Is sharing the new currency?

You have it, you can share it. You need it, you can borrow it. Office space, accommodation, cars, books, videos, bikes, presentations, handbags, appliances…

Has all this real world sharing been sparked by the online sharing that is now second nature?

A study released last week, The New Sharing Economy, by Latitude Research and Shareable Magazine, was prompted by the surge in sharing startups driven by social technology.

“The rise of sharing requires us to use a new language where ‘access’ trumps ‘ownership’; social value becomes the new currency; ‘exchanges’ replace ‘purchases’; and people are no longer consumers but instead users, borrowers, lenders and contributors. All of this means businesses must redefine their role from providers of stuff to become purveyors of services and experiences,” says Neela Sakaria, SVP of Latitude.

The study found that people who were sharing online were also more likely to share physical items such as dvd’s, bikes, cars & books with strangers.

But this correlation does not necessarily transfer to an offline to online cause relationship. Perhaps people who are more likely to share in real life are encouraged to head onto the interwebs and share away. Rather than the online sharing activities “spurring” more offline sharing.

Or perhaps ‘sharers’ share wherever they happen to loiter – or Prahran library – and with an increase in social technology the opportunities to engage in sharing activities are everywhere.

In short. There is more sharing. Don’t fight it, just share it.


The subconscious education of public taste

I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago and was lucky enough to spot a guy mid ‘paste up’ – in the process of posting art – while hanging out at Centre Pompidou.

It just so happens I’d bumped into Eric Maréchal, the founder of a global art project,  Street Art Without Borders, which connects artists with volunteer ‘pasters’, through the power of social media.

Eric @ work

The idea is simple, using Flickr, Eric  finds artists who he admires, contacts them and offers to paste their work up in whatever city he is in.  They send him the works, he pastes them and posts pictures of it back up on to Flickr.

“The fascinating part of that work is also the exchange with the artist, their story, their unique message to the world.”

Many of the artists, he tells me, have never done any street art before.

Artists that traditionally work on canvas or other mediums, find a new way to express themselves and reach a different audience.

Eric, who goes by the name of ‘urbanhearts‘ online, showed me a work by a Chinese artist who he discovered on Flickr.  It was the first time she had done street art, and experimented with local newspapers to paint on, which aside from being easy to post, look incredible.

If you believe that street art has the power to improve well-being, then you’d agree this is one project using social media for good.

To tear the street away from the grey and dreary monotony of neat rows of buildings; to throw a firework of colours into its midst, joy radiating outwards, to convert walls and basements into surfaces to be decorated, and from this wind-exposed museum to deduce that which reveals a race’s personality, and at the same time, the subconsicious education of public taste.

– Preface to the Jules Cheret (France’s first street poster artist) exhibition catalogue at the Theatre d’Application, 1889 in Paris.

Paris 1889 – Jules Cheret                      Paris 2010 – Zhe155

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iSchoolyards: kids + tech = awesome

On Monday primary school kids from across Australia gathered at the State Library of Victoria.

The tweenhood from Northern Territory to Tasmania – “our future’s leaders” – came together in Melbourne for one hot topic: digital learning.

From all accounts you’d think they’d been invited to have playlunch with Justin Beiber, the excitement and enthusiasm was that palpable.

The event, ‘Listen2Learners‘ was the anti-thesis to the classic isolated, socially awkward child oft portrayed when we pair kids + technology.

Students showcased a range of awesome projects, from running their own radio station to preparing a cybersafety program for incoming primary students.


photo credit: Tania Sheko


The audience, a mix of business, government and community sector listened on as the kids demoed their creations.  Many had to submit applications for their ideas, and defend their concept against the ‘tough questions’; all processes that exist in my ‘grown-up’ world at work.   Learning to think critically through ideas to creation is a valuable lesson to be learning so early in the game.


Photo credit: Tania Sheko


Funnily enough, an old primary school bud Caz Pringle over at ThinkTank Media wrote a post this week which paints a drastically different image of kids increasing use of technology, the dark side…empty playground swings and a growing spawn of fat, geek kids.


A whole generation of Cartman's?

Could we be incubating a whole generation of Cartman's?


Considering Caz is a fellow Gen-Yer and grew up with the big bad Internets, it’s a surprising and provoking change to hear this side of the coin voiced from someone so well-versed in the WWW. (It’s inspired this post in response, I didn’t make it to the Listen2Learners but I was determined to provide some quality social education examples to alleviate the anxiety of picturing a generation of South Park’s Cartman’s IRL…)

Back to the happy, glass-half full juice.

I’d like to think the future is in good hands. Moreover, we better recognise the present is already in the hands of 7 year olds.

My favourite example was kids from Prospect Primary School who became teachers, and schooled their ol’ teach and 69 other teachers in how to make movies.

Using their experience in making films about animals for ‘zoo-tube’, these students set a challenge for adult learners – to learn movie making from scratch in order to make a one minute movie in one day on location at the Adelaide Zoo.*

Empowering and valuable learning for the kids right there….and, Zoo-tube!

These kids are so cool for school.


The world’s first Emergency Response App

The city has been struck by an 8.2 magnitude earthquake. Homes have been destroyed. People are homeless. There is no food. People are dying. You are an aid worker.  You can save lives.

This week Save the Children released the world’s first Emergency Response App. The game aims to give the player an insight into the decisions a humanitarian worker faces when deployed to a disaster affected area. A fun game with a serious message. Check it out.