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Accelerating the Sharing Economy

Kevin Jones May 15, 2014

SHARE 2014

Peers Executive Director, Natalie Foster (L) and SOCAP Co-Founder Kevin Jones (R).

For a conference series like SOCAP that thrives on identifying emerging markets through curated conversation, the sharing economy is a huge opportunity.
SOCAP can help make the market ecosystem – from activists, to entrepreneurs, to venture investors, to corporates, to government and legal – clear to people, and I think, we did just that at the 2014 SHARE conference.
The sharing economy is huge with venture-backed startups valued at millions and even billions of dollars. But as it approaches its adolescence, there are growing pains.
The challenges to this market will come in governance; who runs them and who benefits for them, and, of course do they work for all segments of the economy. People have not figured out this next step, but SHARE was a great first step in that direction.
I am hugely proud of the efforts of our staff at SOCAP and our partners at Peers. Milicent Johnson was the person who had the whole ecosystem in her head. Every first-time conference has to have the person who has the ecosystem mapped out in her head.
We were really excited that Elizabeth Krueger from our content team could provide the SOCAP specialty of making the convening beyond the usual suspects, but also finding the “valuable strangers” who brought new and unique perspectives. We excel at bringing content diversity that clarifies while it startles you with new and valuable perspectives from people you’ve never heard of.
Our relatively new brand management team of Heather Faison and Leigh Rodwick rocked the place; we trended on twitter both days.
The boiling vibrancy around early markets as they come together and engage in the exiting catalytic act of discovering themselves made this an exciting couple of days for me.
I’m reminded of the same phenomenon around 15 years ago when we built a company that had the biggest brand in b2b e-commerce and again seven years ago when we catalyzed and convened Social Capital Markets, where impact investors looking to put their hearts into their investment portfolio meet and learn from social entrepreneurs.
I look forward to seeing the sharing economy grow into a force that will no doubt be the change this world needs to help solve its most pressing problems.

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