Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The New Economy

The world is in transition. Communities are working to move away from the old economy based on ecological destruction, gross inequality, and political paralysis and transitioning to something new—an economy based in equity, sustainability, and true democracy.

This interactive graphic is one attempt to capture the ongoing work to build this new system. But what will this new system really look like? That’s an open question. Lend your thoughts and tell us what’s missing from the picture.


People are building new, durable systems that will be sustainable over the long term and are not reliant on fossil fuels.
  • Food – Folks everywhere are growing more of their own food and finding ways to directly connect farms to consumers. Permaculturists, composters, and chicken lovers are all essential for the new economy.
  • Energy – People are building the renewable energy of the future: wind, solar, and hydro – and improving energy efficiency on a huge scale. In the new economy, energy sources will be less centralized and community controlled.
  • Transit – People are changing the infrastructure of where we work and live to cut fossil fuels out of the picture. They’re making streets safe for pedestrians and bicyclists, improving public transportation, and rethinking how to use rail and waterways.
  • Buildings – We need green cities, green buildings, and houses that breathe. The green building community has shown that living buildings are possible and green design can be cost effective, despite an economic structure that works against it.
  • Health – The old economy is disastrously bad at keeping us healthy. From industrial food to toxins in everything, a movement is underway to “cure the cause” and rid our economy of things that make us sick. Check out JP NET’s work on a “Cancer Free Economy.”
  • Education & Skill-Building – The Transition movement has been ahead of the curve in calling for a great “re-skilling” to prepare people for the future. People are skilling up in agriculture, alternative health care, green building, engineering, upcycling, composting, repurposing, and much more. Alternative educational scenes are popping up to meet these needs, from community reskilling workshops to online peer-to-peer educational networks.
  • Work & Livelihoods – The “business-as-usual” economy just isn’t employing enough people. Even for many people with traditional jobs, wages are low, benefits are bad, and the work itself is numbing or degrading. People are dropping out of this to pursue livelihoods of the future in agriculture, green building, activism, arts, and more. Also, people are homesteading, bartering, gifting, and sharing to meet their needs.
  • Business – The huge “Shop Local” movement supports place-based businesses whose revenues multiply in the local economy. Excellent networks like Business Alliance for Local Living Economies support and connect these businesses. Entrepreneurs also have a special role to play in creating new businesses in the sectors of the future.
  • Preparing for Emergencies – Bigger and more frequent hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and droughts are unfortunately part of the new normal. Preparing for them with neighbors is essential. Many neighborhoods are finding that prep can be fun, if you do it right, and can create lasting connections. Check out JP NET’s work on “Preparedness Pie Parties.”


People are fighting to dismantle the old system that is creating climate chaos, gross inequality, political paralysis, race and class divisions, and more.
  • Climate Action – For the planet to remain livable, we’ve got to reduce carbon emissions. All our work to build community, wealth and resilience hinges upon this. and other climate activists are working hard to stop the Big Oil, Gas, and Coal companies from stealing our future.
  • Wall Street vs. Main Street – Ever since the financial meltdown of 2008, people across the country are coming to see that the Wall Street-based economy is rigged for the benefit of a tiny minority. They’re fighting growing economic inequality and working to revitalize Main Street economies to benefit the 99%.
  • Ending Corporate Personhood – A huge movement has sprung up to revoke corporate personhood and declare that corporations are not people, and money is not speech. Visit “Move to Amend” for more.
  • Environmental Justice – For decades, this powerful movement has been fighting the way environmental burdens such as pollution, industrial facilities, and crime disproportionately impact communities of color.


