We picked 5 sharing services that could only appear in Berlin.
Passenger.me is a service for delivering things global. When the price gap is huge enough – for example, sunglasses cost $53 in the US instead of 178 in your home town, at Passenger.me you can find someone travelling in your direction who would charge $20 for delivering. Its founder – a Russian immigrant Alexander Babaryko – says that he chose Berlin because it is “more disruptive, more benevolent to status quo changes”. The entire conceipt of Passenger.me is a digital resurrection of USSR’s Perestroyka era, when thousands of Russians delivered foreign goods as private tourists – so-called “chelnoki”. Now you can earn up to $500 for picking something up, which may even cover the flight expenses. For example, you can make $70 by simply putting an iPhone in your pocket.
Trustami is a service for businesses that aggregates user’s distributed social media info and ratings in one place in order to convince more customers of their excellent online reputation. You can show your Trustami Trust badge on platforms, where you sell your items or even on your own shop, and it is supposed to improve your showing. If you feel like you have good reviews that deserve to be collected into one place – check it out and tell us, if it’s gotten better.
In the US, across Germany and in east London, more and more citizens are sharing their leftover and excess food these days. Basically the food-sharing movement all started in Berlin – and if you come to the beautiful district of Prenzlauer, there you will find public fridges belonging to Foodsharing.de. The fridges are linked through a website and are operated by volunteers. The rules are simple and based on trust: you swap food you have too much of for something you miss for your dish. Foodsharing.de’s nearly 40,000 members – in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Mexico, Israel and the UK – have saved 33 tonnes of food.
Open Source Circular Economy
The idea and practice of Open Source are rotating around the figure of Sam Muirhead, a New Zealand videographer living in Berlin. On August 1 2012 he started an experiment – to live a “Year of Open Source,” exploring how the systems and culture of free and open-source software work in different areas. For a year, Sam had been using or developing products and projects that are shared under open licenses, made to be copied or built upon by others — which also means not buying any traditionally copyrighted or patented products. He switched from iOs to Linux, which was painless, but he his music collection now sucks, admits Sam.
But he proved the effectiveness of the idea . The concept “Open Source + Circular Economy” is about taking sharing to a whole new level; it’s about data and knowledge sharing, but specifically applied to a circular model for the economy. In the circular economy emissions, byproducts, or damaged and unwanted goods as become raw material andnutrients for a new production cycle.
Now Open Source Circular Economy is run as a not-for-profit foundation, but it is supported the likes of Google, Samsung, IBM and Intel, while hackers and programmers are working on the technological side of the system.
EMio is a scooter-sharing service with the same business model as car-sharing companies. It was established by 3 students of Technical University of Berlin. Vehicles are scattered around the city. To use them you need once to prove that you have a driver’s license, register via their mobile app, and connect it with your bankcard. Find scooters nearby and simply access them with the app.
eMio uses scooters with electrical batteries. Although the argument of safety for the environment is considerable, the company first aims to make a good, reliable product. According to Seither, electric scooters do not have technical drawbacks compared to those with combustion engines. They could even be more profitable in the long run.
By Eugene Shapovalov