The New Economy: What's It All About?
The sharing economy, collaborative economy, on-demand economy, access economy, peer economy... these terms are in the media daily. We hear about new forms of disruptive innovation, peer-to-peer platforms and mobile technologies that many claim will inspire a better tomorrow, while others worry that they will result in the elimination of jobs, loss of GDP and the end of capitalism as we know it.
What is going on? What do all these terms mean -- are they similar or different from one another? And ultimately, what are the likely outcomes on the horizon and how should individuals and organizations best prepare for what's ahead?
In this speech April unpacks the headlines and hype. She addresses issues ranging from the future of work to the future of finance, education, travel, risk management (and many others), customized based on your organization's needs. She'll guide you through these changes, help you identify opportunities, and translate these shifts into practical action.
Government As A Platform
Around the world, we see governments struggling to keep pace with change. From climate change to shrinking budgets and social unrest, governments are tasked with an ever-greater mandate that is not coupled with greater resources. Moreover, policymakers are struggling to adapt outdated rules to new technologies and business models that challenge traditional forms of regulation. It's a tough time to be a public leader, and it's not getting any easier.
At the same time, we see unprecedented opportunities arising for effective governance, participation and delivery of public services -- the very things that governments and policymakers typically do. From e-residency programs and changing notions of citizenship, to peer-to-peer platforms to fix municipal problems, forward-thinking governments are learning how to harness these new technologies in ways that serve the public better. They see themselves as platforms, facilitators, partnership brokers and network builders. They involve residents to unprecedented degrees and expand the concept of the nation-state. At an extreme, they flip the concept of government itself inside-out. What does it take to become a place like this? What are the advantages, what are the risks, and why should we care?
In this speech April explores the many ways that the role of government is shifting, and what this means for public and private sectors alike. She brings examples from around the world -- from Estonia to Brazil -- to illustrate how this is happening today, and shares insights for how to best prepare for tomorrow.
The Sharing Economy in the Urban Millenium
The sharing economy isn’t only for individuals and companies. It has massive benefits for cities too, but they must be aware and engaged. April guides a global tour of Sharing Cities: what’s happening worldwide and what this means for the future of urban sustainability, local economic development, and community resilience and well-being.
The New Freelance Economy: People as Business
Historically, there are regulations for individuals and regulations for business. But what happens when this distinction is blurred—through new business models, new forms of micro-entrepreneurship and an explosion of ‘freelance’ opportunities? April explores what businesses, policymakers and entrepreneurs need to be thinking about, and how best to prepare for what’s ahead.
Navigating the Policy Challenges of the Sharing Economy
The sharing economy holds keys and practical solutions to the challenges of 21st century urbanization. However, many policy issues present challenges and the broader “enabling environment” needs to be developed. What are the roles for city leaders and policy makers to play? What best practices can guide us to maximize benefits for all? How do we regular business models we've never seen before?
Business in the Sharing City
How can all companies—start-ups, small and medium enterprises, and large corporations—take advantage of the sharing economy, both for internal resource efficiency and innovation, and for external business development? How can companies start to see value that is currently invisible to them, and transform this into wealth for themselves and their customers?
The Sharing Economy and the Future of Travel/Tourism: Hype or Paradigm Change?
Traditional tourism businesses see the sharing economy as a threat to their existence. Travel service providers and tourism destinations are struggling to find the best methods to adapt to these new challenges. Is the sharing economy just temporary and limited to niche segments? Or are we currently experiencing a paradigm change in global tourism? Could it be that the authentic experiences of the Sharing Economy are actually contributing to a form of tourism that conserves resources and is cost-effective and socially acceptable?
The Sharing Economy: Insights and Opportunities for Emerging Markets
To date most activity and publicity around the sharing economy has occurred in developed markets. However, there are significant opportunities to bring these ideas and opportunities to the developing world in ways that also benefit the emerging middle class and the base of the economic pyramid (BOP). April takes a fresh look at sustainability, resilience and today’s “consumption conundrum”—and how new decentralized business models can leapfrog it.
