Archive for the ‘events’ Category

the sharing economy at No.10 ..

February 1, 2014


Ecomodo at No 10

Meriel & Tracy, Co-founders of Ecomodo at No.10 Downing Street

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Recognising the rise of the ‘sharing economy’ over the past few years and a future where people sharing skills and resources being more social and more efficient, we were recently invited to No. 10, Downing Street for a working session to investigate the evolving needs of the sector and examine what obstacles the UK Government can help to remove to support growth.

Hosted by Daniel Korski, the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser, as well as colleagues from the Cabinet Office and Department for Business, this workshop brought together a number of organisations from start-ups like Ecomodo, through to established corporates like M&S, for roundtable discussions focused around specific themes: transport, task-based sharing, accommodation, exchange of assets and platforms for enabling business.

And in the true spirit of collaborative consumption, No.10’s neighbour popped in to deliver the opening address.

George Osbourne MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer, described us all as insurgences, bringing in new business models to break things down in new ways. As it’s usually big industries that know how to lobby government, so we need to know what the problems are within this sector. He gave the example of peer-to-peer money lending that is working within a heavily legislated area. From which he stated that there is a need to make sure we’re not stopping innovation because of legislation.

Our roundtable was focused on the ‘exchange of assets’ and the output from the discussion fell into 6 key areas: Cultural Change, Taxation, Regulation, Insurance, Promotion and endorsement and a voice for the sector.

PostItsAtNo10

The conversation touched on ways to encourage businesses and the public to start to change their behaviour through tax credits and allowances, trust marks for individuals (like a more accessible DBA).

We also discussed steps the government could take to reduce the barriers for these new business models. These included clarity around ownership and liability, a more flexible insurance industry structure to reduce the need for costly multiparty arrangements and more flexible copyright laws to allow IP rights owners new income streams from short-term use micropayments (like the music industry has already).

We also talked about the ways this industry’s needs can stay represented in an environment where the traditional businesses have the loudest voice. Ensuring policy and regulatory decisions are made with attention to the triple bottom line (social, environmental and financial). This might include steps such as banning some goods from landfill to encourage reuse and recycling markets. Formalising this in the same way that business reporting is changing was suggested.

Finally, we commented on ways the sharing economy could be supported by government at a local level and integrated with public service. Though we are a horizontal sector and need a voice as such, the sharing economy needs to be considered and integrated within vertical markets (eg: transport) to have impact.

Feedback from the other roundtables also focused on: tax, reviews of legal definitions, insurance and how to integrate with public sector. From specific markets a review of planning law was suggested alongside how to integrate with public transport and the use of open source data (such as DVLA).

Transparency of data brought up an interested point with regard to tax implications, with the nature of the sharing economy neither focusing on personal and work but being a blend of the two.

An interesting solution to manage tax was proposed that simply expanded the personal allowance from ‘room rental’ already captured on a tax form to enable the rental of anything. This simple idea would build endorsement for the sector and enable people to adopt this behaviour without tax concerns making it easier for people employed and living on benefits alike.

Overall, the participants felt it is important that the market is left open to innovation and that it is allowed to evolve naturally. This means creating an environment that is accessible for businesses of all size, and not constrained by legacy laws and procedures.

The session was wrapped up by an address from Lord David Young, who describes himself as a serial entrepreneur. He commented on a new procurement system – Contract Finder – that should level the playing field between large and small businesses by housing every single public sector contract across the UK in one place and enable a simple one-off capture of an organisations details.

To end, Lord David Young remarked that enterprise is not about business it’s about an attitude to life. I think the same can be very much said about the “sharing economy”

ViewFromNo10

Downing Street

We’d like to say a huge thanks to Benita Matofska from The People Who Share for her support in organising this event and to all the participants for making it an very interesting discussion.

The Sharing Economy Explained.  A video from Number10gov

Photos from the event on Flickr

londoners love sharing ..

November 14, 2012

Today is the first ever Global Sharing Day and to mark this historic occasion we are celebrating all of our members and especially those that live throughout London.

Amongst members using Ecomodo across the UK, 30% live within the Greater London area. Every borough in London has people using Ecomodo to share their everyday goods, skills and spaces with others nearby. As well as borrowing locally, Londoners are using Ecomodo to borrow further afield, across the UK,  to gain access to the things they need whilst on holiday, including kayaks, tents, travel cots and pushchairs.

