The Sharing Economy is Booming in Brazil

The sharing economy is alive in well in parts of Brazil as evidenced by the recent OuiShare Rio and ColaboraRio conferences. Guest author Gwendoline de Ganay from Sustainable Brasil shares her thoughts on both.

Author RESET , 07.24.14

On the last weekend of April, under the name ColaboraRio, three days of conferences about collaboration, open source, and shared methodologies unfolded in the cool Centro Carioca de Design, an artsy place full of architectural projects in Praça Tiradentes in the centre of Rio.

ColaboraRio: Design, Collaboration, and Distributed Systems was organised by MateriaBrasil and Goma and curated  by Karen Demavivas, Tomás de Lara and Thiago Maia.

A few months back, I attended and wrote about the OuiShare Rio conference at Comuna in Botafogo, which was also organised by Karen and directly influenced ColaboraRio. I found it interesting to discover various players from the sharing economy in Rio (see the official summary of the event here).  The ColaboraRio weekend however made me realise that this was a real movement, a force of change in Rio, and perhaps in Brazil.

The event was sponsored by the City of Rio de Janeiro and the Centro Carioca de Design and the themes addressed were diverse. We discussed how to go from a virtual to a physical

collaboration as well as what business model and financial solutions made sense for collaborative models. We talked about the fabrication of objects and the deprogramming of education.

Various organisations were present, some well-established companies (Airbnb), some social enterprises, NGOs, and other hybrid structures still developping their business model. There were co-working spaces (Templo), co-design (MateriaBrasil, GOMA), crowdfunding platforms (Benfeitora, Catarse) as well as non-profits who are trying to build a new sense of citizenship using online tools (Meu Rio).

These people are essentially trying to rethink the whole system in an innovative passionate way. Their approach is based on trial and error, do it yourself. They are trying to move from competition to collaboration, while maintaining sustainable models and rethinking scale. They haven’t figured everything out. They still need help. From you and me. 
But at least they are trying. I was grateful to attend this event, to witness so many people who believe that things don’t have to stay the way they are. I would like to thank my friend Karen Demavivas and the rest of the team for making this happen.

Reposted from Sustainable Brasil with permission.

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