• Advocacy

How to Build Sharing Cities

Freelancers are working and consuming and living their lives in very different ways. Our 230,000 members -- and the 42 million freelancers across the country -- are bartering services with each other. They’re forming cooperatives to keep costs down. They’re redefining what it means to live a successful, fulfilled life.

But the next economy won’t be built by individual, disconnected projects. It needs an interconnected, global network.

That’s what the Sharing Cities Network aims to be -- a “grassroots network of sharing innovators” brought together by the good people at Shareable (and co-sponsored by Freelancers Union).

The Sharing Cities Network is an important step to make sure our laws and regulations and innovations keep up with the way the new workforce really lives.

Shareable founder Neal Gorenflo is one of the people who really gets that this idea of sharing is actually nothing new -- it’s always been here and it offers a new path away from our old broken system (read my conversation with Neal here). As Neal says:

“We are not protesting. We are not asking for permission. We are not waiting. We’re building a people-powered economy right under everyone’s noses.

We’re building coworking spaces, sharing start-ups, cooperatives, credit unions, tool libraries, hacker spaces, seed banks, community gardens, farmers markets, bike kitchens, and more.”

Everything is changing. The old bargain -- you work for a single employer for a long time in exchange for stability -- is over. Freelancers are building a new bargain. They want freedom and connection, the time to follow their passions. That’s the new success.

Too many of our institutions and social infrastructure are built to support the old bargain. The Sharing Cities Network will help us build the new institutions we need.

(Please contribute to the Sharing Cities Network crowdfunding campaign today!)

Sara Horowitz As the founder of Freelancers Union, Sara has been a voice for freelancers for over two decades.