Moving from 2nd place in 2011, Hackney has knocked Lambeth off the top spot and takes the ‘sharing’ crown for 2012 with Islington moving up a massive 3 places to 3rd position. Check out our graphic to see where your borough ranks and get wee taster of some of great items to borrow around London. Help your borough rise in the ranks and sign up for free to Ecomodo today.

.. And see what items you can borrow across London.

About Global Sharing Day ..

Kick-started by The People Who Share, Global Sharing Day has 160 partners and a network of 61 million+ and spans no less than 147 countries. It will see people and organisations across the world coming together to share in all sorts of different ways especially between  1-2pm on 14th November. There are lots of ways to get involved! Follow #GlobalSharingDay on Twitter to keep updated.

love lending, live more! competition ..

September 12, 2012

We’re joining Waste Watch to celebrate the first ever Waste less, Live more Week.

Waste less, Live more will signal the start of a national campaign aiming to raise awareness of how environmental and social issues are interlinked.

Between 17 – 23 September there will be a whole host of activities and events put on by a diverse range of organisations, businesses and charities encouraging people to perform a simple act big or small – that supports both people and the environment. The aim is to demonstrate how we can all live better whilst consuming less.

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Enter our “Love lending, Live more!” PHOTO Competition. It’s an easy way to get involved and you could WIN a fantastic £100 experience voucher! 

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To enter ..

1. Simply take a photo of yourself with something you could lend. Points will be awarded for multiple items, unusual items, artistic and flamboyant composition and comments from our Facebook friends. And if you don’t have a camera – borrow one!

2. Upload your photo to Ecomodo’s Facebook page with the caption “I’m wasting less and living more” before midnight on 23rd September 2012. If you’re not on Facebook, just email your image to Tracy at hello@ecomodo.com and we’ll upload it for you.

Choose to sign up to Ecomodo.com and keep updated on new items to borrow and wanted ads in your neighbourhood. It’s free to join and available throughout the UK.

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The Prize ..

We will be giving away a £100 experience voucher to the best photo entered. If you’re the winner you will be able to choose from a wide range of experiences for a thrilling activity day, including , 30 Minute Flight Simulator, a Deluxe English Vineyard Tour, an Introduction to Falconry, a Rally Thrill. You can even share your experince with a friend including a Spa Day for Two, Karting or RIB Powerboating on the Thames. There’s lots to choose from for a fantastic adventure day!

The winner will be announced on 25 September 2012 and notified via Facebook (or email).

Please note: By entering this competition you are agreeing to allow Ecomodo to use your image for further PR activities. The prize awarded is entirely at our discretion and there is no cash alternative.

For inspiration, here’s a photo of Ecomodo’s co-founder Meriel with lots of her stuff to lend and check out what people are already lending on ecomodo.com.

Start wasting less and living more. Lend and borrow each other’s everyday goods, skills and spaces on ecomodo.com.

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For further information about what is going on during the week visit: www.wastelesslivemore.com and follow #WasteLessLiveMore on Twitter or join Waste Less Live more on Facebook.

#2 celebrating Cromford weekend ..

July 27, 2012

Guest blog by Tom Veitch from Global Action Plan

For a few months now Global Action Plan has been running the Cromford Shares project, focussed on exploring different ways to increase the amount of sharing that takes place in the Derbyshire village of Cromford.

From the start we wanted to look at different ways that people could share, from very low-tech ideas (like a notice board in the Post Office) to an online system for those who were more used to using websites like Freecycle and Freegle.

We reviewed a few of the available ‘sharing’ websites and chose Ecomodo for two main reasons. Firstly, the ‘trusted circles’ gave a way of helping people to feel safe that they wouldn’t necessarily be sharing with ‘anyone and everyone’. Additionally the sharing agreement and the optional insurance that accompanies each ‘share’ gave some security and tackled some of the common barriers that people mentioned when we talked about the project initially.

Ironically, one benefit that we had not foreseen at this stage was the option of lending with a donation going to a good cause – and that people were free to pick their own local good causes, rather than just national charities.

A few weeks ago we had the chance to promote Cromford Shares and Ecomodo at Celebrating Cromford, a weekend of activity in the village. We held a market stall at one of their events as well as the main market on the Sunday. We took along props to demonstrate the types of things that could be shared. As it was a rainy weekend we were even able to lend our “borrow me” umbrella at various points.

Most people were very receptive, and a common comment was “what a great idea”. A lot of people were familiar with Freegle and Freecycle and saw Ecomodo as a natural next step. We signed up 25 people to Ecomodo on the day, with lots more taking away a leaflet for more information. Even if people were visitors to Cromford they could check out what was available in their area.

