“Collaborative consumption is sharing reinvented through technology.” – Rachel Botsman
Is Toronto ready to become a shareable city? Absolutely! We have some great initiatives in place that engage people from across the GTA in the sharing economy. You have no doubt seen them in action – from Bixi bikes to ZipCars.
Individuals, organizations, and cities are looking for ways to relieve people from the burden of ownership. To purchase, maintain, store, and secure the things that you own is a significant burden. Lawrence Alvarez, President of the Institute for a Resource Based Economy asks, “Why not share that burden with your community?” He adds that many of the assets – tangible and intangible – that we posses “are being held captive and can only realize their full potential when they are shared.” Consider a story, trapped in a book, and stuck on a shelf. How can you help the story bring value to others? SHARE IT! How you may ask?
Collaborative consumption is divided into 3 principal systems:
1 Redistribution Market – where items are redistributed from where they are not needed to somewhere they are needed. The most popular examples are eBay and Craigslist.
2 Product Service System – where members can pay for the opportunity to use a product or space without having to buy it outright. Examples include Car2Go, Toronto Tool Library, Centre for Social Innovation.
3 Collaborative Lifestyle – where people are free to share and exchange their own tangible or intangible assets – be they time, talent, or property. Examples in this space are Toronto Trade School, Sharing Backyards and Airbnb.
View Toronto Sharing Map in a larger map
Across Toronto people are working to share assets of all kinds – whether precious possessions (clothes, cars, rooms, gardens), services (talent, time), or experiences (sharing knowledge and skills). You can see examples in the map above.
Momentum is building and on February 11th, as part of the program Inspiring Action for Social Impact, the Social Innovation Generation (SiG) has invited April Rinne to highlight the opportunities that exist for the GTA to play a greater role in the collaborative consumption community. Collaborative consumers, sharing economists, and anyone interested are invited to the MaRS auditorium from 5:30 – 7:00pm to join the discussion.
April is a leader in the sharing universe. She co-founded Collaborative Lab and is a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum who authored the WEF report on the sharing economy. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the World Wide Web Foundation.
The objective of the day is to help participants identify how cities and people can move forward beyond conversations to:
– Identify tools that can help to support more integrative urban planning
– Take working examples from other cities around the world
– Create public and private sector collaboration
– Connect people who are interested in working at the grassroots level
April hopes to facilitate dialogue that will open peoples minds to the social and economic opportunities that collaborative consumption presents.
As April highlights, the collaborative economy is about “looking at the assets all around us that can be shared.” It requires matching needs and haves – whether for money, convenience, or public benefit – and creating a convenient and seamless user experience.
If you like the idea of Toronto as a Shareable City, find out what happened during April’s Toronto stop HERE.