2013 has been a breakout year for the sharing economy. It made the cover of Forbes and the Economist, was covered by Good Morning America and now, LeWeb, Europe’s largest tech conference, has made sharing the theme of its London event.
Boasting a who’s who roster of key sharing economy players including Joe Gebbia from Airbnb, Leah Busque from TaskRabbit, Lisa Gansky of Mesh Labs, Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey, Chad Dickerson of Etsy and many more, LeWeb London, which takes place on June 5th and 6th, promises to be an accelerator, classroom and networking bonanza for those involved with the sharing movement. For those who aren’t already familiar with the sharing economy, this will be a star-studded introduction to it.
Here, LeWeb’s organizer, Loïc Le Meur, shares his thoughts on LeWeb London, the culture of sharing and how money is okay but greed is bad.
Shareable: Can you talk about your decision to spotlight the sharing economy at the upcoming LeWeb London?
Loïc Le Meur: The Sharing Economy is the most exciting technology trend these days with huge players such as Airbnb, Etsy, ZipCar. What matters even more for me is that it is a cultural change behind the technology. A new generation is growing up with new values: preserve the planet, waste less, doing good, money is okay but greed is bad. They would rather rent a car for a few hours than own it, they don't care about the status symbol a car was for their parents. It is a major shift.
Shareable: For some conference attendees, this may be their introduction to the sharing economy. What do you hope LeWeb London provides for them?
Loïc Le Meur: We have the key players at LeWeb on stage, and many large corporations are embracing the Sharing Economy, such as Walmart, so it will be an opportunity to understand who the players are and what needs to be done with your business to adapt to the sharing economy. For the culture shift, we could not dream to have a better speaker than the founder of Burning Man, Larry Harvey, who gathers 50,000 people in the desert every year on a pure gift economy model. I think there will be plenty of opportunities to be inspired and I hope the attendees will also have new business ideas, as they always do at LeWeb.
Shareable: What kind of feedback have you received on the decision to focus LeWeb London on the sharing economy?
Loïc Le Meur: We have seen excellent feedback on the program and an impressive traction as you can see on my keynote on the sharing economy I just released, which is approaching 30,000 views as I write this.
Shareable: What's your big-picture vision for LeWeb London? What would you most like to see before, during and after the conference?
Loïc Le Meur: London is a fantastic city and with Paris and Berlin one of the top three innovation centers in Europe. We see LeWeb London as becoming as big as LeWeb Paris eventually. We were thrilled with our first edition success last year as we gathered 1400 participants. This is great for a first edition, we are very excited about this year.
Shareable: Anything you'd like to add?
Loïc Le Meur: Apart from the fact that people can register at London.LeWeb.com, no. I’m excited to see you all in London on June 5-6. Thanks!
LeWeb London 2013: Digital Hippies and the Sharing Economy