Vibrant communities and new forms of wealth are the heart of the new economy. People are relearning the skills of community by relying on each other to meet their needs. In this way they are building shared forms of long-lasting wealth.
  • Cooperative Ownership – Inspired by the Mondragon area of Spain, Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, and many more, a huge movement of worker and consumer owned businesses are on the rise. Cooperatively owned forms of housing and community land trusts are also increasingly used as tactics for building communal wealth and ownership.
  • Gift Economy – As Charles Eisenstein puts it, “Community is woven from gifts.” People are pulling away from the money system by relying on each others’ gifts and skills to meet their needs.
  • Time Banks – It is possible to exchange goods and services without money. By using Time Banks, people are trading hours instead of dollars. Visit Time Banks USA for more.
  • “Slow Money” & Community Finance – There are lots of ways to pull money out of the old economy and reinvest in the new. There’s a huge movement to “divest” from fossil fuel companies. And community banks, credit unions, and local currencies aim to create local wealth that stays put and multiplies in a community.
  • Protecting Common Resources – Air, water, land, language, the Internet – all of these are things we hold in common. They are natural human rights and must be protected from privatization. Visit “On the Commons” for more.
  • Healing Race & Class Divisions – We all must live well in the new economy, and this means we must come together as community across entrenched, historic divisions. People are bridging race and class divides and building neighborhood solidarity.
  • Leadership – The new economy is a “leader-full”–as opposed to leaderless–movement. In the new economy everyone has something to contribute, and every contribution is essential. People are finding innovative ways to lift up each others’ talents for the benefit of all.
  • Governance – New economy builders are working to create transparent and accountable forms of decision-making, and pressuring official governments to to do the same. Town Hall style democracy provides a model to build on.
  • Connection – At its heart, the new economy is about being in right relationships with each other and the earth. Groups like Resilience Circles and Transition Towns place the human relationship at the center of the work, and deliberately work to overcome pervasive social isolation.
  • Inner Transition – As the Transition movement puts it, “The challenges we face are not just caused by a mistake in our technologies, but are a direct result of our worldview and belief system.” If we need an outer Transition, what is the inner Transition that goes with this? Read more from the Transition Network.

Here comes the New Economy!
The “new economy” is an economy that works for everyone in harmony with the planet. It is based in ecological balance, equitable distribution of wealth, and living democracy. Builders of the new economy envision a system of locally-rooted, cooperative, equitable economies that enhance well-being for all.
The new economy contrasts to the current economy, which is characterized by resource depletion, fossil fuel dependency, gross inequality, financial instability, political paralysis, and disconnection from community and nature.
“The broad goal [of the new economy movement] is democratized ownership of the economy for the “99 percent” in an ecologically sustainable and participatory community-building fashion. The name of the game is practical work in the here and now—and a hands-on process that is also informed by big picture theory and in-depth knowledge.”  – Gar Alperovitz, Alternet
Our communities are already feeling the effects of climate change, economic instability, resource depletion, and political paralysis. In order to thrive in this changing and challenging world, neighbors are coming together to build resilient communities and institutions. Many are doing so under the umbrella of the “new economy movement.”
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

10 Trends in Mindful Consumption

by Marian Salzman, President, Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, and Ann O'Reilly, Content Director, Euro RSCG Worldwide Knowledge Exchange
The era of mindless consumption is over. Consumers now want a simple, sustainable, and self-sufficient life.

Conspicuous consumption. Shop till you drop. All-you-can-eat buffets and supersized meals. The post–World War II era has been marked by a voracious hunger for more. In affluent countries, people bought too much, ate too much, used up too much, and owed too much. Yet, for many, it still wasn’t enough. There was something missing—lots of things, really. Among them, a sense of control and self-sufficiency, personal responsibility, and feelings of community and authenticity. Replacing the constant accumulation of “stuff” with these more substantive intangibles lies at the heart of the current shift toward mindfulness—a movement in which heedless excess is exchanged for a more conscious and considered approach to living.

Getting Serious About Rightsizing

1. The Great Recession has brought with it lots of emotions—and not all bad. It has been fascinating to see how much satisfaction people are deriving from cutting back. After years of wasteful excess—oversized homes and cars, over-the-top weddings, disposable everything—consumers have had enough. They want to feel good about themselves and their consumption choices, so they are making do with “just enough.” Rightsizing encompasses simplifying and decluttering, and recycling and rejecting. It is a mindset that offers deeper satisfactions than most of us experienced through years of hyperaccumulation. Outrage over the BP oil disaster will push even more people to take steps to rightsize their energy consumption.

