Facing the future: share to survive

04 January 2013

Sharing is what makes us human. It's what unites and connects us.

Guest writer Benita Matofska - in her first of three articles 

Making TV programmes requires teamwork but sharing isn’t endemic. After 20 years in broadcasting, I decided that the shortage of sharing in TV was a microcosm of the world.

As a society we've survived through sharing. Sharing is the most important lesson we learn as kids - but by the time we grow up, we forget how to share.

Each day more than 40,000 people die from a lack of food, shelter and water. Yet on the other side of the world we hoard and consume. By 2050 we must feed, clothe and sustain 9 billion people.

A storm is brewing. When demand outweighs supply, it's Share or Die as Neal Gorenflo, Founder of Shareable, reveals in his recent book.

So I left my 6-figure salary behind to do something about it.

I looked to my own life. I was a hyper consumer. My lifestyle multiplied was not sustainable. I gave up my shopping habit and began to share, swap and borrow, buying only what I needed, secondhand.

A new model is emerging for how the world could operate - socially, economically and environmentally. The simple solution to our most complex global problems is the sharing economy. I founded The People Who Share to build this sharing economy - and created Global Sharing Day.

Global Sharing Day

The first Global Sharing Day in Nov 2012 reached over 60 million people in 147 countries. The interest demonstrated that it's becoming unfashionable to own resources, when you can rent, borrow and share.

A report by Share The World's Resources 'Financing the global sharing economy', reveals that sharing could rapidly mobilise over $2.8 trillion dollars to:

  • Prevent life-threatening deprivation.
  • Reverse austerity measures.
  • Mitigate the human impacts of climate change.

The environmental movement must recognise that sharing is at the heart of sustainability. Once we wake up to the need to share to survive, we'll just start doing it.


Benita Matofska spent 20 years in broadcasting before becoming founder and Chief Sharer of The People Who Share and compareandshare.com. She's spoken at TEDx, Guardian Social Enterprise Summit, Global Entrepreneurship Congress and 10 Downing Street.

The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Friends of the Earth

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