Posts Tagged ‘sharing economy’

Scrappy sharing champion Uber playing power politics

We evolutionary types love to tout the disruptive and democratizing virtues of the “sharing economy.”  From tool-sharing libraries to the “live like the locals” charm of AirBnB and the high tech click-and-ride dazzle of Uber, sharing taps into our practical, connective, and reinvent-the-economic-system desires.  But wait, what’s this?

Over the past year, Uber built one of the largest and most successful lobbying forces in the country, with a presence in almost every statehouse. It has 250 lobbyists and 29 lobbying firms registered in capitols around the nation, at least a third more than Wal-Mart Stores. That doesn’t count municipal lobbyists. In Portland, the 28th-largest city in the U.S., 10 people would ultimately register to lobby on Uber’s behalf. They’d become a constant force in City Hall. City officials say they’d never seen anything on this scale.

Yikes! This is one of several stories over the past year that have cast a bit of light into the shadowy aspects of the sharing economy; it’s not all rainbows and unicorns after all.

Tags: , ,

Radical generosity can change the world

This TEDx talk by Nipun Mehta asks what would the world look like it we designed it for generosity? Nipun Mehta is the founder of ServiceSpace (formerly Charity Focus), an incubator of projects that works at the intersection of volunteerism, technology and gift-economy. What started as an experiment with four friends in the Silicon Valley has now grown to a global ecosystem of over 350,000 members that has delivered millions of dollars in service for free. Watch the YouTube video.

Tags: , , ,

Share Everything: Why the Way We Consume Has Changed Forever

This essay appears in the ebook “City 2.0: The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There,” co-produced in partnership by The Atlantic Cities and TED Books. It explains why the sharing economy has risen meteorically since the recession of 2008, and how the online culture of sharing has led to sharing of goods and assets in the physical world, too. Read the essay.

Tags: , , ,

Shareable: Sharing economy education and networking

This wide-ranging website features news and resources on a range of topics related to the sharing economy, including companies, links to dozens of city-based sharing networks, and renewed attention to the commons (our shared tangible assets). Visit website. It’s notable that the site includes some critiques of the sharing economy, including a post entitled “Owning is the New Sharing” that stresses the ways that cooperative ownership could be a more socially responsible option.

Tags: , , ,

New American Dream Collaborative Communities Program

Center for a New American Dream offers a wealth of resources for building community engagement and resilience. A Community Action Kit consists of two downloadable action guides, Guide to Sharing and Guide to Going Local, as well as a great set of resources for growing a local food system. Each is geared toward helping people organize and implement locally-based projects, with concrete project ideas, step-by-step tips, video stories, and more. A linked series of webinars contains tips and ideas from people who have already completed successful projects. Center for a New American Dream also contains a wealth of other programs around the themes of “Beyond Consumerism” and “Redefining the Dream.” Visit website.

Tags: , , , , , , ,