Posts Tagged ‘ecomodo’

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

our first open innovation skills sharing evening ..

December 6, 2013

AgeUKPilotKnitting

Learning to knit whilst fundraising for Age UK Bromley & Greenwich

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Guest blog by Kim Day  from Age UK

Over the past 18 months, Age UK has been part of the Nesta Open Innovation Programme working to develop our first Open Innovation product. Along the way it has been a journey of trials and tribulations. We have challenged our way of thinking. We have had to relook at our initial ideas and go back to the drawing board on more than one occasion.

Through all of this we have worked hard with our Open Innovation Coach Kim and Nesta’s Alice Casey to explore different options. We have also developed partnerships with Ecomodo and Age UK Bromley and Greenwich to create our Age UK Bromley and Greenwich Wealth of Experience circle. From all this hard work and amazing partnerships we were able to host our first Open Innovation skills sharing evening!

Last Thursday one of our Age UK volunteers taught two supporters to knit for the first time. The evening was hosted in a local restaurant where food and drink was shared. Our new knitters were quite excited to learn came armed with lots of patterns, needles and wool. Their ambition and excitement almost got the better of them and was agreed we would start with a simple cat blanket and simpler jumper. The group have agreed to meet our Age UK volunteer over the course of the next few weeks to help the projects progress.

The Age UK supporters were thrilled to be part of the Age UK Bromley and Greenwich Wealth of Experience knowing that while they are learning to knit they are also able to help an older person. They found out about the programme through the Ecomodo site and are looking forward to try other skills sharing activities. They are also eager to become volunteers to help an older person in their community either through the skills sharing platform or their local Age UK.

This is the first of many Open Innovation skills sharing projects that we hope to showcase over the next few months.

Sharing boom challenges business ..

August 22, 2013

Reuters

The internet is enabling a shift in consumer habits through the rise of the sharing economy and the websites that host renting out your spare room or lending a power drill to complete strangers are giving big companies a run for their money. Reuter’s journalist, Joanne Nicholson talks to some helping make it happen.

View Video with commentary from: Rachel Botsman, author of What’s Mine Is Yours;  Tracy Currer, co-founder of Ecomodo and starring Alex, one of ecomodo’s lovely members. Thanks Alex 🙂

Reuters_EcomodoMemberAlex

image: Alex, ecomodo member with his hedge cutter

tackling confidence in peer-to-peer lending ..

January 30, 2013

Marke2ingLogo

Recently, we were interviewed by Marke2ing, a strategic marketing company that specialises in bringing growth to ambitious businesses that do good and help others do good. Amongst many other things, they are extremely interested in the whole area of collaborative consumption and it’s potential to be the next disruptive innovation.

Check out our interview here > Ecomodo – tackling the confidence issue in peer-to-peer goods.

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.

#3 borrow a helping hand! Hermione’s story ..

September 7, 2012

Caption: Fixed computers after borrowing a helping hand from Adam

“Ever since I started The DoNation one of the things that I’ve envied most about my friends and their conventional jobs (aside from their salaries) are their IT support teams. Just because I run a web start up, it doesn’t mean I enjoy or am good at IT; I’ve been driven mad by far too many afternoons helplessly spent trying to fix niggling computer issues myself.

Through several social enterprise support schemes we’ve been lucky enough to have had four computers donated to us, which have all come in super handy as our team has grown. But as time goes on and our computing demands have increased, these well used, second hand machines started to stagger, stutter, and slur. I had resigned myself to the fact that it was time to fork out on a new laptop, but given that we have this abundance of machines and my hate for waste, I felt a bit uncomfortable about it.

But then our wonderful intern Eleanor (pictured above) came across a post on Ecomodo by Adam, an IT expert offering his skills to organisations like ours. It so happened that he lived just down the road from our office and so popped by after work one evening. Within hours he’d got two of the computers back on track, doubled in speed and reliability. On a second visit he tackled a desktop that I had completely written off, he managed to get it on for the first time in a year and back to full speed in less than an hour.

It was simple stuff for an expert, but mind-boggling and hair-tearing for a novice like me.  It saved me from forking out on a new computer, so saving a good £600 or so and a lot of unnecessary waste.

It might not be quite the full IT support team yet, but we’re getting there. Thanks Adam, and thanks Ecomodo!” Hermione

Stories from our members #3

#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

#1 borrowing a battery charger ..

July 18, 2012

caption: Eliot borrowing a motorbike batter charger from Louise

“My motorbike had a flat battery so I went on eBay looking for a charger. Then I thought, do I want to own one of these things? No, I just want to use one. So I posted a “wanted” on Ecomodo and within a day or two someone had offered me one. I went and picked it up and saved myself forty quid.

Bizarrly just a few days later someone on Westminster Hub’s mailing list was asking to borrow a drill so I pointed her to Ecomodo. Two seconds later I got an Ecomodo email saying someone wanted to borrow my drill. I’d completely forgotten my own drill was on there! It took her half an hour to realise I was the same person.” Eliot

Stories from our members #1

borrow, swap, rent ..

July 8, 2012

Borrow, swap, rent .. how to avoid buying nearly everything. Great article in today’s Mail On Sunday featuring Ecomodo.com.

Full article here.

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.


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