As toddlers, most of us had to learn how to share against our more basic instincts. “Sharing is caring,” we’ve been told, but as grownups, we also understand that it’s more efficient for an increasingly urbanizing global population, it’s an engine for economic growth even during a recession, and it can unlock innovation by connecting people and ideas across disciplines — in a time when we desperately need to innovate.
Call it what you will — “collaborative consumption,” “shared economy,” “circular economy,” etc — sharing is coming of age as a viable business model and driver of innovation in a mobile- and socially enabled market. According to Fast Company, 52% of Americans have rented, borrowed or shared things they used to own — and 83% are willing to do it.
A number of factors are contributing to the rapid rise of this new model, and understanding those drivers will be critical for any organization seeking to tap its potential opportunity or at the very least to avoid being disrupted by it.
At our Cleantech Forum in San Francisco in March, we interviewed Adam Werbach, co-founder of yerdle, a platform for helping you “give and get the things you need from your friends,” to get his thoughts on what a truly mainstream shared economy might look like. As a former Sierra Club president, founder of Saatchi & Saatchi S, and advisor to Walmart (whose former head of sustainability is also a co-founder of yerdle), Adam offers a unique perspective on the role of corporations, government and culture in driving a shared economy.
See what he has to say:
In the meantime, please feel free to follow us at @CleantechGroup or @Green_Order for more of the latest on innovation, cleantech and sustainability. 10x13 is our new interview series exploring innovation in a resource-constrained world from the perspectives of leaders across a range of industries, including commercial property management, consumer resource sharing, transportation and future mobility services, government, telecom and utility-scale solar.