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Love thy neighbour: Tech startup StreetHubs is rebuilding society one street at a time

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Mike Banks

New tech startup StreetHubs is launching in Melbourne’s Silicon Valley, Richmond, taking a grassroots approach to building a better society, one street at a time.

StreetHubs will connect Australians across half a million closed private digital Hubs, one for every street and apartment building.

Accessible only to residents, users can communicate easily, solving previously annoying problems and creating meaningful communities, reinventing the lost art of neighbourliness.

What is the inspiration behind StreetHubs?

Former tech CEO, Michael Banks, founded StreetHubs after recognising that social media was creating incredible digital connection globally, but destroying real-world connections as new social norms made it difficult to reach out locally.

According to Banks “It used to be okay to knock on a neighbour’s door, then relationships moved to email, mobile chat and social media, leaving neighbours out in the cold. We have an opportunity to reconnect communities and the potential to alter the structure of Australian society for the better.”

“Once we’ve made on-street connections, we can get to work rediscovering the benefits; solving simple problems like remembering bin day, working together to improve street or building amenities, or addressing endemic loneliness brought on by social isolation, otherwise known as a street party.”

Most of StreetHubs’ technology isn’t new. The ability to connect and chat with others online was solved a decade ago. The StreetHubs’ magic lies in the Hub management platform which takes the role of an active neighbour, starting conversations and suggesting connections until the community is self-supporting.

“Residents of a street or building are like kids at a high school disco, everybody wants to dance but they’re standing around the room with their backs to the wall. I’ve designed StreetHubs to be the first one dancing, making it less awkward for everyone else to follow.”

StreetHubs is actively launching Hubs across Australia, if residents wish to jump the queue they can visit the site and request a Hub on their street.

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