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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Looking at a "Sharing Economy"

Sharing is Caring!
It comes by no surprise that I happened upon this article on the sharing economy via Twitter. Our world today is so very much influenced by the sharing of statuses, the forming of social connections, and a financial situation that forces us to do more with less.

The article focuses on the influx of infrastructure (primarily online) that enables sharing as a business model-- one that is both more environmentally and economically healthy for individuals. It certainly makes sense to reduce expenses by sharing infrastructure. We see this being investigated at all different levels, from individuals sharing cars to municipalities attempting to reduce costs by sharing services like fire or police services.

In a less official realm, sharing can translate into more investment into community ownership. My thoughts trail to the usual suspects, such as community gardens or parks. I think there are some less conventional and riskier investments, however, that can be made cooperatively that could really increase the quality of living throughout the region. Cooperative housing, for instance, or cooperative business models-- not dissimilar to those being undertaken by organizations like Evergreen Cooperatives.

I certainly do hope the future of the economy sees increased sharing. Oddly, this article mentioned Airbnb.com-- a website that I'm currently using to plan a vacation to Montreal next month. Needless to say, I'm happy with the fantastic rates I'm finding... but I'm even more excited to see how this experience plays out in terms of making more social connections.

What are your thoughts?

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