Creating a ‘sharing economy’

In order to stabilize our ecological systems, we must significantly reduce consumption and resource use. The sharing economy, if properly regulated, can help us do this. One way it can achieve that is by shifting consumer expectations from ownership to demand-fulfillment.


The Metropolitan Government of Seoul established a Seoul Sharing Promotion Committee, as a public-private body, with members from academia, the media, business, NPOs, research institutes and city officials responsible for economic growth, welfare, transportation and innovation. The Committee wants to revive an old cultural tradition called “Pum-a-si,” (where people share food, tools and other equipment with neighbours) but utilising the city’s super high-speed broadband to which 97% of the population are connected. So far it has set up:

  • The Seoul Car Sharing Program, which has around 2.3 million members (1/5th of the local population) and is estimated to have saved 486 tonnes of CO2 due to reduced car ownership.
  • The Seoul Bike Sharing Program is the most popular and well-known sharing initiative, with over 11,000 daily users recorded in March 2018.
  • A Children’s Clothes and Toy Sharing Project enables citizens to send items by post or arrange a pick up from ‘green libraries’. By the end of 2017, 180,000 children’s clothes and almost 50,000 toys had been shared.
  • The ‘One roof, Two generations’ project connects elderly citizens with spare rooms to young students, winning a national inter-generational community prize.

Southsea resource sharing group

Wimbledon Park Patch is a fantastic neighbourhood Facebook group where people ask for stuff they need and share what they no longer want (books, TVs, rugs, musical instruments, furniture, kids school uniforms, wellies and toys etc). Set up in 2012 by one resident it now has over 750 members, and the exchanges happen on a daily basis.

Clare Seek, the founder, said: ‘The idea is to connect neighbours, build community, share stuff and skills, have fun, look out for each other and generally love each other and where we live.’

They also do lots of stuff offline such as: annual Jumble Trails (all have yard sales on the same day and advertise jointly), Community Car Club, School uniform swap (table in the local library), Christmas jumper swap (table in the local library), Help yourself herb gardens etc.

See what you can do