Sharing Economy

Holley Gaskill

Solutions Journalism Network

New York, NY, United States


In a world of 7.5 billion people, there are innumerable scenarios where individual ownership of a product or service would prove financially, environmentally, and logistically impractical. Airplanes are a good example. If every single person needing to fly had to have their own plane, crew, control tower, and runway ... well, you can picture the chaos, not to mention the immense use of resources and exorbitant costs. In the same way, providing access to - instead of ownership of - products and services can make a solution significantly more feasible and effective. Shared access has the added benefits of being arguably fairer, more efficient, more transparent and visible, and inspiring increased participation. In the age of Uber, WeWork, Airbnb, the term "sharing economy" has become commonplace, though the exact definition and what qualifies can vary widely. 

The stories in this collection (see below) explore a variety of ways in which entities are leveraging shared access to resources to solve complex social challenges. This collection is featured in the Campus Ecochallenge and People's Ecochallenge.