On day 3 of the conference there was a breakout session led by Neal Gorenflo, the Cofounder, Chief Editor, and Executive Director of Shareable.
Shareable believes in the sharing transformation. It’s goals include building a green economy that serves everyone and creating meaningful lives together to show that it is possible to govern ourselves. Shareable wants to solve the issues like poverty and global warming through collaboration.
A Career In Sharing
Neal notes that there is a lot of talk about logistics but not a lot about us personally and our relationships. Relationships are the number one driver and determining factor of our happiness. In fact, because he was so isolated in his corporate job, Neal says he did not feel like a success at all. So he left his corporate job and started a career based on sharing. After doing so, he felt really committed for the first time in his like which came as a huge relief.
How it Started
Neal started at home in San Francisco with friends and they just tried to meet as many people as possible. He formed a group of people that helped each other and worked towards a common good. Everyone was able to contribute which built a network of people collaborating on projects that meant something to them. Through this, he started to feel like a part of something with a strong community supporting him.
Why Sharing is Important
Sharing is not about working the way up a corporate ladder. It was about being a beacon that attracts resources. Neal was able to find a flow that was productive and enjoyable. There was a new social reality that was better than he ever planned or dreamed. This not only cemented the commitment he had to his purpose but encouraged him to bring that to other people. When he started doing research, he found that there was so much sharing going on all over the world in every industry — coworking being a prime example. So, he wanted to connect the dots between the sharing that was already going on.
The first event that Neal held was in San Francisco. In this event, Neal asked and answered the question of “how can we amplify San Francisco as a platform for sharing?”. This played a catalytic role as it led to meetings with the mayor and other key community figures. With the city, they working to get sharing friendly policies integrated.
Sharing has multiple benefits to it, including the reduction of resource consumption and increase of accessibility to that resource through things like co-ops for economic development. For example, community land trusts creates permanently affordable housing. In community land trusts, land is bought and put into a trust where it is developed. Families can then get a place to live that is their own because of limited equity. Then, when the land is sold, they only sell it for so much to ensure that the cost of the housing is kept low. However, sharing is about mobilizing the community to get involved, not just about money.