Lisa Gansky COOP Think 15

Prepare for the Growing Sharing Economy

Five reasons why people are rejecting ownership.

May 7, 2015

Access trumps ownership in the future economy, Lisa Gansky, founder/chief instigator at Mesh Labs, told the CO-OP Think 15 Conference.

The sharing economy, where people share big-ticket items such as cars instead of owning them individually, is expected to grow quickly.

In 2013, the sharing economy accounted for $13 billion annually, compared with the rental market's $240 billion.

By 2025, the sharing economy will be even with the rental market at $335 billion annually, Gansky said.

Gansky is an entrepreneur, international speaker, and author of the bestselling book, "The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing."

Mesh Labs is dedicated to working at the intersection of urban and business innovation and the sharing economy, and maintains a global sharing-economy directory.

Five reasons for this expected growth:

  1. More people are living in cities, where population density promotes sharing.
  2. Climate change is pushing people to live more sustainable lives.
  3. The Great Recession taught people the true value of goods, prompting them to align their spending with what matters most.
  4. Trust in big brands has waned. People are willing to seek out new companies and solutions as a result.
  5. Technology has connected us to each other and our things more than ever. There are ever-growing ways to develop relationships and track usage of various goods.

Credit unions fit nicely into the sharing economy, said Gansky. "This is a great time to promote the fact that you have that past."

Gansky focused her talk on the CO-OP megatrend of "Ubitech"—the ubiquitous technology that transforms consumers' daily lives.