Sharing economy for social good

Innovation charity Nesta is promoting, and supporting, the idea that the sharing economy can be used for good causes, not just as a way of renting out rooms.

A recent news item leads with the statement that the “younger generation (is) adopting ‘sharing economy’ platforms for social benefit, not just profit”:

  • Nearly a third of 16-34 year olds have used a collaborative economy platform for ‘a good cause’ in the past 12 months
  • Yet some 45 million British adults are not aware of how ‘sharing economy’ technologies can help them access social support services, or support community causes
  • But nearly a quarter (22%) of those would be interested in using one in in the future.

The collaborative economy is defined as using digital technologies to access goods, services and knowledge from people-powered networks and marketplaces. Examples include GoodSAM, an app that augments the capacity of 999 response services by alerting a volunteer community when someone in their vicinity is suffering from cardiac arrest, and Wheeliz in France, which enables peer-to-peer rental of adapted vehicles for those with reduced mobility.

Also worth a read is the Nesta article ‘Six lessons on how the collaborative economy can fight isolation‘. And there is a page recapping a recent day event on the subject.

Help with developing the collaborative economy

Nesta ShareLab Fund is inviting proposals on how collaborative economy platforms can be used to support public services, and grow the evidence-base about how they can deliver social impact.

“ShareLab will support and incubate new collaborative platforms that create social impact. We want to work with the very best ideas and initiatives that can show how collaborative platforms and models can support public services and deliver social impact. We are offering funds of between £10,000 and £40,000 plus non-financial support to stimulate experimentation and collaboration.”
Nesta defines the collaborative economy as having five traits: enabled by internet technologies, connecting distributed networks of people and/or assets, making use of the idling capacity of tangible and intangible assets, encouraging meaningful interactions and trust, and embracing openness, inclusivity and the commons.

Ideas should be registered by 9th December.

(Thanks to Charity Digital News.)