Additional speech topics
April can speak with authority about various other issues related to the sharing economy, including but not limited to:
Sharing Economy Expert April Rinne is 'Fantastic'
There is not an industry that the sharing economy doesn't touch. Traditional businesses and regulation are being sideswiped by newer competition based on sharing platforms, i.e., Uber and Airbnb. APRIL RINNE wins high praise from hosts interested in a macro-level keynote, as well as from hosts interested in particular applications to their industry. ITB Berlin described her keynote speech as "fantastic" and "as it should be."Watch April discuss bold decision making in the shared economy >>
April speaks about recent news items illustrating the sharing economy
Future of Mobility: McKinsey has launched a Future of Mobility initiative which overlaps very well with the WEF Global Futures Council agenda. Everything from shared-use mobility (carsharing, ridesharing, etc.) to autonomous vehicles, and a series of scenarios (from dystopia to utopia). Full report here.
Future of Work:
A new report, Freelancing in America (commissioned by the Freelancers Union and Upwork), highlights the growth of freelance and independent workers. In short: 35% of the US labor force is already freelance, and the number keeps growing. The report also gives a helpful breakdown of terms. Read more >>>
The Missing Political Debate Over the Digital Economy (Harvard Business Review) analyzes how the new digital economy - which includes sharing, collaborative, on-demand and freelance economy terminology - affects economic growth, labor markets, social inequalities and overall competitiveness... and the very real risks we run by not having more focused political discussions about these implications. We are both missing some huge opportunities and courting some potential disasters.
The Aspen Institute published a new report, Data on the Sharing & On-Demand Economy: What We Know & Don't Know.
McKinsey published a new report, Independent Work: Choice, Necessity & the Gig Economy.
Airbnb recently published a first-of-its-kind report: Airbnb's Work to Fight Discrimination and Build Inclusion. As the sharing economy has grown, we have seen cases of implicit bias and thorny issues around what is/not appropriate to expect or demand of hosts. This includes everything from how to treat un/married couples traveling in Afghanistan to sexual orientation in Uganda. Basically think about a massive culture clash: how best to respond? Here is a NYTimes article on it and a blogpost by Airbnb's founders.
Etsy published groundbreaking policy recommendations that relate to the gig economy / freelance economy / on-demand economy / rise of independent workers overall. Here is their blogpost and the full report Economic Security for the Gig Economy: A Social Safety Net That Works For Everyone Who Works.
Facebook announced its new Marketplace, which represents the company's first direct foray into the sharing / collaborative economy (beyond "sharing" our lives on social media of course). It claims to be a "friendlier Craigslist" and is focused on neighborhood exchanges and relationships. Here is a CNN article about it.
Juno is a new ridesharing platform that enables drivers to be owners. This is a more equitable model than Uber or Lyft and, arguably, more sustainable over the long term. Here is a NYTimes article on the company and what it represents. This is a very exciting space and brings much-needed balance to today's debates -- and hopefully business model reform as well.
April Rinne Decodes the Sharing Economy for Audience of CEOs and Execs
In a recent keynote to CEOs and top level management of insurance companies, academics, lawyers and consumer representatives in Montreal, sharing economy expert April Rinne unpacked the implications behind a rapidly evolving global marketplace, and both the challenges and opportunities that exist for legal service providers. Rinne’s detailed, insightful message at the International Association of Legal Protection (RIAD) Conference became the source of an article; a testament to the utility of her information-packed sessions. With revenues from the five key sharing economy sectors expected to climb to $107.3 billion by 2025 (up from $5 billion today), Rinne’s expertise will surely continue to be a hot commodity.Read the full article on Rinne’s heralded presentation >>
April Rinne is a co-producer of a documentary film to be aired nationally by PBS in early 2017
Future of Work (working title) is a documentary being made this year by a stellar team of documentary filmmakers based in LA, in collaboration with PBS. It will thoughtfully and objectively explore issues related to the rise of self-employment, independent work and related policy implications. The goals of the documentary are to raise awareness, educate a range of stakeholders, and catalyze deeper, informed conversations about the future of freelance, self-employment and on-demand platforms. It is in production, with a target release date of early 2017.
Key themes that are also discussed include economic resilience, empowerment, and new technologies, as well as the risks and unknowns that come alongside these shifts. Does the future mean greater choice and flexibility to earn income, or is it a "race to the bottom?" Does your answer depend on where you live and the skills you have? If so, then what about the future of education and entrepreneurship?
April's HWA Chat offers golden nuggets of insight about the sharing economy
Whether you are intrigued by the success of sharing companies like Uber, airbnb, Lyft, Task rabbit and the like, or you are a die hard believer that the sharing economy is in fact the new normal and wave of the future, April has an innovative and well-rounded perspective about the future of the sharing economy.Check out our HWA Chat with April >>
Read the Latest Post from Sharing Economy Expert April Rinne
April Rinne is a sharing economy expert, advising companies, local and national governments, entrepreneurs, think tanks, investors and development banks, using for-profit and non-profit models. She currently leads the World Economic Forum/Young Global Leaders Sharing Economy Working Group and serves on the urbanization advisory group.Read her insightful posts...
