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The Next Economy
New Book Shows How, 10 Years In, Sharing Economy Is Improving Millions of Lives

Published to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sharing economy, Generation Share captures 200 untold stories of how sharing models are saving and transforming the lives of millions across the world.

The largest compilation of case studies highlighting how the sharing economy is saving and transforming lives — creating economic, social and environmental value — Generation Share has been published to illustrate the global impact of this international phenomenon. The book takes readers on a journey around the globe to meet the people at the forefront of change.

Published in June, the book illustrates the social and environmental impact of the sharing economy for the first time, dispelling myths and demonstrating that the sharing economy is far more wide-reaching than Airbnb and Uber.

Generation Share is comprised of over 200 changemaker case studies — from the woman transforming the lives of slum girls in India, to the UK entrepreneur who has started a food-sharing revolution; you’ll also meet the creators of life-saving milk banks, a crowdfunding platform for training and employment for London’s homeless, an urban farm tackling food justice in Detroit, a care platform enabling the elderly to live longer and stay in their own homes, and a pet-sitting platform helping pets stay safe and cared for at home.

Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at Marks and Spencer, calls the book “an indispensable guide to sharing — not just the facts, stats and intellect that underpin the concept; but also, the joy, passion and connection that will make it so crucial to our future.”

What is the sharing economy?

The sharing economy is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources such as property, knowledge, cars, skills, food, jobs, goods and time. The term emerged from the global crisis of 2008-09 and the need to do more with less. Fueled by technology that for the first time matched people who had spare or idle resources with those that wanted or needed them, the term became associated with new types of ‘peer-to-peer’ or person-to-person online marketplaces such as Airbnb and Uber. However, Generation Share brings to life the reality beyond Silicon Valley-backed ventures, and instead shares the multi-faceted aspects of the sharing economy. In this new economy, three types of value are recognized and counted — economic, social and environmental. These include social mobility, poverty alleviation, environmental improvement, sustainable development, advancement of health, citizenship, happiness, human rights, animal welfare, and many more.

A collaboration between speaker, social innovator and global sharing economy expert Benita Matofska and photographer Sophie Sheinwald, Generation Share brings to life the phenomenon causing the most significant shift in society since the Industrial Revolution. A crowdfunded Kickstarter project, Generation Share was created through the very values it represents.

“The sharing economy is now a decade old and has become a global phenomenon,” Matofska says. “Generation Share evidences the untold story of the social impact created with millions of lives saved and transformed. The book demonstrates that we have enough resources to feed, house, clothe and educate the global population. If we can unleash our collective capacity to share, we could end world poverty.”

Research illustrates global impacts of the sharing economy

Providing analysis into the current and forecast impacts of the sharing economy some of many key facts available include:

  • Over 600 human milk banks are operating in 60 countries, where women share their breast milk to provide life-­‐saving support to premature, sick babies and to mothers who are unable to feed due to illness. The World Health Organization recommends donor milk for the wellbeing and development of the over 20 million infants born with low birth weight, particularly in developing nations, every year.

  • Food sharing could end world hunger. By sharing the 1.3 billion tonnes of food (a third) that is wasted globally each year, we could feed the 10 billion people worldwide living in food poverty.

  • There are 6 times the number of vacant homes than homeless people — the sharing of vacant homes could help provide homes for the 150 million homeless worldwide.

  • Shared cars could cut air pollution from vehicle emissions, dramatically improving air quality; car-sharing, implemented smartly, can replace 25 cars with 1 car in India.

"[This is] a must read for changemakers everywhere who seek lasting, systemic change with multiple benefits,” said Neal Gorenflo, co-founder and Executive Director of Shareable and Executive Editor of Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons. “This timely, inspirational read shows through tangible examples how sharing can bring people together, meet basic needs and reduce waste. Nothing could be more relevant given the mounting social, economic and environmental crises."