Purposeful Pleasure Usurps Instant Gratification

2. In the waning era of hyperconsumerism, one of our most constant sources of pleasure was the instant gratification that accompanied most of our purchases. We were caught up in a dizzying cycle of See-Buy-Discard-Repeat. Now, people are taking the time to reassess what really makes them happy, taking more care in deciding what—and whether—to buy, and thinking harder about the value they’re getting for their money. Impulse shopping is giving way to a form of consumption that emphasizes relationships with producers and longer-lasting satisfactions, such as supporting local artisans or protecting the planet. For creative marketers who understand this trend, the quest for purposeful pleasure opens up myriad opportunities to engage consumers in the brand experience. For every “no” (sacrifice, compromise), it is important to give consumers an equally strong “yes” (such as pride in doing good and a sense of belonging).

A Return to Substance

3. Our old ways of consuming have failed to satisfy, leaving people unhappy and alienated. They hunger for community. They want to get involved with causes larger than themselves. They want to engage in more meaningful conversations and relationships. And they want to feel the way they live is not only purposeful but deeply “real.” Categories reflecting a move away from the superficial include food (as seen in the evolution of “conscious nourishment,” such as organics, artisanry, buying local, and “slow food”) and travel (a category marked by increases in eco-consciousness, cultural immersion and voluntourism).

Growing Up and Accepting Personal Responsibility

4. Recent decades saw adolescence prolonged and adulthood delayed—around half of the adult global respondents to the Euro RSCG New Consumer global study said they don’t always feel like real grown-ups. Now, many people are seeking to reverse the trend, opting to accept responsibility and build individual competencies. We see this shift not just in more mindful spending, but also in increased interest in such subjects as financial literacy, automotive maintenance, and home repair.

Rewarding Goodness at Retail

5. Our studies have shown that consumers believe they have a responsibility to censure unethical companies by avoiding their products. The flip side of this attitude is an eagerness to reward ethical companies by deliberately choosing them as product and/or retail partners. One of the pioneers of positive consumer collaboration is Carrotmob. Since 2008, this California-based activist group has rewarded small businesses that pledge to take steps toward improved sustainability (such as installing energy-efficient lighting or stocking reusable cups) by organizing shopping events at their stores. Carrotmob illustrates the mainstreaming of eco-consciousness as boycotts give way to community-based “buycotts.”

Brand Partners Offering a Helping Hand

6. Mindful consumers are keen to reduce the negative impact of their purchases, but too often their best intentions are stymied by confusion over which products and brands are the most responsible choices. Retailers are stepping in with creative solutions, including Home Depot’s Eco Options labels, which identify winners in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation, healthy home, clean air, and sustainable forestry, and Walmart’s highly anticipated sustainability index. is another example of how companies are helping consumers to meet their mindfulness goals. It teams up with businesses that ask consumers to complete simple challenges (such as “re-use something you normally throw away” or “make a car trip a bike trip”) to receive a product discount or freebie.

The Home Depot launched Eco Options in response to consumer demand for more sustainable products

Reconnecting with Nature

7. In a world that is increasingly artificial, people crave things and experiences that are deeply “real.” We live surrounded by faux everything (from synthetic home furnishings to Botoxed brows) and largely communicate through bits and bytes—which helps explain why six in 10 respondents to the New Consumer study worry that we have become too disconnected from the natural world. For years, we watched as more and more shoppers flocked to farmers’ markets in search of the real deal—a trend that has exploded into the “buy local” movement and rise of “celebrity farmers.” Now people are getting their own hands dirty, creating “sustainable backyards” in which they grow heirloom tomatoes, berries for canning, and all kinds of vegetables for eating, freezing, and pickling. Some seed companies reported sales up as much as 80 percent in 2009. Next up: combining the trends of back-to-nature, self-sufficiency, and communalism, we will see more neighborhood food gardens, linking backyards for maximum production and sociability.

