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Design for Sharing: New take on age-old sustainable practice

Design for Sharing: New take on age-old sustainable practice

By COLIN HARRISON, Distinguished Engineer, founder of IBM’s Smarter Cities architecture

What do we do when we share? And how do we support the best of these practices with the design of social and technical systems?

We have convened a day of talks and discussion to seek answers.

(Nov. 4, 2014 @ Cinema Museum, Kennington, London.)

The recent buzz about the ‘Sharing Economy’ has turned attention on sharing in a way that is unprecedented. Societies have always sought to make good use of limited resources such as time, space, enthusiasm, and surplus goods and produce. Now digital tools are being drafted in to make these navigations more effective.

But, as the richly textured weave of neighbourhood exchange is simplified across a range of digital interfaces, do we need a corrective to the emphasis on commercial models in the collaborative economy? Is there more to sharing than turning empty bedrooms and vacant car seats into cash? How far have these worlds met and what can we learn in terms of designing for positive sustainable practices as well as resource management?

This day reviews sharing as a social, economic and environmental good, discussing how social cohesion as well as resource exploitation might be fostered and presenting examples of the nuanced work of local initiatives based in London and beyond.

We bring together experts from community, policy, academia and media to discuss how we can design to support sustainability through sharing and what the sharing economy might contribute. The opening talk will be delivered by Prof. Russell Belk, who has researched sharing in its many forms for more than 25 years and is a world authority.

This event also launches the report ‘Design for Sharing’ by Ann Light and Clodagh Miskelly, published by Northumbria University and supported by the Sustainable Society Network.  If you are unable attend and would like to see a copy, please email the organisers.

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BONUS: Dr. Harrison's keynote from a 2012 conference in Christchurch, New Zealand.

New Christchurch-A Smarter City Smart green cities are energy efficient, healthy, attract creative talent, create new jobs and indicate to the world that they are a progressive place in which to invest. Post quake Christchurch has a unique opportunity to reinvent and rebrand itself through clever IT strategies, flexible infrastructure and sustainable values.

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