OurGoods, Blending Bartering and Education in New York City

The New Yorker writer, Nana Asfour, uncovered a great story of bartering last week.  OurGoods offers evening classes for adults on a wide array of topics - including economics and business, canning and preserving foods, grant-writing, history, and many more.  The enthusiastic teachers are compensated by students in services of some kind.  The students can barter anything they wish, like filing receipts, running errands, or offering some other skill or handmade good as long as the teacher agrees to accept it.
Source: OurGoods via The New Yorker


BMW Joins the Carsharing Mix with 'DriveNow'

Yesterday, BMW announced its entry into the car-sharing world via a cooperative venture with Sixt AG called DriveNow. The service will pilot next month in Munich, and later expand to Berlin, to other European cities, and eventually to North America, where BMW hopes to establish a base of 1 million users by 2020.
Source: BMWBlog.com


Introducing Loosecubes: Coworking Anywhere, Anytime

Loosecubes is offering a new product that is clever and simple.  Write an easy to use mobile website that let's users leverage their Twitter account into coworking events that suit their needs so they can work where they want, when they want and be more productive with the company of fellow professionals.  This takes the traditional coworking model and flips it over to the masses.  Anyone can "host" a coworking event that can be geared toward specific themes or tasks.
Source: TechCrunch

TIME Magazine Names 'Sharing' an Idea That Can Change the World

Bryan Walsh at TIME thinks all of us who are adopting lifestyles of the sharing economy and supporting businesses in collaborative consumption are smart and helping to change the world.  The TIME magazine endorsement of our collective and collaborative efforts only helps to solidify what is already turning into a serious transformational trend across America.  As Walsh states, "Someday we'll look back on the 20th century and wonder why we owned so much stuff."
Source: TIME magazine
Check out the entire list of Ideas and more details on Bryan Walsh's article here.


Landshare and SharedEarth Announce Global Partnership at SXSW

On March 15, 2011, SharedEarth and LandShare joined forces to create the largest land sharing community in the world.  The partnership brings together the most successful land sharing organizations from Europe and the US.  Combined, the two programs have signed up more than 52,000 people who are sharing more than 5,000 acres of land.  Users are growing vegetables, chickens, fruit, herbs and flowers.

The purpose of the partnership is to expand awareness and participation in the land sharing movement.  The two non-profits share a similar vision to increase the availability of usable land and to make the world a greener place, one garden at a time.

More information about the partnership can be found at SharedEarth.com.  The original press release is from WebWire.

City of Vancouver Re-Brands Carshare Co-Op as Modo

The City of Vancouver wanted to re-energize and reposition its carsharing operation, Co-operative Auto Network, popularly known as CAN.  A local design and branding consultancy, Cause + Affect, simplified and focused the message in the new brand, Modo.  The city was concerned that consumers were not sure how to find information or use CAN.  The re-branding effort provides a great opportunity for Vancouver to take control of the conversation with consumers and increase interest in the alternative transportation mode.


Last Week in Carsharing News: Car2Go, Shared Plugs, P2P Legislation

As I have begun to follow the news across the shared economy, it's becoming increasingly apparent that it may be best to bucket together carsharing news.  Almost everyday a service is adding to its fleet, expanding operations, or a new company is popping up somewhere.  This may be a running edition every week or two, but here's my first carsharing weekly wrap-up.


Despite Improved Fleet Operations, Zipcar Reports Loss of $14.1M in 2010

On March 4, 2011 Zipcar filed annual financial results, revealing revenues of $186 million in 2010, an increase of  41% over 2009.  The gains underscore the growing investment and consumer interest in carsharing, which experts anticipate might be a $3.3 billion industry by 2016 in the North America.  Overshadowing the gains was the net loss of $14.1 million, a decline from the 2009 loss of $4.6 million.  The loss was bolstered by a nearly three-fold increase in interest expenses.


City of Chicago Pens Integrated Fleet Management Service with Zipcar

Chicago became the first city in the country to combine both FastFleet, the fleet sharing technology service from Zipcar, and Zipcar4Business (Z4B), Zipcar's business transportation solution.  The combination of the two services will provide city employees access to both city-owned vehicles through an online reservation system as well as access to Chicago's network of Zipcars.  The integrated strategy is expected to save Chicago hundreds of thousands of dollars in transportation costs over the next several years and marks a step forward for transportation services employed by municipalities.  
Source: FastFleet.net

Communauto to Add 50 Nissan Leaf to Fleet in July 2011

Nissan hopes to build stronger consumer support and better consumer education for its all-electric Leaf through a partnership with Montreal carsharing service, Communauto.  The 50 Leaf vehicles will be added to the Communauto fleet of 1,200 cars in July to help promote the vehicle sales and adoption rates in Canada.  Communauto will charge the same rates for the Leaf as other conventional vehicles in its fleet and will install fifty charging stations across to accommodate for the vehicles.
Source: Nissan Leaf homepage

