Posts Tagged ‘london’

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.

wealth of experience ..

October 15, 2013

AgeUKPilot2

Over the last nine months we have been working in partnership with Age UK to look at ways to raise donations for the charity while reducing isolation in old age. The work to date has been focused around testing the idea, exploring options and uncovering barriers specifically in relation to supporting vulnerable people.

Focusing around the sharing of time and skills and in alliance with Age UK Bromley and Greenwich, a pilot scheme has just been launched across the borough. The ‘Wealth of Experience’ pilot puts local residents who need a task doing in touch with Age UK Bromley and Greenwich timebank volunteers who can do it, in return for a suggested donation.

By utilising existing volunteers to offer their services through Ecomodo not only enables them to fundraise for Age UK Greenwich and Bromley but delivers extra peace of mind to vulnerable people who need help as each of their volunteers have been previously vetted.

To bring together all of their volunteers within Ecomodo, Age UK Bromley and Greenwich created a ‘Wealth of Experience’ lending circle that only vetted volunteers can join, enabling people to browse their offers in one place. As Age UK Bromley and Greenwich is one of ecomodo’s good causes, any of our lenders can choose them as a charity to fundraise for but only vetted individuals will be able to join their circle.

If you live in the area of Bromley & Greenwich are are interested in utilising your skills and becoming a vetted volunteer please contact Age UK Bromley and Greenwich to set up a vetting meeting.

Alternatively, feel free to list items on Ecomodo and select Age UK Bromley and Greenwich as your chosen good cause. If you’re not sure what to lend? Click here to Get inspired.

This project has been funding by the Cabinet Office, through Nesta’s Open Innovation programme.

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.

#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

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

tea with the BITC ..

April 19, 2012

Last Friday, though sporadic April showers, I headed to the tranquil office of Business in the Community (BITC) overlooking regents canal – for afternoon tea.

The BITC have agreed to help us explore our employee engagement initiative and the kind of interventions that may be needed to encourage and actively get staff to share. So over a cup of tea and a slice of cake, we spent some time talking about stuff.

Within the BITC there’s a “Walk the Talk” team, who’s purpose is to inspire their colleagues to live more sustainably at work and at home. So prior to my visit, members of the team had already come together to create a BITC lending circle for the London office and added a whole host of items – including books, a picnic blanket, sports equipment, a skype headset, a tent, tuxedo and even a unicycle – to help inspire their colleagues to join in. And to boost the notion of sharing, a whole afternoon tea was also borrowed too.

The team had brought borrowed table cloths, napkins, tea-pot and cups and also a number of items they had added to ecomodo. A couple of team members had also made homemade brownies and fruitcake – needless to say – the cake didn’t last very long.

To help explore and getting everyone talking stuff .. we played a game! Green stickies for an item you would lend and orange for something you would like to borrow.

With lots of enthusiasm, around 35 staff members joined in the event and at the end of tea, we left the stickies as a reminder which have now been posted in a common area in the office. So far the BITC lending circle is up to 11 members, 18 items to borrow and 1 wanted ad. We will keep updating progress. Next step: Posters.

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.

ecomodo: a revolutionary idea ..

September 16, 2011

We were recently invited to talk at the Business for the Environment summit 2011 about Ecomodo, as a revolutionary idea that will change the world. Output from this summit will be feeding into COP17 – the international climate summit being held in Durban later this year.

Hosted by Dax Lovegrove (Head of Business and Industry at the WWF) our session included talks about:

• Environmental P&L from Reiner Hengstmann (Global Director, PUMA) & Richard Mattison (CEO of Trucost)

• Zero-emission public transport from Paul Lin (Marketing Director, BYD Auto Company Ltd)

• Zero-emission shipping and logistics from Melanie Moore (Vice President, Environment, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics)

.. and a presentation by John Elkington, Founding Partner of Volans.

Our focus was on dematerialised business and the need for manufacturers and outlets to change how they do business by moving from product to service solutions; from retail to rental. The question: will this work and can a service like Ecomodo disrupt the status quo to bring about more rapid change?

Now I’ve had time to digest and reflect on the summit as a whole, I think I’m even more excited about the need and potential of Ecomodo. My brain has just buzzing with ideas and thoughts.

When we first started researching Ecomodo our minds were set on a far bigger picture but like everything with limited resources, we needed to scale down for launch. For me, taking a day and half to step outside the fishbowl again and listen to the other delegates, has re-opened my eyes to what the future holds globally over the coming decades. The need for us all to instill a “sharing culture” seems so essential, especially when you bring together: global population growth; the upcoming consumption needs of emerging countries and our impending natural resource scarcity.

Ecomodo’s talk starts at 54 mins. More videos from the B4E summit are available on YouTube.


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