All of the speakers from “The Rise of the Sharing Economy” http://www.kcrw.com/news/programs/tp/tp130902the_rise_of_the_shar added great value to the program because of the speakers’ diversity in viewpoints and backgrounds. This also brought controversy and discussion, which allowed listeners to form personal opinions on matters because we were able to hear many different perspectives on the same topic. That being said, I connected the most with April Renning while listening because of her professional background and confidence while speaking.
Likewise, I found myself agreeing strongly with Rennings’s arguments about collaborative consumption and its benefits. She was asked to respond to the argument that the sharing economy is eroding the nature of our private lives and our need for personal possessions and identity through our belongings. Before even hearing her response, I thought this argument was weak because the sharing economy does not require everyone’s participation and is not forcing anyone to be a part of this industry. Sure enough, Renning posed this same rebuttal and added that the sharing economy creates more value for society than it gets credit for. For example, these companies make goods and services accessible to those who are looking for an alternative way to spend and save, thus allowing for an increase in many individuals’ disposable income. Furthermore, this sharing is adding value on a community, social, and environmental level.
Of course, this value does not show up in any financial documents, though, which leads many people to believe the value doesn’t exist because it isn’t a monetary addition. This discrepancy is similar to other organizations that focus on measurements of success other than monetary measures, and thus pose a question about valuing companies that do not have a high net income, but add value to society, community, and the environment. The question will continue to be asked because people will always be skeptical of change.