August 28, 2017 |

4 More Inspirational Figures in the Sharing Economy

As an idealistic and ambitious team, we’re often inspired by individuals whose projects have positive social, economic, and environmental effects.  In a previous post, we profiled a few female entrepreneurs whose character, success, and work we admire and hope to emulate. We’ve decided to return to this topic, and share a few more of our role models with you. 

Chelsea Rustrum

Chelsea Rustrum is a keynote speaker, entrepreneur,  author, and consultant in the global sharing economy. She specializes in turning her practical experience in the sharing economy into action: facilitating workshops and serving on advisory panels that aim to shift traditional business models to incorporate sharing trends and practices.

Rustrum also co-authored “It’s a Shareable Life: A Practical Guide on Sharing”, and has spoken at TEDx Talks, the Goethe Institut, the European Parliament, and other international conferences.

Benita Matofska

Benita Matofska, an entrepreneur and sharing economy expert, focuses her efforts on helping people worldwide discover and access the sharing economy – working with and speaking for organizations across the private and public sectors. Matofska founded The People Who Share as part of her mission to help individuals worldwide discover and access the sharing economy. The People Who Share created the first National Sharing Day in 2011, partnering with sharing companies to organize events all across the United Kingdom. National Sharing Day evolved into Global Sharing Day and expanded even further to become Global Sharing Week in 2015.

Global Sharing Week is a worldwide event that helps millions of people discover and celebrate the positive social, economic and sustainable benefits of the sharing economy. In 2016, Global Sharing week had over 126 registered events and reached over 100 million people on social media. Matofska facilitates partnerships with companies and non-governmental organizations in Australia, Portugal, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia, India, South Korea, South Africa, and Scandinavia to organize sharing-related events around the world.  

Matofska has delivered presentations on the sharing economy at European Commission, TEDx, and has been featured on the BBC, The Economist, and many other TV, print or online media and has even been invited to speak at 10 Downing Street, the UK Prime Minister’s Residence.

Susan Shaheen

Susan Shaheen, Ph.D. and a co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California at Berkeley is an expert on ridesharing solutions in the sharing economy. She’s also an adjunct professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UC Berkeley. Shaheen has published an incredible amount of research and analysis about the sharing economy – over 100 reports, articles, and has even edited two books. As nearby San Francisco served as the testing ground for many of the first ridesharing models, Shaheen has utilized the city as the subject in much of her research and writing.

Shaheen often examines the environmental, social, and economic benefits of ridesharing services. For instance, in a paper she co-authored with Nelson Chan she found that ridesharing services can bridge gaps of transportation between individuals who do and do not have a means of personal transport. She also found that shared mobility reduces costs and makes more locations universally accessible.

Robin Chase

As an influential advocate for sustainable urbanism and prolific transportation entrepreneur Robin Chase develops carsharing solutions that can have massive environmental, social, and political benefits. Chase is the former CEO and founder of Zipcar – the largest carsharing platform in the world – as well as the Co-Founder of other carsharing platforms such as BuzzCar and GoLoco. Multiple governmental and non-governmental institutions have asked for Chase’s expertise on their advisory boards, including the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the OECD’s International Transportation Forum, and the National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Chase works to proliferate carsharing services in order to decrease international dependence on fossil fuels, which causes much international conflict and geopolitical instability. Increased use of sustainable carsharing services can relieve congestion on roadways, and free up urban garages and street parking spaces that can be repurposed as recreational green spaces.