pope

Show me the [pope’s] money!

Some of you may have already seen this article titled ‘I knew Pope Francis was good, but when I found out everything he did in 2012 I was blown away’ which lists 19 aspects of Pope Francis’ 2013 and some of the impressive things he did [especially perhaps, when viewed through the lens of previous popes]. What was interesting to us at Two Cents was that four of the 19 dealt directly with money-related  ideas and acts: 1. He spoke out against frivolous spending of the church 9. He auctioned his motorcycle to benefit the homeless 11. He condemned the global financial system. 14. He redirected employees bonuses to charity. And three of them a little more indirectly, but conservation and the homeless are both very finance-related areas: 6. He urged the protection of the Amazon Rainforest  8. He snuck out of the Vatican to feed the homeless 18. He invited homeless men to his birthday meal All of this showing quite a strong emphasis on the ongoing intersection that seems to take place between FAITH and FINANCES. Jesus Himself often made specific references to the kingdom of God and the lure of money, reminding us that it would be an area where we would regularly have to make a choice and that it was not possible to reach for both, or worship both...

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darkside

The ‘Dark Side’ of the Sharing Economy…

Much of the emphasis we have given on Two Cents shared articles with regards to the Sharing Economy is towards its appeal and benefits, but there are also a growing number of voices [and not just those who look to lose from the growth of it] who are beginning to voice their concerns and cautions at a considerably increasing volume. Two articles in particular stand out for me in this: The first, by Anya Kamenetz, titled, ‘Does the Sharing economy have a shadow side?’ attempts to alert us to the fact that “sharing isn’t always rainbows and bunnies.” Fortunately the heart of her post was a lot stronger than that metaphor and begins to pose some questions regarding ‘The informal, good-vibes nature of the participatory economy’ which ‘can run afoul of regulations designed to ensure safety and fairness, both for those who provide goods and services and those who use them.’  Neal Gorenflo, in his article titled, The Dark Side of the Sharing Economy: Could Airbnb Accelerate Gentrification? shares some questions that begin to look at some of the possible down sides to the sharing economy, referencing Anya Kamenetz and others as he also poses a  question or two relating to the Sharing Economy. What is interesting with Neal though is how he has framed his questions as a sense of value gained or...

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The ‘Sharing Economy’ or Sharing Econo-you? [some thoughts from Europe’s LeWeb conference]

              ‘The idea behind this year’s central theme, “The New Sharing Economy”, turns the principle of capitalism on its head, proposing consumer access to goods and services is more important than owning them.’ Although the idea of sharing resources and services is not particularly new, what is new is how mainstream it is becoming in certain sectors. Although this comment from Jeremiah Owyang [an analyst at Altimeter Group, named as one of 2010’s “Five Most Creative Small Businesses” by Fast Company] brings up one of the topical questions at the moment: “The sharing economy is actually the next phase of the internet. The first phase of the internet, people shared information. The second phase people used social media and anybody can share. Now we’re here today with the sharing economy which is the third phase of the internet. People use the same tools to share products and services and it is actually a very disruptive trend to existing corporations, governments and businesses.” Is big business going to take this lying down or what kind of backlash or counter-attack can be expected? In this previous post we featured here on Two Cents, we shared how New York regulators and courts were in the process of shutting down or taking legal action against a number of...

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Sharing is Scaring?

‘May hasn’t gone so hot for some of the sharing economy’s most promising entrepreneurs. 2012 might have hinted of challenges to come, but so far 2013 has over-delivered. In the last two weeks, New York regulators and courts have essentially shut three of these companies down, at least temporarily.’ And with that opening paragraph, Susie Cagle begins her article titled, ‘Is the sharing economy skidding out?’ and as dramatic as her title is, it really only begins to give a hint or taste of what might be some of the larger questions facing the sharing economy communities. What is important for us as we explore collaborative giving is to understand some of the parameters that exist as well as some of the obstacles we might face. It is often not merely enough to have a good idea [Smoking is bad for you – let’s stop people smoking!] but you sometimes need to be aware of whose toes you might inadvertently be stepping on as you try make your good idea a reality [So what do you think of the electric car, big oil companies?] You can read the rest of Susie’s article here. As we look to become more involved in collaborative communities through sharing resources and combining network activities, what kinds of barriers might be come up against? Are there any...

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