You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted much about the collaborative economy, aka the sharing economy, in a while.. on account of my disappointment that what I heralded in my TEDx Berlin talk was not coming to pass: better distribution of resources, an abundance-based economic paradigm as opposed to a scarcity/competitive model; the connection and trust behind peer to peer sharing leading to less isolation and more connection. Our sharing a sense of responsibility for each other: what I called our transformation from Zombies into Neighbors.
Instead, we saw how micro-enterprise or “gigging” platforms like Taskrabbit and Uber decimated workers’ rights and wages. We saw venture capital make most sharing start-ups into old-school profit-for-shareholders pits. We saw a crowd funding platform used to support the racist renegade cop Darren Wilson, (the fundraising campaign page has since been removed) to the tune of half a million dollars. It’s all enough to make this grown woman cry.
Yet of course hope springs eternal. As Nathan Schneider’s excellent new piece on Shareable describes, the response to the above has been a resurgence in collective ownership.
Personally, having never been as interested in the new or revised models of *consumption* as I have in a new and different underlying narrative for our economy and society including a redefinition of work and worth, I’ve been focused more on the *collaborative production* side of things. More soon about that.