Before the launch
A look at the sharing city phenomenon, from December 2014
Meanwhile in Amsterdam
The objective of Amsterdam Sharing City (ASC), was and still is to enable the city to deal with both the challenges and the opportunities of the collaborative economy. This is based on the vision that we are best able to effectively deal with the challenges and grasp the opportunities by facilitating cooperation between all stakeholders that are affected by the rise of the collaborative economy. This has resulted in a two-way approach: one way directed at informing the local government and creating awareness among local policymakers, the other way directed towards all other stakeholders within the city of Amsterdam.
The “local government pathway” started with a presentation by shareNL described above. This event led to a collaboration with the Amsterdam Economic Board. With support from the Board, shareNL was able to write a comprehensive sharing city report (in Dutch). This report is used within the government to define its strategies to- wards the collaborative economy. The main lesson for those wanting to make their city a sharing city is that it is crucial to work together with governmental organisations. Otherwise it is difficult to have an impact as the government is not only an important stakeholder in creating a level playing field, but in addition, the government represents “the public”, and thus it makes a lot of sense to work with it when reshaping a city into a sharing city. In the end, all public assets should be shared as much as possible.
The “social pathway” is an ongoing process in which shareNL invites relevant partners from its network to become sharing city ambassadors. In order to welcome as many ambassadors as possible, a rather low threshold is applied to join the sharing city ambassadors program. All ambassadors are asked to fill in a form that asks them three questions that are explained in more detail in the following paragraphs:
why does [ORGANISATION] align itself with the vision and mission of ASC? How does ASC connect with the stakes of [ORGANISATION]? What will [ORGANISATION] do to make ASC happen?
The vision of ASC is the assumption that we are living in a transitional time. Consumers, governments, industry and other organisations are going through fundamental transformations. Technological advancements are changing complete industries/sectors, natural resources are getting scarcer and people are becoming more dependent on one another. The collaborative economy is a significant driver of this transition, and thus holds a way of un- derstanding and possibly influencing the transition. The mission of Amster- dam Sharing City is to develop the collaborative economy into an integral part of the city, by uniting the forces of all stakeholders to create “playgrounds” where the collaborative economy, and thus the city can flourish. But also by learning from these playgrounds to be better able to deal with its challenges. Based on the vision and mission, we define ASC as follows:
Amsterdam Sharing City recognizes the sharing economy as a vital driver towards a sustainable, rich in social capital and economically resilient future, and acknowledges the need to consider and incorporate sharing economy prin- ciples [such as access instead of ownership] when re-creating the political, eco- nomical and social landscape.
The stakes of the different ambassadors are important as they are a precondition for active participation. Examples of why existing companies are connecting to the idea of a sharing city are: optimisation of customer knowledge, resilience, reputation, finding new revenue models, testing new products, contributing to a healthy business climate and knowledge gathering. Citizens’ organisations’ motivations for participation are: better access to goods and services, lower thresholds to entrepreneurship, more social and safer neighbourhoods, more local, air quality improvement and more time for family and direct environment. For knowledge institutions the sharing city project offers a living lab where real life lessons can be learned. Among the stakes for the local government are: growth in local investments, more efficient use of public assets and services, sustainable and affordable trans- port, innovation, boosting of creative industries, jobs, more efficient use of resources, increasing citizens’ social participation, safety, decreasing the number of socially isolated citizens and opportunities for new public private partnerships.