4 Steps to Improve Our Cities
The policy challenges for the sharing economy have deep and complicated roots, but they are also eminently solvable. In her work with sharing economy companies, policy-makers and governments worldwide, Sharing Economy Expert APRIL RINNE has had the opportunity to see first-hand how forward-thinking leaders can embrace this new space thoughtfully, responsibly and creatively. In her role advising cities of all sizes across developing, growth and developed markets, she has identified 4 stepping stones to successful policy reform.Read more...
Unprecedented Power of the Sharing Economy
The sharing economy is not a silver bullet for the world’s problems, but if we can address the unknowns, it has unprecedented power to take us towards a more caring, collective and sustainable future. Check out this fantastic post by Sharing Economy Expert and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader April Rinne.Read more...
China's Sharing Economy is Exploding with Growth & April Rinne is a Key Voice in the Conversation
Sharing Economy Expert APRIL RINNE has a great track record advising companies, cities and governments worldwide on creating impact with the sharing economy, and it is a topic that is becoming a priority on many national agendas. From the UK to Canada, South Korea and of course the United States, leaders are realizing the importance and impact of new sharing and on-demand business models. Recently, the Chinese government announced that the sharing economy is now a "national priority" and part of China's 5-year plan. According to this Entrepreneur article, “the sharing economy was already worth about $299 billion (1.956 trillion yuan) in 2015 and it’s expected to grow at an annual rate of 40 percent over the next five years." Other articles around China’s sharing economy include: China’s Internet Giants Throw Weight Behind Sharing Economy After Endorsement by Beijing;'Sharing Economy' Seen as Next Big Force by NPC (National People’s Congress) Deputy; and China's Sharing Economy Worth 1.95 Trillion Yuan (298 Billion US Dollars). April offers incredibly illuminating insights about the sharing economy and how it will affect the future of governments, businesses and lives. Consider bringing her to your next event to help your audience better understand and embrace the power of the sharing economy.
April Rinne is a thought leader and advisor in the sharing economy. She builds strategy, guides conversations and tackles the key questions with a wide range of stakeholders, from companies to governments, policy makers, investors, associations, educational institutions and non-profits. Her goal is to help others discover how the sharing economy can create a more efficient, sustainable and happy future—and figure out what to do when faced with uncertainty, or when everyone's goals can’t be met.
April’s work in the sharing economy has both breadth and depth. She has advised Fortune 500 companies on business model innovation, local and national governments on policy reform, and investors on portfolio strategy and execution. She also tackles broader issues related to technological innovation, such as effects on the workplace, quality of life, travel and emerging markets.
An inveterate globetrotter, April has visited 90 countries and counting (most recent: all three Baltics). Her work has taken her to almost every corner of the world. After college and a Fulbright fellowship, she spent four years traveling independently—with a backpack, shoestring budget and the goal of seeing how the rest of the world lived. These experiences continue to influence and inspire her today. It also means she is equally comfortable with CEOs of major corporations and entrepreneurial youth in urban slums.
Prior to the sharing economy, April had a successful career in global development, social enterprise and innovation. She was an early voice in microfinance, where she led a range of investments as well as policy reform worldwide, and advised a range of organizations from Kiva to Grameen and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has a very successful track record in building markets that work better and for more people.
In 2011 the World Economic Forum elected April as a Young Global Leader, where she leads the Sharing Economy Working Group and serves on the Urbanization Advisory Board. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for Seoul Sharing City in South Korea, Amsterdam Sharing City, the National League of Cities (US) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. She is also a director of the World Wide Web Foundation and a member of the Relationship Economy eXpedition (REX). Her writing has appeared in Wired, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, the World Economic Forum, The Huffington Post and numerous other publications.
April holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in International Finance and Business Relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.A. summa cum laude in International Studies from Emory University. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the European University Institute and a Visiting Scholar at University College, Oxford University. She speaks Italian molto bene, Spanish bastante bien, French un petit peu, and enough Dutch and Kiswahili to survive.
Finally, April enjoys taking an upside-down perspective on the world. This often opens up new ideas, linkages and opportunities. But it also means: don’t have a handstand contest with her—you’ll lose.