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Sharing economy turns good deeds into good business

Photo courtesy of Flickr user OuiShare

People sharing their stuff with others is nothing new. Human beings have been exchanging and bartering since the dawn of history. But In recent years, the Internet has helped the so-called “sharing economy” reach new heights.

Car shares, bike shares, Facebook, YouTube, Craigslist – all of our lives are being affected by this shift in one way or another. And a lot of the new way we share is happening in the Bay Area.

Neal Gorenflo is the co-founder and publisher of the online magazine Shareable.net.  KALW’s Jen Chien spoke with him about how the sharing economy has evolved – and how it’s staying alive.

JEN CHIEN: The investment world is supporting all of this, right? There's been a lot of investing in sharing companies and this kind of thing?

NEAL GORENFLO: Yes, one estimate puts it at the investment that's flowed in over the last four or five years at around $2 billion. So a significant amount of investment has gone in for sure. You know, there are some  analysts who see it just as extension of business as usual. Aand you know, we're nonprofit and we're an advocate for the public and so we see it as a chance for something radically more fulfilling and fair and also less environmentally destructive. So that's, you know, our role in the conversation, is to try and drive things in that direction.

Click the audio players below to hear the complete three-part interview.