Sharing Economy and Open Government

I need your help...I'm trying to make sense of the sharing economy and the open government movement. Can you please help me out? I welcome your comments on this thinking - which is completely raw and woefully incomplete...thanks.

The sharing economy is the world of car sharing and co-working spaces, food bartering, open
government, and mutual aid. Many elements of the sharing economy, such as co-ops and
neighborhood exchanges are old ideas being brought back to life at a digital speed. I want to
introduce the sharing economy now to prepare readers for the next game changing shift in where and
how we produce social goods.

      The sharing economy calls into question one of the core economic drivers of the past decades
consumer spending. Many of the sharing websites overtly ask “why own what you can share?” This question is meaningful to consumer goods companies, many of which are jumping into the sharing system to learn how to work in this new way. For example, Ford and Toyota actively partner with ZipCar and other car sharing programs to learn about the kind of consumer who prefers to use a car by the hour.

      Shifts in consumer behavior will surely matter for philanthropy. At the smallest level, greater
communications between neighbors may well influence how community organizing happens or
how people are able to respond in a disaster. If efforts to share community goods are successful
we might see the grassroots development of tool libraries, produce swaps, and mutual aid
societies. If this achieves any scale it could affect both the needs for nonprofit services in
those communities as well as shift what the neighbors want from their elected officials.

      Local governments are already active in the sharing communities. By virtue of the open
government movement, in which public data sets are being shared openly and broadly, many
cities and towns are already shifting how they work with networks of community volunteers.
Technology friendly cities are inviting in volunteers to build mobile applications from their data.
These include schedules that tell you when the next bus is coming, maps that show you where to
recycle hazardous materials, as well as tools to help bikers report potholes and park users track
maintenance needs.

      We are seeing a coming together of a “sharing ethos” that helps neighbors or like-minded
individuals swap consumer goods with a tech-driven open government movement that attracts
volunteers who spend their time making cities more responsive. These trends represent new
behaviors for business and government. Both the sharing economy and open government rely on
volunteers to share what they know (or have).

Questions:
  • If nonprofits have typically filled in between government and markets, what do these two shifts mean for them? 
  • Are they likely to be the basis of many of the sharing platforms? 
  • Will they help organize the volunteers of the open government movement? 
  • Will the "space" between government and markets get smaller or bigger? 
  • Does either the sharing economy or open government do anything for the poorest among us? 
  • Oh, do I have a lot of questions. .... help!

7 comments:

david said...

Following many other global trends, it's reasonable to conclude that this three-legged world will also get flatter and more democratized. The lines between nonprofit, government, and markets will continue to blur. And like the middle class, the nonprofits in the middle may shrink - though countered by shrinking availability of government services. Since nonprofits have the smallest pot of money and more restrictive legal activities, they will suffer more than the other two areas.

However, to your question of the poor: they should end up being helped. Imagine what they can do with a cellphone and the methods they can use to find services offered from any of the sectors that were previously unavailable.

pdxdog said...

I think there is an emerging difference between Open Gov 2.0 and Open Gov. The first has a primary focus on technology, data, accountability, transparency and open source. Open Gov goes further and focuses on organizational and service delivery design or re-design, collaboration, leadership, involving the user and systemic change.

I'm working on the emerging field of design thinking in the public sector with Christian Bason of MindLab in Denmark. Here is a recent request we sent out:

I am conducting a global scan of trends and concrete cases using design thinking/service design within public organizations. The scan is carried out on behalf of the London School of Economics (LSE) in London, professor Patrick Dunleavy and his research team, who are publishing a new book on the application of design in government.

By design approaches we mean the use of methods such as design (or ethnographic) research, graphics, visualisation, models, prototypes, rapid iteration, ideation and concept development.

It's important these cases have consciously used these types of methods, used the words design, have been purposeful about keeping the end-user in mind, have co-created, co-designed and prototyped to get to the best results.

Typically this would have been in the form of distinct projects, with the assistance of external design consultancies, such as IDEO, or internal design or innovation resources.

I am working on this project as a Research Associate for Christian Bason, who is Director of MindLab, a government-run innovation unit in Denmark. Christian is the author of numerous books on innovation and design in public services, and has been invited by the LSE to write a chapter on non-UK examples of design in government.

We have a pretty good handle on cases in the UK, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. We are very interested in finding cases in the United States, South America, Africa and Asia.

Christian and I have to deliver a script within a couple of weeks, so your help on this would be fantastic. Do you know of any cases using these methods which you think would fit our criteria? I know our turnaround time is short.

I hope this interests you and may fit into your set of questions. There are some questions about using design in the public sector as an economic intervention. Of course better designed systems would save money and increase efficiency. Thanks for bearing with this long post.

