Sharing Economy

Nonprofits should lead the sharing economy and demand more from the private sector. The Sharing Economy — the use of networked, often mobile, information technology to share goods and services — offers nonprofits new possibilities for innovation and efficiency along with new paradigms to move from scarcity to abundance.

Whether it’s AirBnB, the Sharing Cities Network or Car2Go, the range of sharing economy examples is reaching a tidal flood.

What is most exciting about the Sharing Economy is its embrace of a revitalized public square and a rejuvenated commitment to social good. This is part of the Sharing Economy with the most transformative potential: the ability to address societal inequities and envision new ecological solutions.

The Sharing Economy is a great theme for a NetSquared event. You probably already have several local organizations who are working in the area who would be great panelists.

Here’s an initial list to help your brainstorm:

  • Coworking offices
  • Maker spaces and 3D printing groups
  • Car share services
  • Tool lending libraries
  • Community gardens
  • Service cooperatives
  • Crowdfunded and Kickerstarted projects
  • Online courses like Khan Academy
  • Room and Home sharing services like AirBNB
  • W3C
  • The Internet Archive
  • Open Data Institute
  • Wikipedia
  • Code for America
  • Kiva and other micro-finance organizations

See our Sharing Economy article on for more example organizations.

Questions for Panel
Once you have found a diverse panel of three to four people, it’s time to ask them some hard questions! You can start with some of these questions:

  • How is the Sharing Economy transforming society?
  • What tech innovation is most needed in your community?
  • How has technology helped you grow the sharing economy?
  • If not, what’s needed?
  • What are the barriers to adoption to bringing more people into the Sharing Economy?
  • Where could the Sharing Economy’s “idling capacity” be harnessed?
  • What tools do you need most to match your fellow citizen’s ‘haves’ with others ‘wants’?
  • Are there dangers to an expanded Sharing Economy?
  • Are you ready to build new Sharing Economy start-ups owned by the people?

Read more about the sharing economy on the NetSquared blog.

Sharing Economy Commons