We Need the Sharing Economy

December 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Insights

Uber is a key representative of the sharing economy but it is not the only company (or business culture) representing the sharing economy. The negatives of Uber in recent news have resulted in some dismissing or rejecting the sharing economy. This is missing the big picture.

The sharing economy is here to stay. In fact I think it is an essential and important step towards a more sustainable (and viable) world. We can no longer operate in a linear economy where we take, make and throw. We have to move away from this old unsustainable model. One of the alternatives is the circular economy where the sharing economy is a subset of. We need to have new business models and consumption patterns that focus on sharing and encourage access over ownership, and resulting in less use of resources and less waste created.

It is unfortunate that Uber has cast a bad light on the sharing economy. No doubt it needs to relook its business model and culture, and put in place measures to reduce any further damage to its brand and better protect its users. However, one Uber does not make (or break) the sharing economy. There are many other sharing companies that are doing great decent work and deserve a chance to help us move towards a sustainable world.

The sharing economy is still in its infancy and taking baby steps. Like other new disruptive trends, it is still struggling with government regulations and policies, taxation and insurance issues, consumer protection and social issues, and vested interests. It needs time to grow and find its footing. But eventually it will and it must. Because the sharing economy is a necessary step towards our sustainable future on our only one Earth.

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