Meet The Sharing Bros – Living the Collaborative Economy & sharing it with you

Let us introduce you to The Sharing Brothers, because “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful”. (Joshua J. Marine)

A fortnight ago we introduced you to the Collaborative Economy and our Distinguished Speaker for 2015, Rachel Botsman, in our blog ‘An Idea that Will Change the World’. But that had a lot of facts and figures from PWC, TIME and The Guardian, and tried to sum up some of the macro effects of Collaborative Consumption on the economy (amongst other things). Now we want you to see it through a completely different lens….

And we’ll do that with The Sharing Bros. Mathieu, Ivan and Rodolphe set themselves an extraordinary challenge; 21,000 km using only the Collaborative Economy. So far they’ve been on the road for 7 months.


“We were struck by the great energy across the collaborative space, struck by all these new ideas and alternative ways of doing things, but one particular thing caught our attention: all these people brought back the heart of economic transactions.”

The Adventure: Cross the American continent using only the collaborative economy.

The Big Question: Does the collaborative economy actually generate social bonds?

The Mission: Go and meet the many faces behind the collaborative economy.

The Sharing: A web-series and a documentary to share our experience.

For the boys, “it felt like for the media it was all about big figures: “Airbnb is valued at $10bn” or “BlaBlaCar raises $100 million”. But in our eyes, that’s not what the collaborative economy was all about! For us, it was about Sacdrac, that Chilean with whom Ivan climbed a Volcano. It was about Conrad, that Ugandan with whom Roro had discovered the history of his country. It was about Sterre, that Dutch host who had welcomed Mat with open arms.”

They began to wonder about the lives of those people behind the Collaborative Economy – “Who are they? Are they idealists? Champagne socialists? Pragmatics? Hipsters? A little stingier than the others? What drives them? Who and what fuels all that sharing?”

So what’s been their greatest obstacles?

“Trust – High criminality rates and armed conflicts in Central and Latin America have really nurtured fear and fostered mistrust between people.

Limited availability of platforms: It was interesting to see that South of the US border, people are collaborating as they always have. Of course some numeric tools exist and across a variety of sectors (E.g.: P2P delivery, crowdlearning, P2P currency exchange, etc.) but the collaborative economy as we know it is still nascent.

Lack of responsiveness : Hitchhiking is a good laugh but it also makes it harder to predict where you’re going to be when the night comes. We often had to act quickly if we wanted to find a place to sleep.”

The Sharing Bros in Colombia

The Sharing Bros in Colombia.

And what did they discover about the collaborative economy along the way that they didn’t realise before?

  • Reciprocity helps! Can be anything (money, skills, time, etc.) but we found that unilateral exchanges are much less likely to happen.
  • Building a community is key! It might be harder and time-consuming than one might think but it’s all worth it! Doing a great community-building effort at an early stage has really helped us for our crowdfunding campaign, which was a good test and ended up giving more credibility to the project. We believe you should build your community before launching your app or even your website.
  • Internet isn’t always the answer. Internet access is obviously limited in certain parts of the world and even when it is available, having people use it to connect can be a real challenge – Fear of the unknown, fear of fraud, etc. In Cuba for example some crowdfunding campaigns work without the internet only using pamphlets.

The boys are, of course, on Facebook – The Sharing Bros, twitter – @Sharingbros and Instagram – @sharingbros.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys an aphorism or two – the boys have a great curated list for you here.

And, if you want to read a summary of the boys experiences and key insights as written up by Rachel Botsman’s online Collaborative resource – you can right here.

Chloë Spackman, GLP Manager

Make sure you’ve marked the evening of Wednesday October 7th in your diary so you do not miss GLP’s 2015 Distinguished Speaker, Rachel Botsman, inspire you with her vision for Collaborative Consumption. Not only is the event compulsory, but it will be of great benefit to your development as a Global Leader.

Stay tuned to the GLP Blog for my next instalment – an interview with Mel O’Young, Collaborative Consumption convert, former Community Curator at Virgin Unite and current Head of Community for Airbnb, NYC.


Meet Our GLP Student Ambassador: Tierneigh!


Tierneigh during her volunteer expedition to   Africa earlier this year.

5 Minutes with Tierneigh

Hi, I’m Tierneigh. I’m in my third year of a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degree.

Do you have any strange habits?

Not strange, but I do have the icky habit of biting my nails!

What sorts of things have you been doing alongside your degree?

Alongside my degree I have tried to do as much travel and volunteering as possible. Since beginning my degree, I have traveled to three continents and volunteered continuously with the Biala Hostel for young Indigenous Women, St Vincent de Paul and my Residential College social committees.