Taking Charge

8. Living in a time of rapid change and rampant uncertainty has made consumers worldwide anxious and afraid. It isn’t possible for individuals or families to control the world economy, but most can at least feel some measure of personal control by making smarter financial choices—70 percent of our survey respondents believe they are smarter shoppers than they were a few years ago, which makes sense, given all the new tools and communication channels now available online. Having cut back during the downturn, around half are determined not to go back to their old, wasteful shopping patterns when the economy rebounds, and four in ten (six in ten Americans) are committed to reducing their use of credit cards over the long term. With 70 percent of the global sample (and 87 percent of Americans) saying saving money makes them feel good about themselves, there is plenty of motivation to continue to make negative savings rates a thing of the past. Websites such as and MoneyStrands are helping by making it easier to track where the money is going.

Keeping It Simple

9. Despite the superabundance of consumer goods in recent decades, or perhaps because of it, stress has grown inexorably. In the U.S., a quarter of adults experience high levels of stress and half complain of moderate stress, according to the APA. Hyperconsumption is considered by many a contributing factor. It comes as little surprise, then, that two-thirds of our global survey sample think most people would be better off if they lived more simply. This “less is more” mindset is even trickling down to product choices. When we asked respondents to indicate which of 25 product descriptors most appealed to them, their top choices were durable, useful, practical, trustworthy, and simple. Least appealing? Elite, prestigious, sophisticated, and luxurious. A heads-up to manufacturers: 68 percent said they were tired of lots of “bells and whistles,” preferring to have just the functions they really need. Simple is best.

Paying Closer Attention to Provenance

10. Mindful consumers don’t just give more consideration to what they are buying; they also care about the people and practices behind each product. Half say it is more important to them these days to feel good about the companies with which they do business, and 57 percent prefer to buy from companies that share their personal values. Communicate what you are doing and why. Own up to mistakes and shortcomings. And give people a way to join in your good works. These more mindful consumers have the capacity to be your loudest, most persuasive brand evangelists. Treat them right.

Remember, today’s recipe for success features equal parts value and values.


Inspiration for Mindful Consumption

bottle caps arranged by color, mindless consumption, mindful consumption, the new pursuit

“Mindful consumption is the way to heal ourselves and to heal the world.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
For some time now, I’ve been talking about mindful consumption as a pathway for living deeply and restoring our balance with the natural world. But practically speaking, where do you start? What do you do? How do practice something that sounds great in concept but challenging in execution.
In retrospect, while I didn’t have the words ‘mindful consumption’ to point to, I’ve been spending the better part of the last few years practicing this kind of day-to-day living. My reasons have always been about sustaining our environment and leaving it a better place for my kids. But after discovering the concepts of mindfulness, the dots of living deeply were connected for me. All of this has become a kind of backbone for how I approach each day.
Orient Your Consumption Compass
There are really two ways to approach being mindful of what we consume day in and day out. On one level, there are steps we can take to orient ourselves better; to help change our perspective; to give our hearts and minds a solid foundation.
  • Experience Life Through Your Heart. See with your heart. Hear it. Feel it. Smell it. When you let your heart of hearts lead you in this, you are tuned in to the world in a different way. You won’t immediately default to what is the most convenient or easiest. You’ll see the interbeing — the interconnectedness — of all things. For inspiration, reflect on the Fifth Mindfulness Training of Thich Nhat Hanh.

  • Learn. About how the stuff we consume each day is made; how it makes its way from a field or factory to your hands. Understand what goes into it. Often, we just see the end product (a TV, a car, a pair of jeans, a bottle of water) with little sense of HOW it is put together: the raw materials, the manufacturing, the distribution. All contribute in some way to either the degradation or sustaining of our planet. A good jumping off point is The Story of Stuff.
  • Slow Down and Single-Task. When you focus 100% on what you’re doing right at that moment, you eliminate distractions and their influence on you. You can pause to reflect on where this thing you’re consuming came from, what went into growing, manufacturing and/or putting it in front of you.
Simple Steps on the Path
On the other level, there are the practical things we can do each day to actually practice mindful consumption. And the great thing is: It’s not hard or complicated; nor does it require us to live like a hermit. These are a great way to get started (or continue your path):
  • Watch less TV (or ditch it altogether)
  • Spend less time online
  • Eat more vegetarian meals
  • Take shorter showers
  • Hang dry your clothes
  • Eat food produced locally (or grow some of your own)
  • Compost
  • Bike or walk to your next destination
  • Freecycle or donate what you don’t need
  • Buy used goods when you can
  • Purchase goods in glass or aluminum containers, not plastic (and recycle!)
  • Pause before you buy something; come back to it at a later time and see if you still need it
  • Get resourceful and learn how to fix or repair what you already have
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, but I hope it helps you with your practice.
Do you have other ways that you are practicing mindful consumption? Any other strategies for not getting caught up in our hyper-consumer culture? Maybe a different question altogether? Please feel free to leave a comment and share.
Be well,

