In 2016, the newly formed Sharing Economy Association of Japan (SEAJ) reached out to Shareable for help with a range of strategic questions including how to grow their Sharing Cities program. Shareable, as a leading source of information about the sharing economy and the catalyst of the Sharing Cities movement, was in a unique position to help.
SEAJ hired Shareable on a monthly retainer basis to advise their executives. Periodically throughout the month, SEAJ executives would ask Shareable Executive Director, Neal Gorenflo, a set of key questions they were grappling with at the moment. Gorenflo would assess their needs and send a written reply basing answers on:
- what other organizations have done in similar circumstances
- desk research
- consulting Shareable.net’s vast archive
- outreach to Shareable’s extensive network in the sharing sector
Replies included executive opinions, helpful resources, and often led to high-value personal introductions. The regular correspondence led to the development of a very productive working relationship, a renewal for another year, and other projects. For instance, SEAJ hired Shareable to write a 10-page multipart introduction to their book, “The Sharing World”. Gorenflo also keynoted their 2017 Share Summit, the largest event about sharing in Japan. Shareable also inspired SEAJ staff members, helped them write a book proposal, and supported their efforts to get a book deal with Singapore Springer for a Pan-Asian version of Shareable’s book, “Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons”.
Iris Wang, the overseas coordinator at SEAJ, said of Shareable’s work, “SEAJ is honored to work with Shareable and benefited greatly from their knowledge of the sharing economy. Shareable did a fantastic job as an adviser to help SEAJ promote the idea of sharing in Japan. We hope Shareable will keep up the great work in the sharing economy globally”. The monthly retainer lasted for two years, though collaboration with SEAJ and SEAJ alumni happily continues.