The term “sharing economy” has been bounced around as a savvy, economical alternative to traditional methods of exchanging goods and services. But what exactly is it?

The basic premise of the sharing economy is collaborative consumption – people share resources they already have, rather than create new ones. It’s in theory a way of strengthening community, reducing waste, and allowing people to access goods without dealing with ownership.

The tricky aspect of the sharing economy is that it covers a sprawling range of digital platforms and offline activities. Numerous financially successful companies like Airbnb fit under that tent, but so do hyperlocal peer-to-peer services like community repair collectives. And many organizations angle themselves to fit under the umbrella of the “sharing economy” because of positive, collaborative appeal.

Portland is no stranger to the sharing economy, and it’s mix of tech-savvy residents and eco-minded community members make it a target for startups angling for that piece of the market. This also means that the City of Roses is ground zero for many of the debates blossoming around the sharing economy – from regulations, to fair pay and sustainability.

Tune in to Portland Radio Project this Friday between 1-2 p.m. for our encore Biz503 episode about the sharing economy. Hosts Rebecca Webb, founder of Portland Radio Project, and Perry Gruber, founder of Copiosis, led a discussion on how this economic model is fitting into Portland’s ethos, and where the sharing economy is going next.

Our guest included:

Perry Gruber, Founder of Copiosis

Rick Reynolds, Founder of ShareOregon

Stephen Green, Community Director at Elevate Capital & Founder/Treasurer at Oregon Public House

Zoya Kumar, Executive Director of Portland Community ToolBank

Jocelyn Furbush, Co-Founder & Board Chair of Kitchen Share Northeast

Aliza Tuttle, Member Catalogue Manager at Know Thy Food Cooperative

Listen to the encore episode here:

Or listen to the original episode here: