The term ‘sharing economy’ only emerged in the mid-2000s and has been subject to much scrutiny with regard to its precise definition. Nonetheless, many have attempted to come up with a definitive meaning for the term, including Benita Matofska, Chief Sharer at social enterprise The People Who Share, who has declared it to be:
“a social-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human, physical and intellectual resources. The sharing economy includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organisations.”
This provides a useful basis on which those using the specialist storage solutions of Bis Henderson Space can come to understand what the sharing economy truly means in today’s world of economic and social activity largely centred on online transactions.
Considerable growth observed in recent years
While the very name ‘sharing economy’ suggests a cutting-edge concept, it arguably has its roots in such economic activities as carpooling, which has long been practised on the basis of both sharing the cost of commuting and leveraging an expensive asset – the private automobile.
Adding technological assistance to this basic concept has helped to bring the present sharing economy into being, powered by leading sharing-economy portals like Uber, eBay, Airbnb and TaskRabbit.
What may have previously been termed ‘just sharing’ has now risen to the level of a heavyweight commercial enterprise, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) having reported that the international sharing economy was worth about $15 billion in 2014, and was on track to reach $335 billion by 2025. From 2013 to 2014 alone, public opt-in to the collaborative economy nearly doubled.
The components that make up the sharing economy
In his efforts to further define the sharing economy as a sustainable economic ecosystem, Matofska has outlined 10 “building blocks” of which it is said to consist – namely people, production, value & systems of exchange, distribution, planet, power, shared law, communications, culture and future.
With the combination in recent years of longstanding notions of sharing with Big Data analytics, low-cost cloud storage, the popularity of social media and the widespread use of mobile devices, a true sharing, or collaborative ‘economy’ has become possible.
However one may define the sharing economy, there can be little doubt that it has been a disruptive force in all manner of industries – and in our next news piece, we will discuss in greater detail how the sharing economy works in the Bis Henderson Space offer of specialist storage solutions.