Sharing Economy

When people find out I work in the auto industry they all want to ask me about driverless and electric cars. Don't get me wrong, I'm as excited about these as the next person, but when it comes to innovation in my industry, it's only the tip of the tech disruption iceberg.
Sharing activity has proliferated in the last few years. Thanks to the rapid growth in applications like Uber and Air BnB, more people than ever are exchanging resources with each other to reduce costs and contribute towards sustainability. But while sharing cars and homes has become the norm, what about other resources like energy?
It is clear we are on the cusp of a revolution in the way we travel from A to B. Every week heralds a new breakthrough in the development of driverless cars. These and other developments in travel tech will have far-reaching implications for the automotive sector.
The commercial sector has been highly successful in exploiting the power of digital technologies to enable people to participate in the 'sharing' economy. We've seen massive investment in new marketplaces to share homes and cars, enabling people to make and save money.
A massive 46% of respondents said they would be encouraged to lend their car if the car and driver are insured separately and if in the event of an accident, the owner of the car is able to claim against the driver's insurance. A further 34% would like to track and attribute damage, and 32% would like to be able to track the location of the car whilst it is being hired.
Last month The Big Lunch patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall hosted the launch of The Great Get-Together at Clarence House
If harnessed responsibly, the sharing economy has the potential to benefit more people in more ways than almost any other economic model in recent history.
As global demand for electricity grows, are there alternatives to building more power stations which make smarter use of existing infrastructure? And in an industry renowned for high levels of consumer mistrust, could an Airbnb of energy finally deliver a consumer-centric energy market?
So the next time you're booking a long weekend away, taking a taxi ride or getting some shelves fixed, make sure you play your part to ensure this exciting and evolving industry continues to spearhead the UK economy for years to come.
There's a Sheryl Sandberg quote that springs to mind every time I attend events to boost female entrepreneurship: "In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders." It's a sentiment frequently echoed by the female founders I encounter at our events. They don't see themselves as "female entrepreneurs". "Entrepreneurs" will do.