The Sharing Economy is a fairly new concept already being used by many in different parts of the world. It is based in the old idea of bartering: I offer you a service or a product and we negotiate how you will “pay” to me.
The payment doesn’t have to be in real money (cash, debit, credit card or PayPal) but it may be that way…or it may be an exchange for services or products you can offer and I need.
It falls under Permaculture because it promotes local economies, sharing and care for people: how many times we have a great skill no employer may be willing to pay for or have a “market” for, but it may be exactly what other person may need…
The sharing economy eliminates the need for the middle man and encourages trust and real sharing of expertise, skills and care for the quality of the product or service being offered or requested.
The sharing economy has been practiced for centuries and it is still important in many communities around the world: neighbours exchanging eggs for sugar or daycare for house repairs, etc.
Communities and households who practice it are more resilient to any financial collapse because they have already build the necessary network and know how to do it. Reported cases from broken economies and collapses in Russia, Argentina, Cuba, US and others show how people rapidly adapt to bartering and exchanging to support themselves and others when money is not available or has lost its value.
The sharing economy, if well applied and combined with simplicity, Permaculture or other similar approaches, reduces household debt and dependence on money from external sources.
For communities and institutions, it reduces dependence on loans and investments of foreign capital and empowers local economies and social entrepreneurship.
How it works:
- You create a list of the skills, time, products or services you are willing to offer through this model and share with family, friends, neighbours and other people in the local community.
- You may require a minimum investment or allow your services/products to be a gift, clarifying that the other person is free to contribute to your time and effort according to the perceived quality of your work. You can also ask “customers” to negotiate the exchange in advance with you, before staring a project or service.
- The “pay” may include anything from someone creating your website or giving you a weekly box of produce from their lot to providing childcare for your kids or aging parents, paying you with products they create, or even money.
Read my posts on “reducing debt” and “increasing financial resilience” for more details…