Interestingly, a lot of people we spoke to had already heard about Cromford Shares, but hadn’t got round to signing up to anything yet, so it showed that, whilst it can take a while for an idea to get off the ground, it is worth sticking in there and keeping talking about the project.

Cromford Shares is part-funded by the Tellus Mater Foundation.

Stories from our members #2

countdown to the Olympics .. lend your kit!

June 27, 2012

In just 30 days, we will open our doors to share our capital with visitors from across the UK and the world. Many of us watching the Olympics this summer may feel inspired to try out a new sport, but prevented by entry costs, lack of access to equipment, or lack of confidence or motivation.

Handing the baton to local people by encouraging them to share their under-utilised sports equipment, time and passion, Ecomodo hopes to help jump the cost prohibitive hurdles for anyone wanting to try something new.

From hockey to handball; basketball to boxing; there are 26 different sports that make up the Olympics and for most of these activities, people need stuff. Much of this kit already exists collecting dust in the homes, sheds, attics and cupboards of other local people – it just needs to be made visible and available to share.

Ecomodo members have already listed a number of items that people can borrow to try a new sport, including bikes, badminton rackets, weights and kayaks. But it’s not just equipment they’ve added. People have listed themselves as running partners and there are a few places to play too – including community centres and a field.

So if it’s a little motivation you need or you want to rekindle your passion – share your time or sporting expertise with someone new. And if you have access to a place to play – add that too!

So as the fervour builds to the start of The Games and beyond, we will celebrate different sports with different items you can lend. Share your “Goods For The Games” and to get inspired follow #GoodsForTheGames & #GFTGames on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

And if you’re lacking in the sports equipment department – don’t worry – there are lots of other goods you could lend for The Games, to support those living locally to you.

During the games London will be bursting at the seams. Londoners will need access to all sorts of the resources to host friends, family and visitors. They will need: air beds, highchairs, car booster seats, spare fridge, tent, garden space for a tent or a spare room > more

And across the UK, parties of all types will take place in streets, village halls and gardens as friends and communities come together to watch and celebrate the games. They will need: gazebos, generators, games, chocolate fountain, a venue, multimedia projectors or a just helping hand > more

So if you’ve got stuff to help someone try out a new sport; host visitors or have a party : join the marketplace of good returns at Ecomodo.com and share your Goods for the Games!

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images borrowed from idleformat   shakeskc   sburt   kwdesigns   chrisbartle   shriek   njtechteacher   simondbarnes   char1iej   bike   foppa   kashmera   andy_holt   jontunnell   fabiogis50   gregvdb  on FLICKR | creative commons

it’s national sharing day ..

June 18, 2012

Kick-started by The People Who Share, to coincide with A Good WeekNational Sharing Day on June 20th will see a host of organisations from around the UK coming together to celebrate sharing in all sorts of different ways.

On the day, Ecomodo will be participating with a number of activities including the launch of BT’s workplace lending circle at Adastral Park, in Ipswich.

We will also be following events on Twitter and Facebook – so keep an eye out for #NationalSharingDay.

If you’d like to celebrate National Sharing day, but are not sure where to start; we’ve put together a handy list of ideas, and services to join, to inspire you to start sharing.

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Here are 5 ways to start sharing with ecomodo.com

1. Lend a ladder: Ladders, drills and tents are the most borrowed items on Ecomodo. Got one? Why not add it to Ecomodo to lend and choose to lend for free, a fee or for charity.

2. Start sharing at your workplace: Be inspired by BT and start a lending circle at your workplace too. It’s quick and easy to do and brings heaps of benefits to your staff and your organisation. Find out more.

3. Find out what your friends are hiding  in their closet: Everyone who joins Ecomodo automatically gets a friends’ lending circle. So sign up, invite some friends and start sharing. Simple.

4. Share something unusual: As well as the everyday, there are many unusual things to borrow on Ecomodo (goods: a unicycle, periscope, iPads, ballroom dress & shoesspaces: a kiln, Garden Space for beehiveskills: how to cook a fish stew). What could you lend that’s extraordinary?

5. Pop up a poster: Inspire others to start sharing. Print out our lovely new poster and pin it up at your workplace, local library, school, community centre or favourite cafe.

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Here are 5 other great ways to share ..

