Posted by: r.m. | January 23, 2014

The Sharing Economy: A revolution for, not against

The Sharing Economy: Yes, there is another way, and this could be one such way.

It builds communities and thus builds resilience and human connections.

It decreases consumption and thus decreases the pressure on our overburdened ecosystem.

It creates ties amongst people and thus strengthens the pathways to democracy.

And – fundamentally – it is hopeful.

Adam Parsons, in this article, has presented an introduction to the rise of the Sharing Economy.  Check it out.

by Adam Parsons

That article is just the beginning.

Neal Gorenflo writes in his piece entitled “what is next for the sharing movement

“With this, a new social contract is forming based on peer to peer relations, which the P2P Foundation has been exploring for a decade. Instead competing with sharp elbows for rank in the hierarchy, individuals are empowered to face each other as equals and ask a simple but revolutionary question — “what can we create together?”

A Revolution For, Not Against

As Shareable’s stories make clear, the answer to the above question is nearly all that we need to for an autonomous peer to peer society. That’s good, because sharers prefer to create alternatives rather than fight hierarchies for change.

Why? Because making stuff is what they love to do most of all. Shareable’s audience is filled with folks from the creative class: programmers, journalists, architects, entrepreneurs, artists, designers, educators, engineers, artists, lawyers, scientists, communicators, and the like.

They also prefer to build, rather than fight, because it’s a cheaper, easier, and faster way to create change. Sharers use new tools, technologies, and organizing strategies to route around existing institutions to solve problems.

Creative Commons is a perfect example. Rather than reform copyright laws, it created licenses that empowered creators everywhere to control how their work is shared. It’s an elegant legal, social, and technological hack.

Another powerful example is Open Source Ecology (OSE), which is open sourcing the designs for the 50 machine tools necessary for modern life. Instead of fighting institutions that create economic inequality, OSE is giving citizens the ultimate DIY toolbox to build their own economy.

Over time, this strategy will become more viable as tools to share, make, and collaborate continue to drop in cost, as they have for decades. Citizens will be able to do it themselves in many more areas of life. This gives the movement an economic engine that resistance movements lack. Sharing can support us while we create change.

But it might all come down to this. Creating is energizing. It taps into our passions. It brings us together. It leaves a legacy that can be built on.”

In addition to checking those links (highlighted in the section above), check this inspiring video on the work being done in Seoul

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 3.02.22 PM

Still not inspired? Then check out what the author of the excellent book ‘Limits to Growth’ says about his meeting with the Mayor of Seoul:

Copies of The End of Growth were on the Mayor’s meeting room table. Using an interpreter, we got right to it: he had clearly read the book and asked intelligent questions about it. What would I recommend that he and the City of Seoul do to prepare for the end of economic growth? It was a stunning question, given the circumstances, and he appeared eager to consider whatever suggestions I might offer. I started rattling off a laundry list of ideas—supporting farmers’ markets, community gardens, and other staples of a local food system; discouraging cars while encouraging bicycling and public transport; raising energy building standards to the Passive House level; staging more cultural events to increase the happiness quotient among citizens. When I finished, he recited examples of how he and the City have already begun doing nearly every one of these things. He was saying, in effect, “Checkcheckcheck. Come on, what else have you got? Please tell me, and I’ll see if we can do it!” I suggested he find a way for the City to help bring Transition to Seoul (there are currently two official Transition Initiatives in Japan, none in Korea). He promised to do just that.”

And then check out these links as well:

Collaborative Consumption

* Transition Network

* Post Carbon Institute

* Maker Cities – making your city sustainable  -http://www.makercities.net

* Open Source Ecology

* And add this reading to your list as well – Ecuador’s National Plan for Good Living!

 

Inspired right? Fantastic!

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Soosoo Economics.

  2. I’m not sure I understand this fully, but from what I do understand, a few things come to mind.
    First, it will be very difficult to shift the entire global economic system, as many “powerful” countries are gaining so much from the current system. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but difficult.
    Second, this actually might be a great way to get different cultures from all over the world closer together.

  3. Nothing can be changed suddenly. However, that’s a great start. What a nice way to gather people of different specialities (architects, journalist, engineers, etc) each one with a creative idea that can be shared and be applied. In this way they act as unity, they work as a group, learn the meaning of humanity and solidarity. It’s awesome how they decided not to fight, but rather join forces to build, and create stuff together to save the ecosystem. They are doing their best to make their city a better place. They should be an example to be followed by all the other cultures. In this way, we could gradually save the environment.

  4. A statement that caught my attention in the article says: “I believe that sharing can address the root causes of both poverty and climate change, the most important problems for our time.” In fact, these are dilemmas that we are witnessing today and something has to be done to stop them. We need to take action. The article addresses the issue of sharing, whether through creative commons or open source ecology which are, according to me, brilliant ideas. Instead of exacerbating problems through fights, it is best to work hand-in-hand to improve our economy. Fights, after all, barely lead to a positive change, in contrast to cooperation and unity. So let us unite in hope of a bright future!


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