If you think others would enjoy this post, please consider sharing it with your circle. I’ve added a new Facebook Share button at the bottom of the post to help. While you’re here you might want to check out these posts:

Fifth Mindfulness Training: Nourishment and Healing

As taught by Thich Nhat Hanh
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society, by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. 

I am committed to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society.

I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations.

I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations.

I shall work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society.

I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.

3 Simple Ways to Inspire Mindful Consumption

Here in America, we shop for entertainment.

We shop on vacations, during holidays, and in our precious free time.
We’re are addicted to spending money on things we don’t need. Why?
Since founding my own sustainable clothing company, I’ve been curious about the addiction of shopping. I notice how I feel when I shop. I listen to my friends talk about it. I am border-line obsessed with understanding our psychological need for stuff.
For me, and probably you, too, it comes down to one thing: connection.
During a recent Walk the Talk episode with Waylon, I described how I feel when I shop. There’s an overwhelming sense of promise when I walk into a store and scan the racks, looking for something that will make me feel better, cooler, more interesting. I imagine where I’ll go, what I’ll do, who I’ll impress, and how confident I’ll be.
That’s why they call it retail therapy. For a brief moment, we get to feel the promise of connection in our otherwise stressed-out, busy, sometimes lonely lives.
But strangely, this connection we’re feeling isn’t about the actual clothes. We hardly even notice the fabric, the stitches, the origin, or the story of the things we’re buying.
Even our conversations around our clothes are story-less:
“I love that shirt!”
“OMG, thank you! It was only $4.50!”
(End of conversation.)
Since I’m knee-deep into sustainability and manufacturing, I think a lot about connection and stories and the shopping experience. I think it’s time to change the way we relate to, and talk about, our clothing.
Here are some things I’ve been trying out lately:
  • If I don’t have a good story, I’ll notice something on about the shirt—the stitching, the fabric—and talk about that instead. The goal is to connect over the garment, not the price (as I have been guilty of so many times).
  • Another common question is “Where did you get that?” I usually respond with the store it came from. But now I’m adding, “but it was made in Vietnam (or Pakistan, or the USA). It’s a pretty sure-fire way to change a conversation and just put the story out there, whatever it is.
Since testing out these approaches, I’ve made a few new friends and enjoyed some crazy conversations. But mostly, I feel like I’m re-connecting to the things I wear every day, and gently encouraging others to do the same.
I’d love to know how others are using language and stories to connect with their clothing. Let’s swap!
Leave your thoughts below, and share this post if you’d like to expand the conversation on mindfulness and consumption this holiday season.


Smiling Mind

“Meditation helps you become the best version of you. It’s the greatest gift you can give yourself and it also helps you become kinder to others. I’m so excited to be Smiling Mind’s newest ambassador and can’t wait to encourage more people to look after their health through a happy, healthy and balanced approach to food, exercise and mental wellbeing” - Lola Berry

Smiling Mind is modern meditation for young people. It’s a simple tool that gives a sense of calm, clarity and contentment.

Smiling Mind is a unique web and App-based program developed by a team of psychologists with expertise in youth and adolescent therapy, Mindfulness Meditation and web-based wellness programs. Smiling Mind is a free tool that will assist in improving the lives of young Australians, and is available online or as a smartphone App.

