Image: Amelia Bates for Grist

There’s a growing awareness that the real sharing economy has little to do with wealth-concentrating Silicon Valley startups. It has more to do with communities figuring out ways to make sure everyone's needs are met by sharing, putting idle resources to work, and creating an economy that revolves around joyful, sustainable living rather than endless growth.

The Real Sharing Economy, a new series on Grist, explores ways that communities create authentic sharing. As the website states:

"Sharing, real sharing, could allow humanity as a whole to produce, consume, and emit less while improving quality of life through greater social interactions, fairer wealth distribution, and stronger community relationships. But sharing needs to go far beyond profit-seeking smartphone apps for unregulated taxi services (Uber) and vacation rentals (Airbnb)."

We couldn’t agree more! A true sharing economy is built from the ground-up through human connections and a shared vision for a sustainable, just, and connected world.

The first article in the series, The sharing economy is bullsh!t. Here’s how we can take it back, was an attention-grabbing introduction to the difference between the growth-driven sharing economy and the authentic sharing economy. Next was This co-op bike shop will teach you to fix your own damn bike (and that matters), a profile of the Bikery in Seattle. [Editor’s note: If you’re inspired by the idea of bike kitchens, check out Shareable’s How to Start a Bike Kitchen and create one of you own.] Most recently, Grist featured Seattle’s Beacon Food Forest in a piece titled These urban farmers want to feed the whole neighborhood — for free.

We love Grist’s new series and look forward to reading more. As they so nicely put it, “Planting the seeds of a real sharing economy is no easy task. But it’s easier to share the work than go it alone.”


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Cat Johnson


Cat Johnson | |

Cat Johnson is a content strategist and teacher helping community builders create strong brands. A longtime writer, marketing pro and coworking leader, Cat is the founder of Coworking Convos and