Four ways the sharing economy is changing us | Stephen Miller | TEDxBoise



ours is the age of sharing digging in uber in just about everything let me give you a couple of examples when you leave here tonight maybe you will get on your Ober app and you will get someone to take you home in their personal car let us imagine that you decide to go on vacation maybe you'll go on the air B&B and stay with someone in their own home while they're there these are things we didn't do that long ago but it goes further let's say you go to Ikea and you buy your child some furniture and you want to put in you have facing putting together a crib you don't have to you learn how to use that allen wrench anymore you could go out a TaskRabbit and get somebody else to do it for you let's say you're tired of cooking you can go onto blue plate and you can get someone to use a shared kitchen and they will deliver that fresh meal to your door for your family to eat and you don't have to cook anymore now the interesting thing about all these uses and a lot of the other users of the sharing economy is that they profoundly change the way that we think about the way our economy works and the way we've done business the other interesting thing is that a lot of them are also illegal now I wrote an article called first principles for regulating the sharing economy that was recently published in the Harvard Journal on legislation and in that I deal with a lot of the technical issues of this illegality but I want to focus here today on four principles for why you should embrace the sharing economy and ways that it can affect your life I'm going to call these the core principles community ownership reputation and equity so let's start with community when we think about community we often think about family close friends but in the 70s a sociologist named Mark Granovetter started thinking about other types of community and what he was looking at in particular well what he came he came to call weak ties these were the people that you barely know Jane Jacobs the urbanist we might have called these in her lingo hips hops get people the kind of people that help to bridge boundaries between us and what he found in his research and subsequent sociologists have found is that it's a lot of these weak ties that a lot of information and communities flows and in fact the kind of political cohesiveness of our society tends to rest well that's all big thoughts and everything but I'm going to argue that the sharing economy can be valuable because it provides us these opportunities to make weak ties and communities let me give you an example my family we rented an Airbnb in a single-family residential neighborhood in Bend Oregon and we go there and we're at the park with my two-year-old daughter at the time and we start talking to another guy who's there who lives there and has a two-year-old and we start talking about how hard it is to find a place to go with kids a place to go out to eat and he tells us about this little pop-up beer garden that has come up across town where there's food trucks and everything and he says it's a great place to go you should go there we go we have a great time it was perfect that was the kind of information that wasn't in the tourist books that we wouldn't have found out ourselves but it was that weak tie that provided us the information to have a little bit of a better time that's the kind of community building that the sharing economy can really facilitate but there's another issue of community that we really need to think about let's say that instead of just us being there at the playground there were 15 people that were vacationing in that single-family residential neighborhood okay and we were all there with our two year old daughters and he comes with his two-year-old daughter well now suddenly it's not the same type of experience that he was expecting when he went to the playground right so one of the issues as we think about these types of uses that allow us to engage in the communities that we visit I said we have to think about the effects on the communities that we are visiting so well the sharing economy can provide us great new opportunities through things like weak ties to find new ways into the community we also need to think about the types of effects that we have on established communities and make sure we are protecting them as well okay so that's community now let's talk about ownership Americans we love to own things right let me give you a couple of examples about the way about how the sharing economy can change our emphasis on ownership to an emphasis on access to owning collective goods okay so let's say that you're working in your woodshop and you're trying to make a piece of furniture and you find out that halfway through you need some sort of specialty sander well one thing you could do is you can go down to Home Depot and buy that thing that costs one hundred or two hundred dollars right and then you're going to use it and then it's going to sit there for about a year or maybe two years or maybe you'll use it five times in the entire time that you're you own it right then you'll sell it for five dollars you know twenty years from now the alternative would be what's happening now is that a lot of places have lending tool libraries you go you need that specialty sander you use it for the weekend that you need it and then you take it back and every and then someone else gets to use it as well let me give you another example of a sort of science fiction future autonomous vehicles when we think about autonomous vehicles which are probably going to be here sooner than we imagine in another decade or two right these are vehicles that will dry themselves now some people will buy these right these are the people that by Tesla's right there's something like that right but a lot of us are not going to buy an autonomous vehicle instead what we're going to do is we're going to but we're going to access it through a shared autonomous vehicle okay and