San Francisco Conference seeks to “catalyze the sharing economy”

Organizations interested in the sharing economy might wish to send a representative or two to the SHARE: Catalyzing the Sharing Economy conference that will be held May 13-14 at the Marines Memorial Theater in San Francisco. The purpose of the conference is to bring business leaders from the non-profit and start-up sectors, as well as established enterprises, together with community leaders and academics who promote the sharing economy, for learning, discussions, and new collaborations.

In keeping with the theme of sharing, each day will begin with a plenary session that will feature a round table discussion among several speakers rather than individual keynote addresses.

Scheduled speakers at the conference include: Lucy Bernholz, a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, attorney Janelle Orsi, co-founder of the Oakland-based Sustainable Economies Law Center, and Allison Cook, media and outreach strategist for the Berkeley-based Story of Stuff Project.

People who see the sharing economy as an alternative to the capitalist economic model probably will be disinterested in workshops such as: Investing in Sharing 101, and Investors vs. Value Creators: What are the right ways for sharing economy companies to get growth capital? (both Tuesday).

But there are other topics that, judging by their names, may fill the needs of people and organizations seeking replacement, rather than reform, of the current economic paradigm. Among them are: Shareable Cities: From Concept to Action (Tuesday); We’re All in this Together: Sharing for Disaster Preparedness and Resilience (Tuesday), Beyond Sharing: Values of the Economy We Want (Wednesday); Access, Equity, and the Sharing Economy; and The New Citizen: Civic Engagement in a Changing Landscape. These last two are scheduled simultaneously on Wednesday.

The conference also includes several nuts-and-bolts workshops that would be useful for individual and small, informal groups as well as big organizations. These include: Who’s Afraid of Homemade Sweet Potato Pies? Legality and the Sharing Economy, and Am I Insured? The Elephant in the Sharing Economy Room (both on Tuesday). Individuals interested in these types of sharing mechanics, especially in California, might want to get the book The Sharing Solution by Emily Doskow and conference speaker Janelle Orsi, from Nolo Press.

Half-hour networking breaks are interspersed between the workshop sessions.

The conference is the joint enterprise of PEERS (www.peers.org, and @peers on Twitter) and SOCAP, which stands for Social Capital Markets. According to its website, “PEERS is a member-driven organization that supports the sharing economy movement. [Members] believe that by sharing what we already have — like cars, homes, skills and time — everyone benefits in the process.”

“As the sharing economy continues to grow, Peers is excited to join with SOCAP to convene a timely conversation exploring the power and promise of this emerging global force,” said Natalie Foster, Executive Director of Peers. “We stand at the crossroads of an economic movement and SHARE will be the first conference in the United States to address the issues and opportunities that are emerging from the sharing economy.”

SOCAP, which did not have a readily discoverable website, listed on a joint press release with PEERS announcing this conference that SOCAP “is dedicated to increasing the flow of capital toward social good. Our unique approach emphasizes cross-sector convening and gathers voices across a broad spectrum to catalyze unexpected connections”.

Although technically the conference is open to anyone, ticket prices are very steep and indicate that the conference is aimed at organizations rather than individuals seeking to know more about using the sharing economy in their owns lives. A full price ticket for the two day event is $795.00 + a $9.95 ticket handling fee, while a lower priced ticket for startups, makers and non-profits below $1M revenues is $395.00 + the handling fee. One-day tickets are available. There is also a Buy One Give One ticket for $1,190 + handling fee, but don’t think you can use this ticket for your spouse or best friend; you are merely sponsoring the attendance of someone else chosen by the conference. PEERS has offered 70 scholarship and volunteer tickets, but the Google form for these tickets is no longer accepting responses. Tickets may be purchased through the SHARE conference website, or through Eventbrite. Online ticket sales close on May 13th.

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CC 2014, Kéllia Ramares-Watson BY-SA

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