In recent years, Mindfulness Meditation has surged in popularity for use in the treatment of stress, resilience, anxiety, depression and other physical and mental illnesses. Highly regarded institutions such as UCLA, Harvard, Oxford, Monash and Melbourne Universities have developed clinical studies into the positive impacts of Mindfulness Meditation.

Smiling Mind’s mission is to provide accessible, life long tools based in mindfulness meditation. Creating happier, healthier and more compassionate young people.

Our vision is for Mindfulness Meditation to be on the Australian Curriculum by 2020. Smiling Mind complements the general capabilities of ‘personal and social capability’ and ‘critical and creative thinking’ and can be included in pastoral care, wellbeing and mental health curricula.

Successful schools start with healthy minds

KidsMatter Primary is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools and is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children.

KidsMatter Primary provides the proven methods, tools and support to help schools work with parents and carers, health services and the wider community, to nurture happy, balanced kids.

KidsMatter provides families and schools with a range of resources to help them support children’s mental health and wellbeing, and to recognise if and when professional help is needed.
You can share the following information sheets with parents, carers and other interested people involved with your school. They could be distributed through your newsletter, emails, as handouts or as a display in your school. The information sheets can assist parents and carers who have specific questions about issues related to KidsMatter Primary and to children’s mental health.
The information sheets can be downloaded free of charge below. Information sheet packs are also available to purchase through our online shop.

Issue: The need to belong

Associated information sheets PDF version Component
Introducing KidsMatter Primary [5MB]pdf C1
Why connect at school? [355KB]pdf C1
Belonging at school makes a difference [337KB]pdf C1
What makes a positive school community? [279KB]pdf C1

Issue: Additional needs

Associated information sheets PDF version Component
Disability and children's mental health [361KB]pdf C1
Supporting children with additional needs [301KB]pdf C1
Disability:Suggestions for families [368KB]pdf C1
Disability: Suggestions for school staff [157KB]pdf C1
Additional needs: Other resources C1

Issue: Cultural difference

Associated information sheets PDF version Component
Cultural diversity and children's wellbeing [378KB]pdf C1
Helping children connect across cultures [337KB]pdf C1
Cultural diversity: Suggestions for families [334KB]pdf C1
Cultural diversity: Suggestions for school staff [369KB]pdf C1
Cultural diversity: Other resources [800KB]pdf C1

Issue: Making friends

Associated information sheets PDF version Component
Everyone needs a friend [323KB]pdf C2
Helping children learn positive friendship skills [410KB]pdf C2
Friendship skills: Suggestions for families [355KB]pdf C2
Friendship skills: Suggestions for school staff [332KB]pdf C2

Issue: Fears and worries

Associated information sheets PDF version Component
Everyone gets scared [337KB]pdf C2
About fears and worries [502KB]pdf C2
Coping with fears and worries [330KB]pdf C2
Fears and helpful self-talk [308KB]pdf C2
Fears and worries: Other resources [18KB]pdf C2

Issue: Anger

Associated information sheets PDF version Component
Everyone gets mad [291KB]pdf C2
About anger [453KB]pdf C2
Talking through angry feelings [276KB]pdf C2
Helping children cool down and stay calm [276KB]pdf C2
Helping children learn to manage anger: Other resources [675KB]pdf C2

Issue: Getting along

Associated information sheets PDF version Component
What is social and emotional learning? [343KB]pdf C2
Helping children manage feelings [374KB]pdf C2
Supporting children's confidence [326KB] C2
About social and emotional learning [405KB]pdf C2
Social and emotional learning: Suggestions for families [329KB]pdf C2
Social and emotional learning: Suggestions for school staff [310KB]pdf C2

Issue: Family relationships

Associated information sheets PDF version Component
Happy families work together [327KB]pdf C3
When parents separate [290KB]pdf C3
About family relationships [448KB]pdf C3
Building better family relationships [345KB]pdf C3
Effective family communication

Issue: Mental health basics

Associated information sheets PDF version Component
Children and hardship [278KB]pdf C3
[313KB]pdf C3
[284KB]pdf C3
[436KB]pdf C3
Building protective factors: Suggestions for families [305KB]pdf C3
[351KB]pdf C3
Support for parenting


