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Sustainability and the Sharing Economy

  • Columbia University Library 535 West 116th Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

Sustainable living is a way of life that sees material consumption as a means rather than as an end, and attempts to use as few resources as possible to reduce carbon footprint and environmental damage. Consumption patterns are changing, and the sustainable lifestyle is playing a key role in the movement toward a sustainable economy.

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This panel will provide a broad discussion of the sustainable lifestyle, and look specifically at the growth of the sharing economy to demonstrate the changes in the how we consume and use goods and services. Sharing has always been a part of urban life, but in the past few years, cities have seen a significant revival and acceleration in sharing activity and innovation. Around the world, people are now welcoming guests into spare rooms, sharing clothes and equipment, and paying for rides in cars of people they don’t know. This panel will look at how the sharing economy is starting to change our cities, from innovative technologies and business models to redefined concepts of equity and safety. The event will look at how the sharing economy can lead to more sustainable consumption while remaining compatible with continued economic growth. Panelists will also discuss some of the policy and regulatory challenges facing these new types of companies, and will look at the future of the sharing economy in today’s cities. 

Panelists include:
• Jason Post, Director of Public Policy and Communications, Uber
• Sarah Flint Stender, Quality Assurance and Sustainability Manager, Rent the Runway
• Michael D'Agostino, Founder and CEO, Tentrr
• William Eimicke, Director, Picker Center for Executive Education and Professor of Practice, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)

Moderator: Steven Cohen, Executive Director, The Earth Institute