We’ve expanded the way we use private resources for public good
In addition to philanthropy, we now use our investments, our business models, open source code, open data and many other practices to make the world a better place
Here’s another way of looking at the choices we face when we – as individual space men – think about how we can use what we have to make things better for ourselves and others.
The Philanthropy, Policy and Technology Project (PPT) at Stanford PACS is looking at 5 overarching questions. This conversation is our first experiment in involving you in helping us think through these questions. This conversation focuses on the 3rd question down – and we’ll look specifically at the sharing economy.
The sharing economy focuses on ways we can access the goods and services we need, when we need them instead of having to own them. The idea has been around for a long time – Libraries are a great example. Nowadays we can borrow or rent cars, office space, housing, money, tools, baby clothes – all kinds of goods and services – that we used to have to own.
The mesh network – www.meshing.it – has a directory of sharing platforms. The stats on the left side give you a sense of the size of the sharing economy in the United Strates as of 2011.The picture on the right shows the $1.4 trillion in revenue that U.S. Nonprofits generate each year as well as the primary sources of that revenue. Individuals give a lot of money to nonprofits. (About $211 billion in 2010)Many of the sharing platforms are nonprofits – many are commercial ventures. Just like Carnegie funded ½ the costs of is libraries with his philanthropy, funding nonprofit sharing platforms is one way that philanthropy and sharing enterprises already work together.
Not all sharing companies are nonprofits. Some are commercial businesses. Some rely on an inventory of goods that consumers use – such as Zip Car or city bike sharing programs where there is a fleet of bikes that members can use. Others rely on the inventory of goods from the members to the members – RelayRides helps you borrow your neighbor’s car, peer-to-peer lending sites help you borrow money from a circle of lenders. One question we have: do all sharing enterprises, regardless of organizational structure or market focus, produce the same kinds of public benefits?
Here, for example, are three car sharing sites that do essentially the same thing – help you access a car only when you need it. City Car Share is a membership-based nonprofit. Relay Rides is a commercial, venture-based firm that lets you loan out your car or borrow your neighbor’s. ZipCar is a nationwide, commercial car sharing network. Where does the public good come from in sharing sites? Can we think about incentives or policies that will expand or enhance the public good across the options?
Generate your ideas – what would better look like? What do we need to get there?
Charrette sharing 1.24.12
Better to share or to give? #ReCodeGoodCharrette January 24, 2012 Stanford UniversityCenter on Philanthropy and Civil Society
OLDPrivate resources for public good =Philanthropy and nonprofits
NOW Private resources for public good = Sharing, investing, social businesses, consumer behavior, open source, networks, open data, (giving + volunteering)
The Social Economy Sharing Investing Social businesses Consumer behavior Open source Networks Open data Volunteering
The Five Questions for the PPT• What will the Citizens United decision mean for nonprofits, philanthropy, and the public good?• How is digital technology changing our conception of public accountability and public goods?• How will big data, the sharing economy, and open government influence philanthropy?• How can we better align our regulatory frames for public good with the technological innovations being made in bioscience, data processing, and other rapidly advancing fields?• What is the 21st century policy frame we need to encourage the private and public resources to help address our global challenges?
Sharing EconomyThen Now Car sharing, co-housing, peer-to-peer lending, clothing swaps, urban fruit swaps, Twitter, co-working spaces, bike-sharing, etc., etc..
Public benefit? Input or outputStructure Market Focus Peer to Peer Biz to consumerCommercial RelayRides ZipCarNonprofit CityCarShare
Where’s the public good?Structure Activities Outcomes
Policy Question 1When it comes to private resources/publicgoods, is the sharing economy the same as“double bottom line” companies or is thereadditional public benefit?If there is something else, what is and what“should” we be doing with it?
Policy Question 2The blending of social goals and sustainablerevenue led to the creation of B Corporationsand other hybrid enterprise structure.Does the rise of sharing portend a similardevelopment? What will it look like?
Policy Question 3All of these sharing sites rely on technologyand data about their users. Many futuristshave noted that, “Data are the future.”What are the policy implications orpossibilities of data and public good fromthese sharing companies?
More policy Questions• Do all sharing platforms produce environmental, financial, and community benefits?• Are there policy limitations or barriers to sharing platforms, nonprofits and philanthropy working together?• Are there ways that expanded sharing platforms accelerate philanthropic goals?