Benita Matofska

We have the ability to change the world. And in the next 10 minutes we will do that.

The most important word is “we”. We’re in a world in crisis. People are starving, while others are consuming the world’s resources.

Imagine a world where we share skills, where we don’t buy things and throw them away, where we share instead. Where we share surplus food. Where business are built around sharing of resources.

The more we share, the more we have. We’ve forgotten how to share, and that’s why the world is in the mess it’s in.

Let’s rewind to childhood, and to the child who learns to share. She didn’t want to share – especially with her brother. It’s not easy – but it’s the most important thing you can learn. That’s why there’s 1% and 99%. That’s why life expectancy is 50 years lower in some parts of the world. How can we get to know our neighbours if we don’t share?

As children, we learned we needed to share our toys to play with others. We learnt it was fun to share. Some have forgotten. Some think it’s hippy clap-trap. Some are afraid, of their hoe being ruined. Of their possessions being destroyed. Everyone here has the power to change the world through sharing. Who shares wins. Find the sharer inside, and grow up sharing.

The sharing economy is emerging. it’s changing the way we do business. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that we have a growing population on a finite planet. We are going to have to learn to share. 8/10 of us say sharing makes us happier. The child learns that it’s hard to share – but you’re better off if you do.

In a sharing economy people matter more than products, access more than ownership. We swish clothes and swap houses. They swapped homes for a holiday – with a farmhouse in Italy.

Wartime is a great example of surviving through sharing. Need sugar? A hammer? Ask a neighbour. Between the 50s and the 80s you forgot that. If you don’t know your neighbour’s name, you’re less likely to look out for them – and they for you…

The consequences of not sharing are all around us. Sharing is smart. You can make money from it by renting your spare room. There are trillions of pounds licked up in unused items in our homes. You can save £20,000 per year via sharing – there are multiple sites that allow you to do so. The smartest entrepreneurs are building their businesses around sharing resources – and it’s happening faster than it did for our grandparents thanks to technology.

Make a decision to remember how to share, to abandon the idea of having the newest and best. Swap clothes with friends – you’ll save money and have fun. The sharing economy is not a fantasy – it’s real and happening. We’re all part of it. If we look back, we’ll see this year as it started. And this talk is the moment that you remembered how to share.

Let’s eliminate the sharing gap – the generation gap – the future gap. Sharing is an unlimited resource. The more we share the more we have. As human beings we live together better when we share.