Topic: Embracing the Sharing Economy for Positive Ageing – A Call for Genuine Partnerships

Day: Thursday 15 October 2020

Time: 1:50pm – 2:10pm AEDT


 The sharing economy movement puts forward a new story of solidarity through a growing global movement of innovative grassroots collaborations, where our natural urge to cooperate with one another for meeting everyday needs is nurtured and valued. This value extends to positive benefits around personal and collective empowerment, social cohesion and connection, inclusivity and access to resources, and environmental sustainability. This framework has a lot to offer in contributing to ageing in place objectives and in envisaging a future for positive ageing.

The sharing economy in Melbourne incorporates a raft of initiatives that could help older people; including opportunities for sharing knowledge, spaces and equipment, for bulk cooking, food growing, for trading, making and repairing, communal dinners and workshops and events. These types of initiatives have the capacity to reduce older peoples cost of living and also give them the chance to share and teach their skills. As demonstrated by numerous overseas initiatives (see the Compassionate Frome project; the Lambeth Participatory City project; the Sharing City Seoul project), a high density of micro participation activity, built into the fabric of everyday life, will provide opportunity for valuing the skills and experiences of older people in positive contribution to their health and well-being.

This understanding aligns with research of 1 000 older residents in the North West of Melbourne that showed they wanted more social connection through mutual benefit oriented models, where their skills and experiences are recognized and valued; contributing to their sense of belonging and fulfilment within the community.

In accordance with these needs, Uniting Vic Tas is currently initiating The Sharing Tree in the North West of Melbourne. The Sharing Tree is a neighbourhood points scheme that rewards older and younger people for helping each-other out. A similar model, Tempo, is running with more than 65,000 members and over 1,000,000 points earned in the UK. Tempo has been regularly evaluated with significant contributions to reducing loneliness, improving mental health and feelings of belonging/usefulness identified. The success of Tempo, similar to the Sharing Tree, is dependent on an active and participatory tight-knit network of local businesses, community services and community members. Participating community services will benefit by attracting new skilled volunteers and by raising their profile and connections within community.

A market mechanism in Melbourne, like that already developed in the UK involving 65,000 members participating, has immense potential. We are seeking partnerships and want to hear from you!



Jodie Hampson is an advocator for mutual benefit based approaches to positive ageing with a background in community engagement, social planning, social enterprise and innovation.

With several years experience in community development across government and the not for profit sector, Jodie has lead numerous major community policy, strategy and capacity building projects. A current focus is leading a sharing economy portfolio with Uniting Vic Tas in support of ageing in place. This sharing economy portfolio includes Neighbourhood Cooks Moreland, Homeshare and The Sharing Tree.

Jodie is a Scientia PhD candidate with UNSW. Jodie’s research focuses on platform cooperative governance with the aim of contributing to a more holistically sustainable model for the sharing economy and positive ageing. Some of these existing holisitically sustainable sharing economy models are highlighted in the Commons Transition Plan for the City of Sydney, co-authored by Jodie.