As I mentioned in the first part of this blog (which lists my favourite quotes from the Fest), it has now been almost two weeks since I was at the Ouishare Love party sharing a dance floor with the Ouishare lot. Good sharers make good dancers, apparently.
The three days and evenings in Paris were brilliant in their entirety, but these were some of my favourite moments:
I had the great pleasure of meeting Daan Weddepohl (CEO of Peerby) and Rob Hopkins (co-founder of the Transition Network, who urged me to check out what Liftshare’s hometown has achieved by being local minded!).
During their talks, both speakers stood out for stressing that it is not just online communities which are emerging as increasingly powerful entities. Appreciation of local communities is also going “from ‘niche’ to mainstream”. This is important as ‘local’ enables distinctive values to be nurtured.
Rajesh from Share the World’s Resources joined Ali and me for dinner one evening. I had seen Rajesh speak once before at The People who Share’s event on ‘The Sharing Economy and Excluded Communities’.
The global issues that Share the World’s Resources address seem of greater significance than the ‘great outcomes’ that are too often the focus of our praise of the sharing economy. Yes, sure, it’s great that TaskRabbit enabled you to get you shed painted in time for a summer BBQ. But is the rest of the world not entitled to its fair share of that coal? Many need it more than we need that third sausage.
Two things were exciting about meeting Jeremiah. Firstly, that in under a year I’d gone from reading his blog as research for my dissertation, to exchanging advice with him on the best P2P tour guide apps. Secondly, that it was possible to become such a great influencer whilst maintaining incredible warmth and approachability.
Prior to the Fest I had heard a bit about ‘citizen science’, as well as alternative models of democracy, but I had certainly under-appreciated their potential implications and value.
It seems you don’t have to be a scientist or political activist to get excited about harnessing the power of innovative collaboration as a means of improving millions of lives. Check out Alessandra Orofino’s TED talk on liquid democracy as a seductive example.
I know that Ali brought me along to the fest primarily to learn from others and gather insights that could inform the development of Liftshare. This being said, I learnt a lot from spending time with my boss and hearing about his experience of running a sharing economy business over the last 17 years.
Once again, a huge thank you to Ouishare for organising the fest. A great first experience of a wild Parisian cabaret.
Author Lucie Boyle