Coming from the Northern Territory, I have also made it my personal mission to visit all of Sydney’s best dessert venues…as that’s one thing the Territory is lacking!

What advice would you give to students who are currently completing the Global Leadership Program? 

I would encourage students to find something that are passionate about and then get involved anyway possible with events and opportunities that concern whatever it may be they’re passionate about. Attend the conferences, forums etc that consider and talk about this topic, volunteer with groups that stand for ideals you too believe in and travel to places near and far gaining a global perspective that no other teaching can impart.

What’s your favourite part of the program?

Honestly my favourite part of the program would have to be the GLP Facebook forum. The forum allows me to keep updated on all the current and upcoming opportunities, most of which I would miss out on if I wasn’t apart of this group and my notifications weren’t turned on.

The GLP advisors are pretty cool too!

What business, person or innovation has been your biggest motivator?

I read the book ‘Desert Flower’ by Waris Dirie when I was undertaking a Women’s Studies class in year 12 and have been inspired ever since. Dirie is a Somalian Model, author and women’s rights activist known for her efforts in eliminating Female Genital Mutilation. Dirie is a really inspiring and strong woman who provides hope to victims that one day this practice won’t be around to harm other young girls and women.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given?

To believe in my own power and strength to make a difference in my own life and that of others.

10 years from now… What do you hope to be doing?

My aspirations and plans for the future continue to change. At this stage though, I hope to have returned to the Northern Territory and be working towards Indigenous Territorians plights for an equal standard of living.

You have a big family… what’s it like when everyone gets together?

Yes, I am the eldest of 6 kids. Growing up was stressful to say the least. Think, bunk-beds, Brady Bunch like photos, a line to get into the bathroom, zero alone time, a race to finish dinner to get to the seconds, a wardrobe full of hand-me-downs and people always asking if your parents are Catholic!

Despite the colourful upbringing, I have now lived out of home for quite a while and love nothing more than coming home at the end of the semester to my crazy family.  Dinner time is still a little stressful, but there are a lot of hands to help so it makes for light work.. sometimes!

What’s worse: hearing someone chew gum, or listening to someone tap their pen?

Chew gum… or chewing with your mouth open- that’s a killer!

Meet Our Global Leadership Student Ambassador: Izzie!

Izzie- At a baby elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka

Izzie- At a baby elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka

5 Minutes with Izzie

My name is Izzie, I’m in my third year studying a Bachelor of Arts. In the (hopefully near) future, I’d love to travel some more, work with   animals, study marine biology and lead more tour groups!

 What is your favourite type of food?

All food is my favourite, though there is a special place in my heart for pasta!

 What is something we don’t know about you?

There is very little that people don’t already know about me, I tend to talk a lot! I guess a lesser-known thing about me is that I love snow. I hate winter and being cold but being in the snow – I absolutely love it.

 What advice would you give to students who are currently completing the Global Leadership Program?

Definitely have a plan ready and go see an advisor! I was a little unsure of some of the things I wanted to do with experiential credit and speaking to advisor (hey Emily!) and getting confirmation that I was on the right track was a real relief.

 You just got back from a trip abroad- where did you go?

I went to Sri Lanka for my cousin’s wedding! During our extra days there we visited an elephant orphanage (where I got to feed a baby elephant!) and went on a safari and saw even more elephants!

 What’s your favourite part of the program?

I love going to the DSS! It’s a fun night where I get to dress up and see people I haven’t seen in a while (especially people I met during Colloquium and never got around to friending on Facebook).

What business, person or innovation has been your biggest motivator?

Richard Branson! He started with such a small idea and now he is literally all over the world. He’s come so far despite his bad grades as a student – which always make me feel better when I don’t do well on a quiz.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given?

“Do what you want to do, forget what other people think – it’s your life and your choices.”

In another life what would you have been?

A mermaid. Definitely a mermaid.

Your philosophy is…

“I tried and therefore no one should criticise me” – Daniel Radcliffe (SNL skit)

Would you rather have the hiccups forever, or forever have that feeling like you’re just about to sneeze?

100% the hiccups! That awful almost-sneeze feeling is the worst!

Building Networks: An Internship at UKTI

When I became a student of International Relations, I was fascinated reading about the complex relations between nations and how they affected the average man. But garnering a practical understanding of how nations fostered partnerships and building my own connections through an internship at UK Trade and Investment, was truly a remarkable experience.

In April this year, I interned with the investment team of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Sydney, the trade and investment arm of the UK government. For anyone studying International Relations, and International Trade and Commerce, UKTI is a good case study illustrating how international trade forms a core aspect of the partnerships among nations. It also gave me a fantastic opportunity to garner a cross-culture experience for my career, something which the GLP encourages.