Relay Rides CEO Shelby Clarke: "Best Gateway to Sharing Economy is Carsharing." (Video)

From a recent video interview posted on the Wall Street Journal, here is Relay Rides CEO Shelby Clarke:

Eat Good Food and Make New Friends Using EatWithMe

About a month ago I posted about a start-up in Philadelphia called MealTik, who launched a platform for neighbors to host meals for other neighbors for free or a small cost per serving.  Since its pilot launch, MealTik, has pulled down the service while a more refined website and service is in the works.  This past week a collaborative consumption blog-mate, Unstash, brought a similar company to my radar.  EatWithMe, currently  operating in primarily Australia, brings meal sharing to neighborhoods with a more socially-minded twist.
Source: EatWithMe.net

CriticalMass Combines Coworking, Innovation and Venture Capital

Five Boston area venture capitalists have joined together in forming CriticalMass, a new coworking space for entrepreneurs in Cambridge, MA.  The space is at the Cambridge Innovation Center and was launched on March 1, 2011.  Among a rising base of coworking space in Boston, CriticalMass offers a unique experience for promising entrepreneurs.  The project was created by a strong group of local venture capitalists and the New England Venture Capital Association, which will spend time at CriticalMass to provide regular programming as well as informal interaction and mentoring.
Source: CriticalMass via PRWeb


Connect by Hertz is First In Line for Renault EV

Hertz announced this week that it will be one of the first buyers of the new Twizy EV from Renault.  Connect by Hertz will add 500 Twizy units to its fleet over the next two years across its European locations.  The Twizy (pictured below) is a small, practical vehicle, designed for city-driving.  It combines motor bike and motor vehicle technologies and is priced at $9,600.

NeighborGoods Using Kickstarter to Gear Up for 2.0 Launch

NeighborGoods, the online community for local resource sharing, is reaching out to supporters online through Kickstarter to raise $10,000 for a launch of NeighborGoods 2.0.  The 2.0 platform will create the ability to establish sharing communities for organizations, companies and groups of all sizes.  Members will be able to make private or public groups to share items.

The NeighborGoods 2.0 Kickstarter campaign ends in 19 days on March 23, 2011.  As of 8:00 am on March 4, the campaign has raised 30% of its goal.  Please show your support for NeighborGoods and the continued growth of the collaborative consumption movement by making a pledge.  As with all Kickstarter fundraisers, NeighborGoods will only receive funding if the it reaches 100% of its goal.

Link to NeighborGoods on Kickstarter.


Upcoming Must-See Documentary: "The Revenge of the Electric Car"

It had been ten years since its death, but the electric car is coming back stronger than ever.  Filmmaker Chris Paine brings us its inspiring and vengeful story in the new documentary, Revenge of the Electric Car.  Paine is the maker of the 2006 documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car? The film's website offers fans the opportunity to bring a screening to their city, so sign up and vote to bring this film to a theater in your neighborhood.  The trailer is embedded below and is outstanding.  If you have seen the first documentary, you have to be excited for this upcoming release, which is slated for Spring 2011.

Zipcar adds former eBay CEO Meg Whitman to Board of Directors

On Monday February 28, 2011, Zipcar added Meg Whitman to its Board of Directors, bringing her experience with online auctions, e-commerce and electronic payments.  She led eBay from 1998 to 2008, seeing the company expand from $4 million to $8 billion in revenues.  Whitman is replacing long-time Zipcar investor and board member, Jim Gerson.

The Zipcar Board now comprises of:

Scott Griffith - CEO and Chairman of the Board
William Helman - Partner, Greylock Partners
John Mahoney - Vice Chairman and CFO, Staples Inc.
Robert Kagle - General Partner, Benchmark Capital
Philippe Bourguignon - Chief Technical Officer, Vivalaville.com
Jill Preotle - Director, Redtail Solutions, Inc.
Donn Davis - Director, Zipcar Inc.
Steve Case - Co-Founder and Chairman, Case Foundation Company

Link to original press release from Zipcar.


The Case Against the Global Economy and For a De-Growth Strategy

Andrew McKillop, an energy economist, consultant and editor, wrote a powerful argument against the growth of the Global Economy and against the support of it in general. He argues that society shoul
d build a De-Growth Strategy to supplant the Global Economy and “create a long-term stable future.” The collaborative consumption movement and expansion of the Access Economy completely supports the move toward a De-Growth Strategy. Redistribution and increased utilization of existing assets contributes to a reduction in growth of product-producing markets. Additionally, the nurturing of local community networks through increased interaction and improved trust networks help support local cultures and help support local culture and neighborhoods.
Source: TheDailyStar.net