Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Review: Generation Share: The Change Makers Building the Sharing Economy by Benita Matofska and Sophie Sheinwald

The "sharing economy" is an economic system built around sharing human and physical resources. Author and sharing economy advocate Benita Matofska also sees the sharing economy as a mind set and a way of life, where we share available resources, however we can. Her book, Generation Share: The Change Makers Building the Sharing Economy, features stunning photographs by Sophie Sheinwald and interviews highlighting 200 case studies of an emerging, worldwide sharing movement.

The book is a collection of inspiring, positive stories of sharing and change-making. Participants were asked simply, "What does Sharing mean to you?" The result is an array of perspectives that demonstrate a broad spectrum of the sharing economy. Matofska organized the stories into different demographic categories: age, gender, urban, rural, economic, cultural, disability, and geography. The stories come from 30 countries and cover a variety of sharing initiatives.

Some examples of the stories are:
  • A Share Shed in Devon, UK where people can check out tools and equipment like borrowing a book from a library.
  • A kibbutz in Israel where 350 people live communally.
  • A tour company in India that specializes in organizing trips to rural villages so urban and rural Indians can share each other's cultures.
  • A woman who started an online sharing platform to help people find sharing opportunities.

Matofska's target audience for Generation Share was young, millennial, educated, socially conscious, English speakers. But with its striking visuals and compelling stories, the book has broad appeal for anyone interested in learning more about the sharing economy.

The book is produced from 100% waste materials. Proceeds from the sale of each copy of Generation Share go to help educate girls in Mumbai and to plant trees, so readers "share" with each purchase.


Benita Matofska talked with Rose City Reader about the sharing economy, Generation Share, and COVID-19. Read the interview here.

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