France and the Sharing Economy

sharing economy franceA recent cover headline of the news magazine Marianne was “La France Anti-Système,” with several pages about how French people are sick of bureaucracy, taxes, the weak economy and the current administration. They have decided to stop whining and take matters into their own hands to beat the broken systems by joining forces to get more done efficiently and reduce costs, or by completely “opting out” by creating their own alternative banks, bartering economies, and off-grid living. Ironically, the big bank BNP sponsored the exhibition “The Wave” at the Parc de la Villette earlier this month, highlighting start-ups and innovative projects that promote “Collective Ingenuity,” or the capacity for individuals working together to find simple and efficient solutions using less resources. Even the free metro magazine A Nous Paris has dedicated a few pages between restaurant reviews and concert listings to talk about technology and social networking being used to nurture community spirit and generosity…let’s call it “Fraternité 2.0”. An exciting trend to follow for anyone concerned about France’s future!

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