The main purpose of UKTI is to help UK exporters build networks abroad and enhance their profile in international markets, as well as to increase foreign direct investments into the UK economy.

With over a 100 bases worldwide, UKTI has been operating in Australia (with offices in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney) since 1983. It has been a key vehicle for enhancing the partnership between Australia and the UK. While the trade team aids UK exporters with finding trading partners in this market, the investment team caters to Australian businesses looking to expand into the UK.

While interning at UKTI, I learnt that one of the unique aspects of this organisation was its ability to focus on niche industries, businesses and SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises), making this internship an even more interesting experience for me. Once such industry is financial technology, where I got to work on the Fintech Mission to London project.

The Fintech Mission to London has UKTI sponsoring a delegation of ten Australian financial technology start-ups to travel to the UK during London Fintech week in September, giving these companies the opportunity to meet like-minded peers and investors who can help propel their business to the next level. UKTI started inviting applications from Australian businesses for this mission in May and announced the winners earlier this month (see here). While working on this project, I interacted with high profile UKTI clients during presentations and the breakfast event organised for the mission.

Consul General Nick McInnes presenting to clients during UKTI's Fintech Mission to London breakfast event.

Consul General Nick McInnes presenting to clients during UKTI’s Fintech Mission to London breakfast event.

As a UKTI intern, I also attended events like CeBIT, an annual technology and business expo which takes place in Australia. I had the opportunity to interact and network with some very interesting businesses, having been a part of UKTI’s investment team. When I worked on industry projects like Marketing Advertising Technology and Agriculture Technology, I had the chance to analyse the UK and the Australian landscapes and learn a little more about the key players in these industries. I also worked on projects for the trade team, helping them prepare sector briefs in specialised areas like luxury retail, boutique call centres and cruise travels. Learning about these sectors was truly fascinating.

Interning at UKTI was a fun, very valuable and exciting experience. There was never a dull moment, as I got to work on something different each day and participate in various activities, thereby broadening my horizons. I worked with some amazing individuals across a variety of projects, made some memorable friendships and learnt about two different cultures (UK and Australia) without having to travel across borders.

I was able to claim this experience as part of my GLP. This experience, alongside the other requirements of the program, brings competitive edge to my future career aspirations. For anyone looking to gain a true understanding of international relations and garner a cross culture internship experience, I would encourage you to look at organisations like UKTI as part of your GLP.

By Ramya Dilipkumar,

*Ramya is in her final year of a Masters in International Relations, International Trade and Commercial Law.

*The above experience could be claimable as:

PG- Cross Cultural Practicum- 40 hour internship

UG- GL X04 or GL X09 Domestic Volunteer/ Internship (depending on hour commitment)

*Please keep an eye on the GLP Facebook page for upcoming internship positions!

An Idea that will Change the World

Have you ever used Airbnb for accommodation whilst traveling?
Have you ever caught a ride with Uber?
Have you ever hired someone on Airtasker to help you complete a chore you just couldn’t (or didn’t want to) do yourself?

Whilst you may have appreciated the ease, affordability and uniqueness of these experiences, you probably didn’t appreciate the fact that you were actively participating in a huge market shift. A new economic model has arrived. It’s about a shift from ownership to access, and importantly, it’s not just another start-up trend, but transformative lens.


The above mentioned are just three particularly well known examples of what has been coined “the collaborative economy” (by our DSS speaker Rachel Botsman in her book ‘What’s Mine is Yours: the Rise of Collaborative Consumption), but there are hundreds more examples from all around the globe. TIME named the Collaborative Economy as one of the “10 Ideas That Will Change the World”, and here at the GLP, we have just been discovering the magnitude of its potential for consumer value and power ourselves.


The Collaborative Economy also has potential outside consumer value for things you may not have considered – such as hospital beds. A ‘patient hotel’ was trialled at Lund hospital in Sweden, which brought hospital bed expenses down from 3000 Swedish Kroner per night to 823 per night. Enabling patients to room-share with other family members helped patients with greater self-sufficiency and alleviated pressure on nurses who could share responsibility with family members. The result was more efficient shifts for nurses and a reduction in recovery time for patients – on top of the monetary savings for patients and for the government in nursing wages.

Explaining its three key benefits, Botsman says “Collaborative economy activates the untapped value of all kinds of assets through collaborative models and marketplaces that enable greater efficiency, empowerment and impact”.

It’s probably difficult for a lot of you to remember now, but back in the early 2000s Metallica sued the MP3-trading software company Napster and received what was probably, for them, unexpected back lash from their consumers. Fans and consumers were disappointed at the greed of the already incredibly successful band and the way they legally pursued Napster, which was at the time a pioneering online file-sharing service.

