The OuiShare Government Event: Towards a Partner State

Sharon Ede and partners are holding a highly symbolic event at the Ouishare Fest, tomorrow evening in Paris:

“An informal gathering and conversation to connect up those working in, representing or interested in the role of government – at any level – in the collaborative economy.

Organised by Sharon Ede and Matt Scales of Zero Waste SA (South Australian government agency) – in the spirit of government as the ‘partner state’ and enabler, we’ve been working to map the ‘sharing assets’ of Adelaide and South Australia, highlighting and encouraging community efforts and helping build networks. In November we launched Share N Save, which is our first step into how connecting online can augment connecting offline.

We’re interested in what others are doing in this space, what we can learn, and to get feedback on what we can do to progress ShareNSave. Please leave a comment below to express what you’d like out of such a gathering.”

2 Comments The OuiShare Government Event: Towards a Partner State

  1. AvatarElmar Willems (@elmarwillems)

    Dear Sharon Ede, & others interested,

    Sorry I’ve missed the occasion at OuiShareFest, there have been so many things to do. It’s necessary and helpfull to explore the issue of state and government in the sharing economy. Actually, it was underexplored at OSFest14, giving the centrality of the state in our everday lives. My starting point and assumption is the ability to mutually align, complement and reinforce public goals, goods and services with the SharingSociety (in all its forms).

    In a very interesting session on local culture and the sharing economy, see, Benita Matofska ( ) spoke about the wonderfull trends and actions that are shaping the commons in the UK, giving people access to services and goods, by horizontal platforms and sharing initiatives. She included examples of health care services and transport. My concern is how this relates to functions of he State in fields of social and public action that we have long deemed to be necesseray and central of a redistributive government. She admitted the apparent paradox that a thriving sharing economy would possibly legitimise a further withdrawal of the State. She underlined that the UK “Big Society” has been conceptually sound and promising. On the other hand we cannot be satisfied at all with the effective dominance of the kind of solutions that the Market has provided in the void created by a hurried “rationalisation” of public services (in transport, energy, education, healthcare, .. etc).

    We have to collectively think about what kind of framework the State should offer and which specific actions it need to undertake to fullfill its role as a partner state. We can learn from each other, for sure. At this stage, a bigger share of the commons in everyday lives certainly cannot mean a weaker state, seen in the perspective of a predominantly capitalist society.

    I’d love to go further on this topic.
    Kind regards,

  2. AvatarSharon

    Hi there Elmar

    Apologies, I’ve only just discovered this and have been travelling for much of the time since it was posted.

    Unfortunately we were unable to pull together a specific session on this, though we did have many connections and conversations with people at different levels of government. I agree that it is an area that should be much more prominent on the collaborative/P2P/sharing agenda.

    I also have concerns about sharing being used as an excuse for govt to stage a withdrawal (though they’re doing this anyway!) and placing more and more of what they used to provide as public services back onto communities who may already be time/resource stretched.

    One of the reasons we pushed for a platform to map sharing assets where we are is because many of those actually doing these activities (and not in response to cuts by government per se) won’t have the coding skills or funding to create it – we see it as a piece of digital public infrastructure, like a govt might build a road or water supply system for citizens’ use.

    I very much appreciate Michel Bauwens’s (and others) perspective on government as the partner state. Many of us are in the public service because we wish our livelihood to be about serving the public. Now we have exciting new ways to do that opening up. So far from sharing meaning an abandonment of the state, I see it as a rejuvenation.

    And sorry to have missed you too! I think there are low-tech ways to augment the serendipity of who you meet at these things – a version of this:

    …but instead who you are/who you’re interested in meeting. It is very difficult because there is so much going on!

    Kind regards

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