It seems that every successful new start up I read about lately has something to do with the new "sharing economy": Uber, Airbnb and Simplist (formerly Snapgoods) are just a few examples. These companies, also called peer-to-peer companies, provide digital platforms that borrow or rent "underused assets;" things like cars, homes and gadgets. The sharing economy has made most of us capable of being both buyers and sellers in the modern marketplace.
The emerging market of sharing centers on personal economics, environmentalism and convenience. With the economic downturn of the 2000's and its resulting stagnant salaries, as well as unemployment or underemployment among recent college graduates, sharing makes a lot of practical sense. It allows use of desirable expensive goods without the price tag that comes with owning. It gives those who own goods like vacation homes, luxury cars and designer clothing, for example, a platform to rent these items.
There is additional appeal in the sharing economy because of the impact that it has on conservation and the environment. Rachel Batsman, author of What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, states that "collaborative consumption is a good thing.owners make money and there are environmental benefits, too: renting a car when you need it, rather than owning one, means fewer cars are required and fewer resources must be devoted to making them."
Finally, because of digital technology, using goods through a sharing platform is significantly convenient. Companies like Zipcar make access easy and affordable by locating cars in areas of demand and making payment for the rental digital and simple.
There are, of course, concerns associated with the sharing economy. Disruption to established providers, quality and safety risks and regulatory compliance are a few of these concerns. Despite these issues, it seems this new economy is here to stay. A recent article in Forbes estimates the revenue flowing through the share economy directly into people's wallets will surpass $3.5 billion this year, with growth exceeding 25%.
So how do you take advantage of this new peer-to-peer consumerism? What "underused assets" do have that you could share or rent?
How about your knowledge, skills and professional experience? These are valuable assets that schools are looking for. The number of adjuncts (teachers who teach classes at the college-level off the tenure-track) is on the rise. The Chronicle of Higher Education estimates that there are 1.3 million adjuncts today. In order to reduce costs, offer more market-centric professional programs and build partnerships with business and industry, schools are increasingly looking for EXPERT INSTRUCTORS to offer courses. These expert instructors are people who have valuable knowledge, skills and expertise, but do not view teaching as their primary professions.
Expert Instructors come to teaching from almost every field: Engineering, IT, Business, Health, Fine Arts, Language Studies, Social Work, Psychology, Law and many others. These instructors are a growing part of this new sharing economy. They are experts who have an asset to share with the next generation of professionals in their fields and schools are looking for them!
There is at least one platform to connect these professionals, EXPERT INSTRUCTORS, to schools. AdjunctProfessorLink.com allows anyone who would like to share their knowledge, skills and expertise with students to post a profile for free. Like many of the other sites in the new sharing economy, AdjunctProfessorLink.com allows teachers to promote their "assets" and schools to find them on an efficient, convenient platform.
So become a part of the new, new sharing economy and register to teach at AdjunctProfessorLink.com.