What does it mean to love in a capitalist modern society? Philosopher Yann Dall’Aglio asserts that the contemporary man lives in a constant state of anxiety where his value is constantly being negotiated and embraces a consumerist lifestyle in order to remain desirable. See Dall’Aglio’s Ted Talk on Love.
While consumerism and material wealth accumulation is expected from a capitalist society, concentration of wealth in a few hands has an overall negative impact on society. At a time when 1 in 9 people do not have enough to eat and more than a billion people still live on less than $1.25-a-day, it is a moral imperative that those at the bottom of the economic ladder have the same access to wealth creation than the rest of the world.¹
Ever since the creation of Creative Commons licenses, peer-to-peer networks have allowed the average person to share everything from cars, to skills and technology. Worldwide, the sharing movement has gained momentum and is redefining the way communities are strengthened, economies developed, and governments made accountable.
Five organizations seem to be paving the way for a wealth creation model based on sharing, not greed, and proving how access to products and services, trumps ownership, as Lisa Gansky has stated.
1. Social Coin
Barcelona-based Social Coin began as an experiment in generosity, promoting acts of kindness. After one year, they sparked 150,000 generous acts in over 100 countries. Their online platform allows companies and their staff to volunteer on various projects, while measuring their social impact. City governments can also collaborate with the civic sector on community-driven projects.
Founder Michael Bauwens is one of the intellectual minds behind this Dutch foundation whose goal is to bring together ideas, research, people and the latest thinking on the emerging potential of commons networks. Follow their Twitter account for some stimulating thinking and ideas on peer-to-peer production.
Peers brings together a comprehensive listing of companies that provide income-generation opportunities for individuals. By sharing a ride, a house, or professional skills, Peers encourages its users to organize their work around their lives, not the other way around. Its online-based platform allows people working with its partner companies to get health benefits plus life and accident insurance.
This news website is a go-to source for learning about the latest news on commoning and peer-based initiatives. Its co-founder, Neal Gorenflo, has many years of experience in sharing-based initiatives, helping cities become Sharing Cities. Their website has a comprehensive toolkit for sharing, and over 50 maps of cities, that help people connect with local businesses and organizations.
Sharetribe is a web-based service that allows anyone to create a marketplace for sharing or selling items in their local community. For people wanting to borrow or lease tools from a neighbour, or mothers looking to sell or donate baby clothes, Sharetribe takes care of the technical aspects, letting people to focus on their community-driven stores.
¹ “Richest 1% will own more than all the rest by 2016”. Published January 19, 2016. Accessed: January 25, 2016. https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2015-01-19/richest-1-will-own-more-all-rest-2016