Associated information sheets PDF version Component
What does anxiety look like? [301KB]pdf C4
About anxiety [311KB]pdf C4
Anxiety: Suggestions for families [350KB]pdf C4
Anxiety: Suggestions for school staff [207KB]pdf C4
Associated information sheets PDF version Component
What does attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) look like? [266KB]pdf C4
About attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) [424KB]pdf C4
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Suggestions for families [351KB]pdf C4
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Suggestions for school staff [402KB]pdf C4
ADHD: Other resources [680KB]pdf C4
Issue: Autism
Associated information sheets PDF version Component
What do serious behaviour difficulties look like? [279KB]pdf C4
About serious behaviour difficulties [378KB]pdf C4
Serious behaviour difficulties: Suggestions for families [328KB]pdf C4
Serious behaviour difficulties: Suggestions for school staff [318KB]pdf C4
Issue: Depression
Associated information sheets PDF version Component
Getting in early for mental health and wellbeing [281KB]pdf C4
Knowing when to get help [279KB]pdf C4
How mental health difficulties affect children [677KB]pdf C4
Recognising mental health difficulties: Suggestions for families [338KB]pdf C4
Recognising mental health difficulties: Suggestions for school staff [318KB]pdf C4

Building a sharing economy and collaborative consumption

The People Who Share is an exciting movement that is making sharing mainstream. We're on a mission to build a Sharing Economy and we love to help you discover that sharing is... fun, affordable, easy, accessible, mobile and of course social. We bring it all together on-line, on land and on-the-go.

We run big campaigns such as Global Sharing Day previously called National Sharing Day and reach over 60million in 192 countries.

We're building a Sharing Economy one click at a time, you can start sharing at compare and the world’s first one-stop comparison marketplace of the Sharing Economy where at the moment you can find car and ride sharing all in one place.

We want to encourage conversations between people who share to find a way to enjoy more and live better. See something you like? Got something to share? Let us know, share with us!

Want to know more about the Sharing Economy? You can find it all here on our TV channel -- Sharing Economy TV. You can listen to our podcasts or read our blog

Our Purpose

We're committed to reshaping the world through sharing, harnessing the power of reciprocity to create happier, healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. We're here to enable sharing, to make it easy for people who need, to connect with people who have, and build a global community of sharers. Our passion is unlocking the sharing potential that exists in each of us. What will you share?

Our vision of the future is a thriving Sharing Economy where the need to own is transformed. Everyone is a supplier of goods, services and experiences. Where people share skills, time, resources, knowledge, responsibility, opportunities, ideas, goods, services and stuff.

It's a world in which our collective capability meets our collective needs and we collaborate to enhance each other's lives, protect our planet and create wealth from which everybody benefits.


By Benita Matofska

Benita Matofska, founder and chief sharer of The People Who Share, presents on Global Sharing Day.

It all started on a rainy day in Brighton, UK, back in May 2012. I heard that the social enterprise A Good Company was running an initiative called A Good Week, a seven day showcase of good people doing good things to make the world a better place. Inspired by their efforts, I decided it would be fun to run a day focusing on sharing—and National Sharing Day was born.

With just six weeks to go before the event, I spoke to a senior colleague in the civil society sector in the UK, and his response was clear: “Six weeks to plan a national campaign with no money and no support is bonkers, Benita, it’s impossible.”

I’ve never been one to take the word “no” for an answer and the word “impossible” just isn’t in my vocabulary. What’s the worst that could happen? That only a few people show up on National Sharing Day to share in their communities? That didn’t seem so bonkers to me.

Compton Ave Big lunch, Brighton UK. Photo from The People Who Share.

Within six week’s time, a small group of volunteers and I had engaged 45 partner organizations, and on June 20th, 2012 there were event across the country from clothing swaps in Newcastle to freecycling in Liverpool and a giant skillshare in London. More than a just a few people showed up—and they shared!

By noon the #nationalsharingday hashtag was trending globally on Twitter, and people from Ukraine to Korea were asking for a National Sharing Day in their countries.

