‘Share and share alike’ so goes the adage and it’s an ethos that is perfectly demonstrated by a growing number of websites and businesses committed to a different, more progressive economic model, such as Sharebay.org
Set up in 2018 by Colin Turner, an Irish social activist, author, musician and thorn in the side of establishment thinking, Sharebay provides a global platform for free access to goods and services offered by users.
It’s already elicited praise from the likes of celebrated filmmaker and social activist Peter Joseph who, since 2007, has produced the Zeitgeist trilogy of films, garnering hundreds of millions of views and leading to the creation of global advocacy group the Zeitgeist Movement, the widely lauded Culture in Decline series as well as the compelling Interreflections pastiche movie.
Joseph commented: "Sharebay is an important step in not only helping people gain access to goods in an easy, collaborative way, it helps foster a more sustainable value system and practice.
“Today’s market-driven, scarcity-based, exploitative economics continues to push commercial efforts for all the wrong reasons. Sharebay represents a common-sense return to true, community supporting economics," he added.
Colin’s first major online project, the Free World Charter, established in 2011, has gathered over 60,000 signatures to ten key principles that could form the basis of a post-money society.
Both Colin and Peter are effectively viewing a moneyless society as the best way forward to deal with humanity’s many existential threats such as climate change, social inequality and collapsing biodiversity. Both provide surgical analysis of our current failings as well as whole-systems proposals such as an Open Access Economy or Resource Based Economic model as espoused by Peter.
Sharebay reflects that thinking perfectly as Colin confirmed: “I created Sharebay to help us manifest a better society. All the world's conflicts, inequalities and apathy towards nature stem from the same point - the unconscious belief that we are all participants in a winner-takes-all game.
“Whether knowingly or not, we are all complicit in maintaining artificial scarcity though our trading of goods and labour. The net result of billions of people acting in this way has—to all intents and purposes—created a monster; a monster that devours the planet at unsustainable rates, divides countries and communities, and imposes needless death and poverty on at least 30% of the global population.
“Many people on the fringes call this monster capitalism and it needs to be slain, but the truth is we have to look deeper and understand our underlying motivations and the cumulative effect of trading en masse.
“By its very nature, trade necessitates private property, profits by any means, short-term interests, elitism and inequality. Many pundits like George Monbiot, Jason HIckel and Kate Raworth are calling for us to change the game; to move towards a more responsible and compassionate society, yet in their proposals they each continue to enshrine trade as a core methodology.
“Sharebay is here to question trade itself and is one of a number of similar websites such as Freecycle, Streetbank, Freegle, Olio, BuyNothing and Kindista with new ones popping up all the time.
“We have already built a small network of people all over the world who are, right now, gifting free goods and services to each other. Why? Because, just as with any close human network, people are happy to give when they know they will also later receive.
“My hope is that we can create a big enough sharing network to mount a serious challenge to our belief that like-for-like trade is the only way to access the things we need in life. But the fact is, what we're proposing is anything but novel; 99% of us grew up within the sharing network of our own family and only thought about trading later. Sharing is our default methodology, trade is an after-thought.
“While our network is still in its infancy, I'm confident that we will begin to see higher and higher value goods and services being offered. Our motto is: Share little things today so we can share big things tomorrow.,” added Colin