April Rinne recently participated in a cross-country tour of Canada promoting Shareable Cities, speaking in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The tour was co-hosted by Social Innovation Generation (SIG) and Cities for People, a new innovation platform that aims to create more resilient and livable cities, with support from The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.
A key theme throughout the tour was “connecting the dots,” specifically, how cities connect the expertise, resources and assets between government, citizens, entrepreneurs and companies to create a shareable city.
At April’s Toronto pitstop on February 11, she started the day with a workshop attended by city leaders in municipal government, economic and social development and urban planning. Municipal support is crucial for taxation, insurance and other regulatory policy reform which can help sharing systems flourish.
In the afternoon, April attended an ideation session with entrepreneurs, key leaders and enthusiasts in the Toronto sharing economy. Attendees included the Toronto Tool Library, Trade School Toronto, Etsy Canada, and Repair Café Toronto. The goal of this session was to discuss next steps for an expanding Toronto network, one that aims to raise awareness about collaborative consumption to everyday Torontonians.
April’s evening presentation to the public focused on defining the collaborative economy, highlighting examples of cross-sector collaboration and reiterating the importance of connecting the dots. April charismatically described a pair of goggles that would allow us to see idle assets in a city, whether they exist in government, a household or in a company’s supply chain. It’s important that cities unlock the wealth in these assets, which create an abundance of resources that can provide lots of public benefit to citizens.
At one point in April’s lecture, she mentions that Mayor Park Won-Soon of Seoul, South Korea sees a city as a laboratory to hatch ideas and incubate projects, which is the perfect way to describe the task at hand for cities now. Cities need to determine what platforms resonate with the needs of their citizens and create pilot programs and start taking action. In doing so, they can create an enabling environment to make sharing more mainstream and transform their local communities.
Read about the Vancouver public event here.
Read the blog post "The Sharing Economy: it's more than we think" here
Watch April Rinne’s full presentation: