The blog

About living one year in the sharing economy…

Day 11: An ice cream maker towards a better society?

Streetbank is a service where people can share things or services for free with their neighbors. I have offered to lend my electric drill. In my neighborhood I could borrow an ice cream maker, get some kombucha culture for free or have someone teaching me how to brew wine or cook vegan food.  To mention a few examples.

But unfortunately the community doesn't seem to be very active in Uppsala. I guess this is one of the problems with things like this. You need a certain amount of people offering things, otherwise the site won't be active and thus attractive enough. I think it's a great idea that people can share things they don't need or use a lot with people in their neighborhood so I hope that more people find the site.

I got an email from the Streetbank team underlining this. Apparently I'm "one of the pioneers in your neighborhood".

"You have 64 in your neighbourhood, but we have found that around 100 neighbours things start to snowball with new items added every week, new people joining and people meeting on a regular basis to share.

A Streetbank sharing community can play a part in changing the nature of the neighbourhood, making people less independent, isolated and fearful, and more integrated and interdependent - even happy."

I found this last sentence particularly interesting since it's exactly the same terms that Zygmunt Bauman was using in The Swedish Theory of Love. Making people less independent and more interdependent. My instant reaction: I want to be both independent and interdependent - does it have to be opposites? But I think it's a great vision. Can people become less isolated and fearful - and happier by sharing an ice cream maker or some kombucha culture? Why not, perhaps it's a baby step towards a better society? 

Oh, I have an ice cream maker - a gift from my parents at confirmation (no, usually this is not what you get) - tomorrow I'm sharing it too. And if 36 of you join Streetbank in Uppsala, there'll be 100 doing it and "things start to snowball". Let's do it!