19 April 2011

The sharing economy

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The sharing economy
Thanks to the social web, you can now share anything with anyone anywhere in the world.

Fast Company profiles Neal Gorenflo who, after quitting his job as strategist for a division of shipping giant DHL, started Shareable, a not-for-profit web hub that provides individuals and groups with a playbook for how to build systems for sharing everything from baby food and housing to skills and solar panels.

“Gorenflo is a leading proselytizer of a global trend to make sharing something far more economically significant than a primitive behavior taught in preschool. Spawned by a confluence of the economic crisis, environmental concerns, and the maturation of the social web, an entirely new generation of businesses is popping up. They enable the sharing of cars, clothes, couches, apartments, tools, meals, and even skills. The basic characteristic of these you-name-it sharing marketplaces is that they extract value out of the stuff we already have. Many of these sites depend on millennials disenchanted by the housing bubble and the banking crisis, or uninterested in traditional icons of success such as house or auto ownership. But the number of people who have quietly begun tapping in is impressive: Already, more than 3 million people from 235 countries have couch-surfed, while 2.2 million bike-sharing trips are taken each month. “

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