Daniel Ben-Horin of Tech Soup Global looks at what we can learn from the sharing economy, in this recent SSIR article. He makes a clear distinction between the “idealistic” attitude prevalent in the social sector, and that of the “materialistic” side of sharing and being open, but driven by personal gain.
Referencing problems like dreaded squatters using AirBnB, he is concerned “that confidence in serendipitous human interactions is waning and emphasis on price point is gaining.” The materialistic approach is seemingly overwhelming the idealistic belief in “the idea that if you are transparent and sharing with others, they will respond in kind.”
However, he remains optimistic, providing his own guide to using the sharing economy effectively. Furthermore, he cites examples of nonprofits using volunteer engagement as a means of sharing tasks, having fun, and allowing individuals to feel a part of something important.
To put simply, Ben-Horin is “convinced that there are enormous opportunities for the social sector to engage with the values-driven segment of the sharing economy.” Needless to say, the opportunity is there and it’s up to nonprofits to establish how to tap into the sharing economy.