so what we want to do is think about creating an access point to own to add to collective ownership of that that autonomous vehicle this is precisely what General Motors and lyft are teaming up to do right now you may have heard about this but GM just purchased a 500 million dollar stake in the ride-sharing app lyft and what they are trying to do is do precisely this create an access point for you and for all of us to these new autonomous vehicles all right so what we've seen here with ownership that the collective access if we focus on access to collectively owned Goods we can do two things first we can better utilize underutilized Goods that's the standard that sits on the Shelf right instead of it sitting on the shelf a bunch of people get to use it and the other thing is we can plan for infrastructure better we can better use our infrastructure dollars so if we collectively don't you own that car and it comes only when we need it maybe we don't need a five-lane highway maybe we only need a three lane highway and maybe we don't all need driveways anyway right we could just the car will just pull up right in front of our of our house when we need it now that may all sound like science fiction future but it will be here before we know it and if we focus on this type of thing we can substantially increase the way we plan for infrastructure in the future all right reputation when we think about reputation we know that it's an important part of business right but the reputation in the sharing economy is all it is everything and for both the workers and the consumers it's important that we as individuals be able to own our reputations and moreover that we can take it with us so what does that mean if you decide to use a sharing economy use like say you decide to hire a driver to take you from point A to point B on uber okay you are going to rate that person right you're gonna give them five stars okay great job they got me there on time right and they are maybe going to rate you maybe they'll give you four stars because you weren't such a great conversationalist or something right well maybe in that one rating there's some variation but if that driver takes you know a hundred different rides or a thousand rides over the course of a year or so they start to earn a reputation if they're a great driver five stars you're gonna want to take that ride with that person same with you as a passenger right reputation matters but here's the interesting thing if that uber driver decides that they want to go to say a some startup can they take their reputation with them let's say it's a company that does the exact same thing and some other startup it's just a it's Boise Boise uber equivalent they want to go local right well they can't take that reputation with them they can't take those 1000 five-star ratings I think that's a problem I think that you should be able to own your reputation moreover let's talk about across platforms you want to hire that person to come in assemble your your baby's crib well maybe you would also want to know about their ratings as a driver on uber or hosting people on Airbnb it may not be definitive with how they are with an allen wrench and you may decide to hire that person anyway but wouldn't you want to know if they had bad ratings or people thought they had bad driving skills or something you know I mean these are the kinds of things that we would want to know and that reputation should be portable and someone should be able to own it individually all right finally equity one of the most important things that we've done over the last 50 years is to ensure equitable accommodation in things like hotels and taxis people that are disabled minorities in our population have historically struggled to with these types of a public accommodations and public utilities african-americans having trouble finding taxis people not with disabilities not being able to to access buildings okay we've done a lot over the last 50 years with the Americans with Disabilities Act and specifically the Civil Rights Act of 1964 they've done a lot to assure that that the disabled and minorities in our society have access to these public accommodations but there is a lawsuit in California right now where a number of blind individuals have alleged that they've had a really hard time getting rides with ride-sharing companies like uber and lyft because drivers do not want to have their dogs there's their their dogs in the cars with them at the same time a recent study out of Harvard University has found that those with african-american names on Airbnb have had a much harder time securing a place to stay through the site than those with non african-american sounding names these point to problems with the sharing economy that we need to address I would argue that while the nature of the regulations to ensure equity may be difficult for us to think through they're important to ensure that equity remains viable in this new economy that we're creating so these are the core principles right these are the core principles and if we follow through with these and we in bit and we make the core principles part of our of the way that we think through the sharing economy we can make sure that we have not only new opportunities for the sharing economy right a new way of doing business but one that is equitable and can actually revolutionize our lives thank you you




Comments
  1. Another model that involves money. "Sharing economy" is just another way to make money and you have to work several jobs to make enough to survive.
    Not relying on your tax money, money from government funded charity organization and money donation from people is the real sustainable movement: unlike some of these models under "sharing economy" that rent something in exchange for your money is just another profitable form of capitalism in disguise. Before giving them your money, do some research on who they took from to start their business.

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