1. Give someone a lift: Share a spare seat in your car with GoCarShareLiftshare and BlaBlaCar. Find a journey you need to take with CompareAndShare.

2. Borrow a car: Lend your own car to a neighbour on Whipcar or join a car sharing scheme such as Zipcar or City Car Club.

3. Give stuff away: Got stuff you don’t need anymore? Pass it on to someone who does, with FreegleDitto or the London Reuse Network.

4. Share your passion: Passionate about something? Share it. Great sites are ProjectDirt and Horsesmouth.

5. Swap a Shallot: Got too many carrots and not enough potatoes? Share your home grown on Lourish and FruitShare.

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We’ve always knew that sharing could make you happy and now it’s been confirmed in a fantastic new report from Co-operatives UK.

“We are a nation that knows how good sharing feels. 7 out of 10 people in the UK say that sharing makes us feel better about ourselves, 8 out of 10 say that sharing makes them happy.”  Borrowed from The great sharing economy | Co-operatives UK | 2011

Be happy, start sharing! Join the marketplace of good returns at ecomodo.com

.. And even if you’re not sure what to lend or borrow, sign up to keep updated about new items to borrow and wanted ads near you.

10 days to the big ‘jubilee’ lunch ..

May 24, 2012

This year’s The Big Lunch is on Sunday 3rd June and falls on the same weekend as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. A record number of people are expected to take part, getting together with their neighbours to have lunch and to celebrate 60 years of our Queen’s reign.

Whatever you’re planning for your Big ‘Jubilee’ Lunch celebrations from a few neighbours lunching in the garden, to a full blown street party with food and music, Ecomodo can help you get equipped to make your festivity go with a swing.

On Ecomodo there are already lots of lovely things you may borrow for your party; a bouncy castle, village hall, cocktail shaker and gazebo to name a few. But if you can’t find what you need locally post a wanted ad to tell people around you what you’re looking for.

Keep your day alive ..

And at the end of the day, after the last sausage roll has gone and the bunting is coming down, keep your Big ‘Jubilee’ Lunch day alive by lending and borrowing throughout the year. Create a lending circle for your neighbourhood and get everyone, new friends and old to start pooling their assets for the common good.

Find out more about the Big ‘Jubilee’ Lunch ..

hangin’ out with the WI ..

March 9, 2012

On a cold day in February, we joined our fabulous friends from Start and headed off to Denham College in Oxford (otherwise known as The WI HQ) to spend the day with the lovely ladies from The Women’s Institute. Organised by Start, the first WI cascade day brought together over 130 ladies from all over the UK and 9 great organisations to share ideas and equip the participants with simple, sustainable steps that they could take back and initiate in their own individual communities.

Joining us for the day were some fabulous people: Hillary & Clare from Make and Mend it, Nick from Project Dirt, Edwin from Give Me Tap, Gin from B&Q, Jonathan from M&S, Rita & Kate from The Big Lunch, Terena from The Greening Campaign and Mak & Will from The Edible Bus-stop

Kicking off, Michael and Kerry from Start played a 21st century version of ‘Play your cards right’ with the whole audience shouting ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ to facts taken from Eco Action Trumps. Although no “Brucey bonuses” were awarded on this occasion, it definitely raised the energy levels in the room whilst helping everyone to think about the little actions you do and how they can be done differently.

Following the ladies split into 7 groups and we ran back-to-back workshops to introduce each group to Ecomodo. To inspire the ladies to think about what resources they already have and those might like to lend or borrow – we played our ever favourite sticky note game with some interesting results.

Green notes for items you have to lend. Orange ones for things you’d like to borrow.

In general, the response to Ecomodo was very good and it was great to find one of the ladies was already a member with stuff she was lending on Ecomodo. Playing the sticky game I’m always amazed, even within small groups, how quickly we find matches between people who have stuff and people who need it and we even found one lady who wanted to learn how to make jam! Of course this got lots of responses!

And a day with the WI wouldn’t be complete without afternoon tea and lots of yummy cake!

Visit our page to see how the Women’s Institute can use Ecomodo to bring their community together to share, fundraise and more!

Visit Start’s page to see more about the event and download their toolkit for the day.

tinsel, time and treats ..

December 15, 2011

 

Last night, I was invited to attend a lovely event hosted by Net Impact London and the Hub Islington. Net Impact is a worldwide network of amazing individuals committed to using the power of business to improve the world and with diverse backgrounds brings together an eclectic mix of knowledge, experience and ideas. Islington was the pioneering hub of now 30 around the world that provides inspiring spaces for like-minded people to come together to work on their initiatives and cross-fertilize ideas. It was lovely to finally get the opportunity to visit Hub Islington – the place where it all started.

