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Should the Government of BC revise their view of the sharing economy?

By | Social Impact, What we're reading | No Comments

We’ve been writing a lot about the “sharing economy” lately – mostly about the shifting definitions at play. But it seems that the governing party in British Columbia is thinking about supporting Uber and AirBNB as prime examples of the sharing economy – and we think that they need to revise their views if that’s where they’re ending up. Read More

Cooperating is the best kind of sharing: co-ops and the sharing economy

By | Cooperatives Work, Sharing Economy, Social Enterprise, Social Impact | 3 Comments

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Cooperating is the best kind of sharing

I think cooperating is the best kind of sharing. And sharing has been all the rage lately, with the meteoric rise of the “sharing economy,” which seems to encompass everything from AirBNB to couchsurfing to tool sharing to car sharing.

That meteoric rise of the sharing economy is really, really exciting. Since 2008, when the economy took a major stumble, people have been coming to the understanding that the economy isn’t going to benefit everyone the same way, and that sometimes the best way to make things better is to do things differently. That’s where the increased interest in the sharing economy comes from, really: the realization that we need to do business differently, and build a different economy, if we want it to be more fair, more inclusive, and better.

So when we discuss the sharing economy and cooperatives, I think the discussion starts to get really interesting. I think cooperation is the best kind of sharing, and this is important because there is no clear definition of just what the sharing economy actually is – and that runs the risk of dilution into meaninglessness.

Cooperating enables people to build shared resources and co-own them. Cooperation is an ownership model and a business model. It’s different from sharing as you might currently see in the sharing economy, but I think that cooperatives can and should lead the sharing economy. Read More