Andrea Schneider, MA
Palo Alto, CA
503-351-9985

pdxdog said...

I think there is an emerging difference between Open Gov 2.0 and Open Gov. The first has a primary focus on technology, data, accountability, transparency and open source. Open Gov goes further and focuses on organizational and service delivery design or re-design, collaboration, leadership, involving the user and systemic change.

I'm working on the emerging field of design thinking in the public sector with Christian Bason of MindLab in Denmark. Here is a recent request we sent out:

I am conducting a global scan of trends and concrete cases using design thinking/service design within public organizations. The scan is carried out on behalf of the London School of Economics (LSE) in London, professor Patrick Dunleavy and his research team, who are publishing a new book on the application of design in government.

By design approaches we mean the use of methods such as design (or ethnographic) research, graphics, visualisation, models, prototypes, rapid iteration, ideation and concept development.

It's important these cases have consciously used these types of methods, used the words design, have been purposeful about keeping the end-user in mind, have co-created, co-designed and prototyped to get to the best results.

Typically this would have been in the form of distinct projects, with the assistance of external design consultancies, such as IDEO, or internal design or innovation resources.

I am working on this project as a Research Associate for Christian Bason, who is Director of MindLab, a government-run innovation unit in Denmark. Christian is the author of numerous books on innovation and design in public services, and has been invited by the LSE to write a chapter on non-UK examples of design in government.

We have a pretty good handle on cases in the UK, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. We are very interested in finding cases in the United States, South America, Africa and Asia.

Christian and I have to deliver a script within a couple of weeks, so your help on this would be fantastic. Do you know of any cases using these methods which you think would fit our criteria? I know our turnaround time is short.

I hope this interests you and may fit into your set of questions. There are some questions about using design in the public sector as an economic intervention. Of course better designed systems would save money and increase efficiency. Thanks for bearing with this long post.

Andrea Schneider, MA
Palo Alto, CA
503-351-9985

pdxdog said...

I think there is an emerging difference between Open Gov 2.0 and Open Gov. The first has a primary focus on technology, data, accountability, transparency and open source. Open Gov goes further and focuses on organizational and service delivery design or re-design, collaboration, leadership, involving the user and systemic change.

I'm working on the emerging field of design thinking in the public sector with Christian Bason of MindLab in Denmark. Here is a recent request we sent out:

I am conducting a global scan of trends and concrete cases using design thinking/service design within public organizations. The scan is carried out on behalf of the London School of Economics (LSE) in London, professor Patrick Dunleavy and his research team, who are publishing a new book on the application of design in government.

By design approaches we mean the use of methods such as design (or ethnographic) research, graphics, visualisation, models, prototypes, rapid iteration, ideation and concept development.

It's important these cases have consciously used these types of methods, used the words design, have been purposeful about keeping the end-user in mind, have co-created, co-designed and prototyped to get to the best results.

Typically this would have been in the form of distinct projects, with the assistance of external design consultancies, such as IDEO, or internal design or innovation resources.

I am working on this project as a Research Associate for Christian Bason, who is Director of MindLab, a government-run innovation unit in Denmark. Christian is the author of numerous books on innovation and design in public services, and has been invited by the LSE to write a chapter on non-UK examples of design in government.

We have a pretty good handle on cases in the UK, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. We are very interested in finding cases in the United States, South America, Africa and Asia.

Christian and I have to deliver a script within a couple of weeks, so your help on this would be fantastic. Do you know of any cases using these methods which you think would fit our criteria? I know our turnaround time is short.

I hope this interests you and may fit into your set of questions. There are some questions about using design in the public sector as an economic intervention. Of course better designed systems would save money and increase efficiency. Thanks for bearing with this long post.

Andrea Schneider, MA
Palo Alto, CA
503-351-9985

pdxdog said...

please delete the two duplicates! Somehow that happened and I'm sorry.

Karl said...

Lucy - have you come across http://collaborativeconsumption.com/

Rachel Botsman (sp?) is on twitter and tweets on these issues all the time
Cheers
Karl

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy,

Here's some good resources from Shareable:

Survey research, The New Sharing Economy:
http://www.shareable.net/blog/the-new-sharing-economy

Ethnographic research, Changing Models of Ownership:
http://www.shareable.net/blog/changing-models-of-ownership-part-i

For me, the sharing economy represents a radically new and democratic mode of producing, consuming and governance brought on by the exhaustion of a Fordist way of organizing society and the emergence of new organizing models made possible by new technology and a global cultural movement where sharing is central. It's a shift with many facets but shares values and practices (based in hacker and net culture) across domains.

-Neal Gorenflo
Shareable Magazine