Neighbors used to share a cup of sugar

Neighbors used to share a cup of sugar

Neighbors used to share a cup of sugar

Can you imagine opening the door these days to your neighbor standing there asking to share a cup of sugar? Or is it just a remedy from the old days?

Connecting neighbors to share

Nowadays there are several websites dedicated to connecting neighbors to share items – from lending, cars, bikes, parking spaces, task, designer clothes to accommodations.

The sharing economy takes advantage of connected mobile technology to allow people to rent things temporarily that they either don’t need to own permanently or can’t afford. Transactions can be made quickly through a cell phone app or a web site.

These new services rely on the web, impersonal relationships, and they are based on ratings and reciprocal reviews from unknown people to build trust among their users. This type of business couldn’t work out before social network platforms:

We couldn’t have existed ten years ago, before Facebook, because people weren’t really into sharingNate Blecharczyk, Airbnb founder

Thanks to social media, people are generally more comfortable meeting new people using technologyDavid Lee, early investor in Airbnb


Sugar - The Sharing Economy

So just dismissing these things – social networks – as hype or nonsense, using trivial arguments such as:

I’m not interested in hearing or seeing what other people had for breakfast

would be wrong.

The concept of social networks is of course not a new thing

The concept of social networks is of course not a new thing. Social networks are the very core of being human. What is new is that we have extended our capability to build and sustain our social networks using information technology, for example online social networking platforms.

New psychological research suggests that sharing fosters trust and cooperation in the community and contributes to personal well-being:

  • Sharing builds trust and trust is highly correlated with happiness
  • Sharing increases positive social interaction with others, which can prolong your life
  • Sharing invokes gratitude and gratitude is highly correlated with happiness
  • Sharing can decrease the disparity between “the haves” and the “have nots”
  • Sharing involves cooperation and cooperation has been essential to human flourishing

A new study – The Great Sharing Economy: A Report into Sharing Across the UK – has found that:

  • 8 of 10 people say that sharing makes them happy
  • 7 out of 10 people in the UK say that sharing makes them feel better about themselves.

Becoming more social is not just a new business driver but also a societal imperative.

Share a cup of sugar


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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom

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