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A new kind of grassroots movement: the sharing economy

270 Strategies | August 21, 2013

You may have heard of--and used--sites and services like Airbnb, Chegg, Divvy, Lyft, Meetup, or Skillshare to share lodging, books, bikes, or cars. Part of a greater movement known as the sharing economy, these and other companies are helping individuals share their talents and resources, saving them time, money, and supplies while generating extra income for owners and reducing our overall impact on the environment. 

It's an exciting movement  and thanks to our new partnership with Peers, we're excited to be a part of it.

Millennials have proven to be particularly enthusiastic, early adopters of the sharing economy, naturally incorporating its strategies into their everyday lives. From cars to textbooks to lodging, this young generation has played a key role in popularizing this evergrowing movement.

But while they may have been its earliest adopters, like social media, the sharing economy has since extended well into the crossgenerational mainstream. Forbes has estimated that the revenue flowing through the share economy directly into people's wallets will surpass $3.5 billion before the end of this year, with growth exceeding 25%.

Peers is the first organization using grassroots strategies to support users of the sharing economy rather than the sharing companies. Never before has there been a home for the members of local cooperatives and other sharing organizations to come together. They're doing new, big things, and that's exactly why we're so excited to work with them.

Peers supports the sharing economy by giving communities the tools they need to organize, as well as using technology to make its tools and resources more accessible to everyone. Though users can (and should) adopt elements of the sharing economy on an ad hoc, informal basis, not everyone has the immediate information or connections necessary to best share their resources. Intermediaries like Airbnb, Lyft, and SideCar simplify and democratize sharing, bringing people together in the process.

With Peers' help, sharing companies will extended home, car, bike, and other resource sharing opportunities to millions more users.

And that's only the beginning.

To learn more about Peers, please visit peers.org.

Alex Lofton is a Vice President with 270 Strategies and serves as Founding Managing Director for Peers. Follow Alex on Twitter @alexlofton

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