What the heck is this? Me trying to “connect the dots” between different phenomena/trends I notice and which I believe will make the context of how we live our lifes in the future – in cities as well as in villages. Allthough the connections are not finite answers to anything, it makes sense to play around with concepts and to draw on them to develop new ideas. Here is a mix of articles and ideas which has caught my attention lately. Do you recognize something that trigger your curiosity, please get in touch to contribute :)
Change the world through practices of sharing?
The “sharing economy” and the idea of collaborative consumption have become “buzzwords” in media, manifested through companies like AirBnb and Uber. TIME Magazine have featured “10 ideas that will change the world”, whereby “sharing” is one of them (Read the article “Todays`s Smart Choice: Don`t Own. Share“). In the article “The Sharing Economy, Through A Broader Lens“, April Rinne, a sharing economy expert and sharable cities expert (who also happen to be a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader) is arguing that “to date, the vast majority of activity in the sharing economy has focused on the private sector: startups, private investment, and questions around what it means for big business. However, there is an equally significant set of opportunities for the public and social sectors.”
Acces over ownership
Can the sharing economy help cities/villages reach their goals around urban planning and sustainable growth? Sharing rather than owning assets is more economically efficient, environmentally sustainable, and community oriented. How to create/ contribute to an environment that enables open innovation culture to thrive? An area of increasing importance, especially in the public sector (because here the potential is unutilized to a larger extent). There seems to be a gap or a mismatch between citizens `expectations as to what public sector can/should offer through various services, and municipalities` financial means of meeting these expectations. Through building awareness about the sharing economy, supporting sharing enerprises and encourage citizen participation, communities can develop more efficiently. Private (both local businesses and interest groups and alike)-Public Collaboration/partnerships can be a powerful tool in this respect. Interesting example: Sharing City Seoul: A Model for the World. 10 million people live in Seoul. 4500 people live in Ringebu. The point of models are that they are adaptable. For instance has Ringebu allready established accesspoints for free Public WiF. Seoul have established near 2000 of them. Larger scale, same thinking/concept.
The renaissance of village living
An increased awareness of resource constrains together with a basic human need to interact on a more personal level with one another (which becomes more pressing as people are increasingly suffering from loneliness in our society) are fuelling the rise of collaborative consumption/the sharing economy. What I find particularly interesting from a destination development perspective, is that the “village lifestyle” traditionally has been community- oriented and based on values like trust, transparency (for good and for bad), relationships (as oppose to isolation), and a “whats mine is yours”-culture. AKA pretty much the same as these trends unfolding in various ways! Does this mean a renaissance of “village living”? Despite lack of empirical grounds to state this, my impression is that increased attention is being paid to this, well, lifestyle.
Ringebu village. Photo: Hilde Jordbruen
There are reasons to believe that villages like Ringebu will thrive in the future. If all of us, as participants in the local community, contribute through sharing whatever assets we possess; ideas, skills, competance, creativity, wine, food, capital, social networks, office space and similar. Do you want to contribute? Please get in touch :)