Behind the Social Enterprise: Kudoz – Request 100s of Splendid Experiences
Tell us about who you are and what social enterprise is all about?
Kudoz is a platform that pairs up people with and without cognitive disabilities to share one-on-one experiences, together. We have 100s of experiences across the lower mainland all hosted by volunteers—from individuals to small and big businesses. We are super proud to have fellow BBOT member Traction on Demand as a Kudoz Host for the past few years. We have created a platform that makes it really easy for locals and small businesses to do good in their community in a really easy and fulfilling way.
What is the most unique thing your organization does?
Kudoz is built on iterative, ethnographic processes. When we were developing our app, website and, print materials we regularly hosted co-design sessions where we invited volunteers and families in to see what we were working on and get feedback, asking them to give input on the design of what we were working on throughout. Even though our materials now go through less edits and changes, we will still ask for input when we do change things up and encourage our users to always be in touch when something could be working better for them, either in our practice or our digital and print materials.
How did your organization get started?
Right here in Burnaby! Five years ago, three local agencies, BACI, Kinsight and PossAbilities, engaged in a partnership with social design lab InWithForward to explore social isolation for folks living with cognitive disabilities. 5 social scientists, designers, and a few staff from the agencies moved into social housing on Kingsway in Burnaby to get to know families and people living with cognitive disabilities to explore what social isolation meant for them. Turns out, there are lots of social connections but there is a poverty of experience and novelty out there for people with disabilities. At the same time the team was getting to know the residence, we were meeting lots of small business owners who had a wealth of novelty and passions to share and a willingness to participate in communities but not an easy outlet to do so. The solution is a catalogue of novel experiences now found at app.Kudoz.ca
What’s the biggest takeaway you’d like to share?
Hearing from hosts that like Katie that have told us “Kudoz’s ability to bring inclusion into our company has been a refreshing change to such a fast-paced tech company. It has prompted us to think about what true inclusion and accessibility in the workplace means and it’s shifted the way we are thinking about the hiring and recruitment of new talent.” All of us on the Kudoz team are also hosts and we are learning by going through our own practices, reflecting on the things we learn about ourselves and others from hosting experiences.
We’re super excited to be new members of the BBOT! It feels like such positive growth for us, as a young and small social enterprise. So far the other members I’ve met have all been genuinely engaging and thoughtful in their communication with us. I’ve already had some great phone calls, emails and coffee dates with other members. We’re excited to be here to give other BBOT members an outlet for getting to know members of their community that might not otherwise be connected.
Andie and Mat are the Curators supporting all the volunteer Kudoz hosts and would like to invite anyone that wants to know more about Kudoz, and what you might get out of hosting an experience once a month might benefit you and your business, out for a coffee or tea on us!