Napster Logo

The highly publicised Napster ordeal could be seen as a signal of the beginning of the end; the end of the above-all importance of ownership. And in a world where consumption has seen consumers in the United Kingdom with an “estimated £30 billion ($46.7 billion) worth of unworn clothes lingering in their closets” and in 2010 alone “the textile industry ranked third for overall in Chinese industry for wastewater discharge amount at 2.5 billion tons of wastewater per year”, it’s a welcome deterioration – despite the panic it initially triggered. Could this be the end of the age of hyper-consumption?

In 2013, this “disruptive economic force” ( made the cover of The Economist, and the article suggested that “the big change is the availability of more data about people and things, which allows physical assets to be disaggregated and consumed as services.”

PWC estimates that by 2025 the collaborative economy sector will be worth $335 billion. And why?

Because like the two entrepreneurs who started the ride-sharing service Bla Bla Car noticed – 80% of all car trips are solo rides. With the environmental crisis our planet faces, this is a just one of thousands of examples of “idling capacity”, waiting to be noticed, and have technology applied to it to magnify its potential.


But what is particularly intriguing about this phenomenon is the way the enablers of this market are building trust – the oil that fuels the collaborative economy. And not just the trust you have with those familiar to you – but trust between strangers.

Being a Global Leader is about having a sense of community and global responsibility and understanding how you can be an innovator, actively contributing to building and leading sustainable, systemic change in your workplaces and in your lives, whether you are an actuary, an early education teacher, a lawyer or a journalist. Understanding the basis of the collaborative economy could help spark some entrepreneurial ideas of your own with regards to your community, work or social life.

Rachel Botsman, Collaborative Consumption

Rachel Botsman, Collaborative Economy expert and GLP Distinguished Speaker, 2015.

Make sure you’ve marked the evening of Wednesday October 7th in your diary so you do not miss GLP’s 2015 Distinguished Speaker, Rachel Botsman, inspire you with her vision for Collaborative Consumption. Not only is the event compulsory, but it will be of great benefit to your development as a Global Leader.

Chloë Spackman, GLP Manager

In the weeks leading up to the main event I will be posting more information, websites and interviews about the Collaborative Economy to get you inspired and informed, so please check back!

Completing the GLP in One Year

Hi Everyone! My name is Bill. I have just completed the Undergraduate Global Leadership Program and was able to do so within one year. I know it sounds impossible, but I did it. Here is my story and I’m hoping by sharing my experience with you, as well as some tips, it could help to accelerate your progress through the GLP program.

First, let me introduce myself. I’m from Shanghai China, and I major in Applied Finance at Macquarie University. I joined the GLP in Session 2, 2014. I heard about the GLP from my friends in a lecture, and then looked it up online. It seemed very interesting to me.

After joining I mapped out how to complete the 3 Requirements (attend 10 Colloquia, attend the annual Distinguished Speaker Series event and gain 200 Experiential Credit points) within one year.

Alongside completing 10 Colloquia (including Negotiating in Cross Cultural Environments, Sustainable Leadership and the Homegrown Terrorist) I participated in;

  • An internship in Shanghai with Shanghai Hitachi Appliance Co. Pty as the purchasing manager’s assistant.
  • An internship in Sydney with Koala International Trading Pty Ltd translating documents.
  • Another internship in Sydney with APEX Education and Immigration Center working on administrative tasks.
  • Academic Mentoring to first year students
  • Attended the GLP Cultural Series to Auburn
  • Two seminars at the University of Sydney (regarding issues in the Middle East and Marine Development)
  • Two Consular Series Events- hearing from representatives from Romania and Poland
  • Participating in the Faculty of Business and Economics New Conversation group- which are designed to help international students to practice and feel confident about their English language skills
Students at the GLP Cultural Series to Auburn

Students at the GLP Consular Series to Auburn.

My key tip for completing the GLP:

Time management and consistency in pursuing targets is very important. Before I had even attended a welcome session, I already started to plan my GLP involvement program to complete within one year. As I only had one year to complete the program I didn’t have time to do an exchange program. Instead I pursued work experience and internships which would be my major way to gain Experiential Credit points. Whilst completing those, I pursued different types of activities, and tried to ensure there were no time conflict and a seamless transform from one to other.

*By Xiaodong (Bill) Liu

*Bill has just graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Applied Finance

*Please keep an eye on the GLP Facebook page and your emails for opportunities for Experiential Credit activities including the Foreign Affair Series (previously the Consular Series) and the GLP Cultural Series.