People can trade with other people: Peer-to-peer means that people are no longer reliant on large corporations for their goods and services, so the relationship between business and consumer has forever changed. Once empowered, people aren’t going to give that up and corporations are recognizing that to future-proof their businesses they need to find ways to engage with the Sharing Economy.
People are now “Prosumers”: We can all create, produce and distribute our own goods and services at minimal cost. From producing and distributing our own music, to designing and manufacturing furniture using 3D printers, the “Prosumer” is the future of production.
Money isn’t the only thing that has value: In a Sharing Economy, the planet and the people in it are all valued. By putting a value on each of us and taking account of our impact on the planet, a Sharing Economy is inherently sustainable.
Access for all: A Sharing Economy is fair and equitable, providing equal access for all. The world’s $5.95 trillion worth of idle assets are redistributed and matched with need, creating a circular or closed-loop system that eliminates waste and tackles poverty at the same time.
Respect for the planet: A Sharing Economy respects that planetary resources are finite and, given the growing population, that the need to share is vital, enabling an inherently sustainable economy.
Power to the people: A Sharing Economy is a “people’s economy.” Power is distributed and people are active participants who have a voice.
Shared Law: There are already signs that regulations are being challenged and policies developed to support and enable the sharing of goods and services, incentivizing people to access rather than own goods.
Sell the message “Share More”: Rather than communicating a message of “buy more,” a Sharing Economy promotes the notion of sharing and access rather than ownership. This has the potential to take us out of an economic cycle of boom and bust to a system that is inherently sustainable.
Culture of community: By focusing on community and well-being, a Sharing Economy is a connected, happy, healthy economy.
The Future Economy: By considering the long term rather than the short term, a Sharing Economy is future-proofed and here to stay.
The Sharing Economy is growing year on year with 25% growth in 2013 (source: Forbes) and estimates of the value of the Sharing Economy ranging from $110 billion to $330 billion and beyond. What's clear, is that with now over 7,500 Sharing Economy sites worldwide the Sharing Economy is the future economy. By considering the long term rather than the short term, a Sharing Economy is future-proofed and here to stay.
Benita Matofska is a worldwide expert and speaker on the Sharing Economy, and the Founder and Chief Sharer of The People Who Share, a global movement to build a Sharing Economy and the pioneers behind Global Sharing Day. She is also the Founder of Compare and Share, the world’s first comparison marketplace of the Sharing Economy.