The Sharing Economy

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The “sharing economy” describes a type of business built on the sharing of resources, like AirBnb or Zipcar. As of 2012, the concept of sharing has moved from a community practice into a legitimate business opportunity. This increasing legitimacy is reflected in the more polished terms used to describe the phenomenon like peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, collaborative consumption or the access economy. Some advocates wax philosophical that this emerging sharing economy has come about because society has collectively arrived at a more altruistic place in our evolution. Others simply attribute it to Clinton’s old adage, “it’s the economy, stupid,” with trying financial times forcing us to reevaluate the way we interact with one another and with the resources we have at hand. Whether it is a monetary or social paradigm shift, Time considers the access economy to be one of “10 Ideas That Will Change the World.” We agree.

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