Impact Insider #31: The ethical alternative to Uber is here

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Today, 4.4 billion people — a good 57% of humanity — are now online. More than 1 million people per day joined the internet in 2018. In 2016, the digital economy represented 15.5% of global GDP, and that share will continue to grow to 24.3% by 2025.

The benefits of digital platforms such as Uber and Airbnb are clear to consumers, but you may be becoming increasingly aware of the downside — including distorted housing markets, monetization of personal data, and precarious labour standards. Not to mention, the sharing economy has been co-opted by investors seeking massive returns. In response, the old co-operative approach blended with new tech is emerging as a promising alternative that benefits workers, communities, and consumers.

Called platform co-operatives, these are emerging as the next big wave in community solutions and impact ventures. But when will our impact investing, social finance, and startup support ecosystems pay attention to this new approach?

Go deeper in this week’s piece by Brendan Denovan.

This Week’s Most Popular in Future of Good

1. 3 Ways Men (& Boys) Can Help Build a More Gender-Equitable Future with Jake Stika
Why It Matters:
Slowly but surely, institutions, government leaders, and organizations are working to create a more gender-equitable future for the next generation. But when it comes down to an individual level, how can men and boys work to create a more gender-equitable future on a day-to-day basis?

2. Edge & Main, Episode 2: Moving From an Individual to a Collective Worldview with Indy Johar
Why It Matters:
Climate change, poverty, hunger, division — these global challenges are all symptoms of a larger root problem, says Indy Johar, co-founder of Dark Matter Labs. To solve them, we need to move in a meaningful way from an individual worldview to a collective one.

3. Here’s how co-operatives are making a comeback by Brendan Denovan
Why It Matters: The benefits of platforms such as Uber and Airbnb are clear, but people are becoming aware of the downside. Platforms are making work more precarious and the sharing economy has been co-opted by investors seeking massive returns. In response, the old co-operative approach (one that Canada knows well) applied to platforms is emerging as an alternative.

4. 3 Ways Technology is Accelerating Solutions for Homelessness by Alison Sinkewicz
Why It Matters:
In cities where the tech industry booms, homelessness and under-housing also tend to increase. Homelessness is already an issue that affects an estimated 235,000 Canadians each year. But according to three nonprofits, the same industry that’s contributing to these existing issues holds promise as an innovative way to build, design, and scale new solutions.

What Matters from the World of Impact

Each week, our editorial team scans the top 50 impact-focused newsletters from Canada and around the world, so you don’t have to. We curate to bring you key news, insights, and analysis.

1. Canada’s Responsible Investment Association to discuss redefining corporate purpose with Business Council of Canada 
Why It Matters: Last week, the Business Roundtable — a group of the United States’ top corporate leaders — said that the purpose of a business is no longer just to seek profits for shareholders. While many remain skeptical about the follow-through, just saying it out loud is a major step forward. The question is — will the Business Council of Canada do the same?
Go deeper

2. Venture philanthropy organization New Profit announces new systemic solutions initiative
Why It Matters: Program-based solutions are largely band-aids. Based on two decades of learning, New Profit takes a bold step to supporting systemic solutions through a dedicated suite of offerings that go beyond financial support. It invests in the people on the ground, the system entrepreneurs, directly.
Go deeper

3. Government of Canada announces members of Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS)
Why It Matters: Formed in response to the recommendations of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities and the Social Innovation and Social Finance Co-Creation Steering Group, the ACCS will provide advice to the federal government on important issues facing the charitable sector.
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4. RBC releases new report on How the Coming Skills Revolution Can Transform Agriculture
Why It Matters: Food security is one of Canada’s most important challenges. This new report notes that as Canadian farmers leave traditional tasks to smart machines and instead focus on strategy, they’ll be better positioned to feed our domestic and the global population. But to do that, they’ll need a wider range of new skills, as well as enhanced old skills, that Canada isn’t developing anywhere near fast enough.
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5. Stanford Social Innovation Review Editor-in-Chief Eric Nee talks about the Promises and Pitfalls of Earned-Income Business Models
Why It Matters: A growing number of not-for-profits that rely on gifts and grants are looking for ways to supplement or replace those contributions with earned income. Social enterprise is growing, and it’s a tempting opportunity, but it’s one that organizations should approach cautiously to avoid being distracted from their core offerings and mission.
Go deeper

Opportunities from the World of Impact

This is a community-oriented space to share valuable impact-focused opportunities. If you have something you’d like for us to include, just email info[at]futureofgood[dot]co.

1. Registrations open for Advocate! 2019 📣
Taking place in Calgary, Advocate! is Canada’s modern advocacy conference. It brings together emerging and experienced leaders to share modern methods of building successful advocacy initiatives in business, politics, public policy, and the social sector. Register now.

2. Future Skills Centre announces call for letters of interest 📩
The Future Skills Centre will invest $36 million in projects over two years, aiming to strengthen Canada’s skills development ecosystem. The Centre hopes to test new and emerging approaches that have the potential to generate actionable evidence about how to better equip Canadian workers with the necessary skills to adapt to a fast-changing labour market. The Centre is encouraging diverse organizations across Canada to submit a letter of interest. Submit before September 16.

3. Register for Ontario Nonprofit Network’s Nonprofit Driven 2019 👊
Taking place in November, the ONN’s Nonprofit Driven will bring together 600 nonprofit and community leaders and policymakers at a public policy forum for Ontario’s nonprofit sector. Join for two days of plenary sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Register now.

4. Youthful Cities’ Future of Urban Work Summit extends application deadline 💼
A cost-covered experience, the Future of Urban Work Summit brings 60 diverse youth across various work sectors together in Edmonton for a 5-day experience. You do not need to be an expert. Youthful Cities believes the Future of Urban Work needs to be designed by youth, taking into account the range of areas within life, work, and play that make a city youthful. Apply by September 2.

5. Apply for Laidlaw Foundation’s Youth Action Fund 💪
Laidlaw Foundation recently launched a new Youth Action Fund, which offers grants to grassroots initiatives working with youth underserved by the education system and overrepresented in the justice and child welfare systems. Initiatives must be Ontario-based. Apply by September 16.

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