By midnight, we’d decided to run the first Global Sharing Day (#globalsharingday), which happened on November 14, 2012. It helped kick start the world’s largest people-driven campaign raising awareness about the emerging sharing economy.

Using feedback we received from the 165 original Global Sharing Day partners, we decided to schedule all future Global Sharing Days on the first Sunday in June of each year, involve big partners such as the UK’s Big Lunch, and engage a network of over 70 million people in 192 countries.

But behind the big numbers and the success lies another story: The truth is that we haven’t had it easy as a volunteer-run organization with no funders. It requires a lot of hard work with little thanks. We don’t spend time filling in endless grant forms; instead we take action and find ways to get things done without cash. It means that a small group of dedicated volunteers spend countless days and nights working to make Global Sharing Day happen. I spent three years without a salary and my hunch is that people think we have a pot of cash supporting us because we’ve achieved so much in such a short period of time and we’re popular with the media. On one hand I wish that were true, but on the other I’m glad that through everything we’ve accomplished we’ve lived the values of the sharing economy we seek to make mainstream.

People have shared their time, talents, spaces, equipment, music, poetry, and food to make Global Sharing Day what it is.

Organizations like and in the Netherlands, worked together to inspire 250 people to come together in Amsterdam on June 2nd 2013. They shared picnic blankets and food from Italian salads to lovely homemade carrot cakes and quiches.

“All the blankets were knitted together to make one big picnic blanket. People enjoyed yoga classes, storytelling workshops, and some even learned to play the guitar. The event demonstrated how sharing can make our lives more fun, social, and easy,” says organiser Michael Visser from Konnektid. 

Global Sharing Day 2013, Amsterdam, Konnektid.
Skilio ran an online skills sharing event featuring members from seven different countries and reaching people in 15 different countries.

“Global Sharing Day also succeeded in being a focal point for sharing economy startups to rally together, get in touch with one another, and develop a group identity. Bravo! We really look forward the next opportunity to support the great work that The People Who Share are doing,” says Skilio.

Even though we received global media coverage from outlets such as BBC Worldwide TV News and CBC Radio, we weren’t content. So last year we launched Sharing TV, the world’s first crowdsourced TV channel to highlight the sharing economy—again with zero budget. Organizations from ten different countries streamed live from their events on the big day itself.

Global Sharing Day has been a huge success because people all around the world make it a success. What partners have said about the day makes all the sleepless and penniless days and nights worthwhile:

“Sharing enables us to experience and access much more. It can help save money, space and resources, but best of all, it's a great way to get to know your neighbours and help them out. Global Sharing Day was a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on sharing and encourage more people to discover the benefits and get involved,” says

“Global Sharing Day is a great platform for showcasing the values and benefits of sharing. It provides an easier way to measure outcomes on a major scale. Strength in numbers always works, especially in our world, which is dominated by large numerical figures in forms of currency…lets equal the balance by human solidarity in the form of positive actions!” says Exploring Senses CIC.

Global Sharing Day picnic, Netherlands, Peerby.

My favorite Global Sharing Day story, however, comes from Liftshare. On Global Sharing Day 2012, a woman contacted Liftshare to thank them for really helping her disabled son. Their 19-year-old had to travel to an outreach college and a “lovely lady” shared an 80-mile round-trip ride with him. That’s what I call the power of sharing.

Global Sharing Day will take place on Sunday, June 1st this year as the grand finale to #SharingSpring. It’s an opportunity to celebrate this vibrant new economy and for you and your community to join a global movement that now reaches over 70 million in 192 countries!

Here’s how you can get involved in Global Sharing Day 2014:

We’re looking for Country Partners and Sharing Champions to spread the word and help make 2014 the biggest Global Sharing Day yet.

You can also:
  • Host a Sharing Cities Map Jam and join over 50 other cities that have mapped their shared resources.
  • Organize a ShareFest as part of the Sharing Cities Network.
For the sharing economy to go from niche to mainstream, it’ll take a shared effort (no surprise there). Global Sharing Day is a chance to come together to achieve something incredible.
Come, join the movement, and promote the sharing economy wherever you are in the world!