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
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, “Check, check, check. 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:
* Maker Cities – making your city sustainable –http://www.makercities.net
* And add this reading to your list as well – Ecuador’s National Plan for Good Living!
Inspired right? Fantastic!