecting Businesses and the Community

The voluntary exchange is a dynamic, creative, fun and rewarding marketplace for businesses, voluntary organisations and public services, for the development of local interaction and welfare. It is organised by the municipality.

The shopping centre Kolbotn Torg participated in Oppegård municipality's first ever Voluntary Exchange. The idea of a voluntary Exchange is to have a meeting place for voluntary organisations, local businesses and the municipality's various businesses to meet face-to-face and make agreements without money being involved. The needs and rewards can be met soon, or in longer term. The mayor opened the exchange, and brokers went back and forth to guide potential contract partners and to help them enter into contracts.

In total, there were 95 agreements made between the participants. We signed 12 agreements for Kolbotn Torg. Therefore, in the space of 1.5 hours, new opportunities, local networks and concrete cooperation agreements were created that evening – it was effective, generated a lot of value, and was spot-on in terms of community building. It was inspiring and fun to get so many contacts in such a limited amount of time!

One of our agreements was voted by the jury as the most fun deal. We made a deal with the Oppegård Environment and Labour Centre in which it would arrange a pop-up shop in our centre focusing on the environment, recycling and reuse in the beginning of 2019.

Here are some of the deals we made that night:

  • BUA Oppegård (free rental of leisure equipment at the library) – we organise seasonal activity days on which our customers can borrow equipment for free, (e.g. skis, skateboards, bikes, canoes, SUP boards, tents, etc.) All activity is done outdoors at the square under the direction of BUA. Kolbotn Torg markets and facilitates the event.
  • Hellerasten secondary school – a collaboration on internships for students at our shopping centre.
  • Kolbotn photo and video club – it made a photo story and video with employees from our stores. We used this material to promote our 10th anniversary. As a courtesy, we have the photo club's “picture of the month” displayed in our common area.
  • Oppegård Cultural School – local artists performed during our 10th anniversary in May 2018.
  • Oppegård Volunteer Central – from the 15th November to 14th December, we hosted a collection of Christmas gifts for underprivileged children and elderly people in our common areas. With this collaboration, it is easier for the residents in Oppegård municipality to donate gifts, and the customers who pass the collection in our shopping centre can spontaneously buy gifts in our stores.

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