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Introducing Oslo Soup

Hot soup in Norway

A good friend of mine, Lo, asked me if I heard of Detroit Soup.  Being the only American in our discussion group, I felt a bit sheepish to say, “No.”

However, this wouldn’t last long.  Lo wanted to start a chapter similar to Detroit Soup in Oslo and wanted me to get involved.  So, that day, I began researching online and what I found was pretty exciting.

Detroit Soup started in 2010 in Detroit, Michigan USA.  A few friends got together and wanted to do something for their city of Detroit.  They came up with this pretty marvelous idea.  They found a way to involve the people of Detroit to help other people in Detroit institute community-based projects through crowdfunding.  I promise you, it’s a really simple concept with a magnifying impact.  Since Detroit Soup’s inception, over 100 similar groups have been created globally.

How it works

First, you set up an event and plan to serve soup (and, in our case, also some bread and cake)

Next, you find up to 4 people (or groups) to pitch a community-based idea.  It can really be anything so long as it somehow enriches your local community.

One of my favorite ideas from Detroit was the Empowerment Plan. The goal was to create financial stability for Detroit’s homeless women.  These women were employed, taught to sew and began creating winter coats that double as sleeping bags.  Veronika Scott, founder of Empowerment Plan, pitched this idea at a Detroit Soup event and now employs 25 people in the city of Detroit.

Then, you ask people to donate at the event door – something nominal.  At Oslo Soup, we will ask for 50 NOK (though you are more than welcome to donate more).

Now – it’s action time.  The people selected to pitch have 4 minutes to share their idea (no PowerPoint) and may answer up to 4 questions from the audience.  I imagine we will all be marveling at the cool ideas at this point.

We serve soup and people begin chatting together about their favorite ideas of the night.

Finally, we all vote.  Once the votes are counted, we announce and give the donations to the winner.

How to get involved

Oslo Soup’s team is a group of very talented women who are volunteering their time (and a bit of money) to make this all happen.

Oslo Soup team Oslo Soup logo Organisers

As such, there are many ways to get involved:

  • You can apply to pitch at our first event (and launch) on April 10, 2016
  • You can plan to attend the event
  • You can offer to donate (we are currently in search of mugs)

We are really excited about our first Oslo Soup event and can’t wait to see how we may evolve in this community.  Norway does a really great job of meeting a lot of it’s societal needs but here is an opportunity for social entrepreneurs to explore new ideas and maybe get a bit of micro-funding (and validation) to move forward.

Learn more at oslosoup.org

Photo credits: stu_spivack, Oslo Soup

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About the Author: Tara Kelly Dolgner

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