What is the sharing economy? And how does it have the potential to change the way we live?

According to the Oxford Dictionary:

The sharing economy is “an economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either for free or for a fee, by means of the internet.”

Access over ownership

Consumerism has been the prevailing trend across the globe for the last 100 years. This explains why this transition to being content to access something rather than own it feels like a return to the way our ancestors used to live, with the only difference being that we’re using digital technologies. We’re happy to have our photos stored in the cloud, be able to choose tonight’s film on Netflix and be able to borrow a bike for the distance we have to cover without ever owning it.

Examples of the sharing economy

  • Property management is the most commonly mentioned example of the sharing economy. This is where person A owns something that they don’t use all the time, and person B gets to use it for a fee. Best example of this? Airbnb! You can find more information here.
  • This principle is also being applied to coworking spaces. Several companies rent premises and share the space. This is a seamless process thanks to platforms such as Locaboo or anny.co. For further information, click here.
  • In urban areas, owning a car is no longer the norm. Vehicles are borrowed when they’re actually needed, rather than having them parked somewhere for over 22 hours without using them. With providers like flinkey, transferring cars works without any additional hassle at all. Find more details about car sharing here.
  • Bikes are also affected by this shared economy trend. After all, it’s much easier to just borrow a vehicle at short notice when it’s needed, e.g. via the micromobility platform Lattis. More information here.

What do all these examples have in common? Mobile access not only makes sharing processes easier; it actually makes them possible in the first place.

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