Using Christmas as a catalyst for giving and sharing, the purpose of the evening was to bring everyone together to mix, have fun and inspire ‘sharing’ over glass of mulled wine and mince pie.

To kick-start the evening, first up was Phillippa Banister, who recently joined Spots of Time. Spots of Time is an interesting idea based around making it easy for anyone to do fun bite-size activities to benefit others in their community. As Spots of time is based around 12 core activities, we were asked by Phillippa to split into 2 groups and play out two of these. We choose to “create a quiz” and “create a play list” and of course each had to have a ‘christmassy’ theme.

Following I gave a little introduction to Ecomodo describing how it works, some of reasons why lending everyday goods, skills and spaces is good for pocket, people and the planet and how we could re-invent christmas – together.

To uncover the hidden talents in the room, I ended with a wee game, asking each participant to take two stickies (one green, one orange) and offer a skill they would share and describe something they needed. The diversity of skills in the room was incredibly interesting covering professional services, hobbies and advice. As people mingled, several whoops came from the crowd as matches were made. And I’m still amazed that by simply making visible the things people are willing to share, how many new opportunities are sparked in my head – ideas that I hadn’t considered before.

After the party, I started to think about how contagious sharing is. Having spent the evening with a great bunch of engaging people, the very warmth and openness of the event must have left me with a distinct demeanor. As I made my way way home, it seemed to rub off on passers-by and I found myself in conversation with all sorts of people – a chap from Northolt on the tube, a homeless man outside Waterloo and a lady from Winchester. It just goes to show a little sharing can go a long way. Merry Christmas!

getting creative with shared resources ..

October 26, 2011

Sustainability and environmental education

Recently we were invited to join Se-ed’s National Sustainable Schools Conference at London Zoo to run a workshop around “how schools can become more sustainable and creative with shared resources.” Delegates at the conference included teachers and representatives from primary and secondary schools as well as students of sustainability and staff from local councils.

Through our workshop, we used a series of games and co-creation techniques, to inspire the attendees to think differently about the resources around them and spark new opportunities that shared resources can bring for them and their school.

Alongside describing how Ecomodo delivers new opportunities for schools to fundraise and get equipped through shared resource, we encouraged participants to consider the value of sharing both economically and environmentally, why re-use and collaborative consumption are so important in a the broader context of sustainability; and how schools can act as a catalyst to spread good behaviour throughout their community.

For the session we asked the group to think about how ecomodo can work, not just in the context of their school community, but across all the different communities they as individuals belong to (their neighbourhood, friends, family, clubs etc). We wanted to broaden their thinking to “what local shared resources means” as well as instill the idea that through adopting a new behaviour within one community it enables it to easily spread to others.

Our first game was to uncover the assets of each individual in the room. We asked them to put on the wall at least 3 assets (everyday goods, skills or spaces) they might lend as well as something they may like to borrow. Quickly making these assets visible using post-its immediately gave rise to impromptu discussions around what people could do – even if they just had access to the items on the wall.

“Oh a shredder – now that would be useful”

Next, with a couple of volunteers, we played some further games to show how using Ecomodo to build a community and make resources you’re willing to share visible, can spark a whole host of new opportunities for different activities.

Near the end of the session, we asked the participants to put their “school community” hat on and break out into smaller groups to brainstorm this question:

“If we only had .. we could ..”

We wanted them to conjure up new types of projects to engage students, using action based learning, purely inspired through utilising borrowed assets.

And here are some of the ideas that came out of the session:

• Night vision equipment for a project to understand local wildlife to see what comes through the school at night.

• Gardening equipment to understand food and growing

• Costumes & props to re-enact moments in history

• Outside spaces to use as a different space from the classroom

• Specimens from zoos for biology projects & African artefacts for cultural projects

• Sewing machines to learn about recycling and upcycling

• Meteorological equipment for geography and learning about the weather

• Solar panels & wind turbines for science and energy projects

And lots of skills including: willow weaving, story tellers, drivers with transport, singing workshops, artists & craft

We will be shortly running this workshop again at Se-ed’s National Sustainable Schools Conference second event in Leicester on 30 November.

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Click here to find more information about how schools can use Ecomodo to fundraise, get equipped and save money and share resources with other schools locally.


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