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Meeting People in Real Life at Barcelona OuiShare Drink

It has been a special moment to host the very fist Ouishare Drink at Barcelona. The event went well beyond our expectations (by far!) and we are looking forward making it happen again soon.

For those who did not read the takeaways from the last ‘Ouishare Summit’ in Paris, OuiShare is a global community of entrepreneurs, journalists, scholars, designers, activists and citizens working to accelerate the shift towards a Collaborative Economy. Although we use social networks (Facebook and Twitter) to meet and ask people to join the tribe, the most important part are offline meetings, as we are used to say MPRL, or “Meeting People in Real Life”.

Being the OuiShare Connector in Barcelona, I was happy to apply this convivial concept to the local community by organizing the first OuiShare Drink in Spain. Following the initial announcement of the event on Facebook, the word was spread by our friends at 021espai (coworking space who did an amazing job in hosting the event!), coworkingspain (directory of coworking spaces in Spain) and Moviment-R (initiative to reduce waste around Barcelona metropolitan area). We ended in having almost 100 registered people, most of them coming from Barcelona and surrounding areas.

For those who are in a hurry, a short 3:30 minutes video of the event (in Spanish):

People arrived on time (which is quite unusual in Spain!) and quickly engaged into very lively and friendly conversation in the 021espai backyard. The diversity of profiles and and initiatives/companies was worth noting: they ranged from Airbnb to Eco Alt Congost (regional network for goods&services exchanges using alternative currency) or Gracia Time Bank, through Knok (home swap), Avancar (only carsharing operator in Barcelona, recently purchased by Zipcar) without forgetting FabLab Barcelona, Kantox (the world’s first FX hedging solution based on the peer concept) or Grownies (kids clothes swapping). We got very positive feedback from attendees who told us they met awesome people with shared interests.

After almost an hour of chatting, sharing beers and snacks, Antonin Léonard (OuiShare co-founder) and I did a short presentation about the history of OuiShare and the ideas behind it:

[slideshare id=13707447&doc=ouisharedrinksbcn20120716-120720110614-phpapp01]

As we always do during OuiShare Drinks, a local startup was offered to present its project to the community: Mar Alarcón, SocialCar co-founder, explained her experience in leading the only P2P Carsharing platform in Spain for almost a year. Their figures are impressive: 1500 cars, 5000 drivers and 400 rentals per month. Happy birthday SocialCar!

[slideshare id=13707381&doc=presentacinsocialcarouishare120712-120720105854-phpapp01]

Then following Mar’s presentation, we hosted a Jam Session allowing any of the attendees to quickly pitch their projects to the community. This is how we were introduced to Megafounder (crowdfunding focused on funding startups), Vidamesfacil (introducing cloudhousing concept) and proyecto333.org (can you live 3 months with only 33 clothes? even if you are a girl?).

It was interesting to see how sharing economy competitors (or should we say coopetitors?) enjoyed sharing experiences and concerns, such as Coworking spaces (021espai, Bethaus, Gracia Work Center, CoworkIdea) and Crowdfunding platforms (Megafounder, Projeggt, Joinmyproject), which were the two most represented verticals during the OuiShare Drink.

I was very glad to meet Kunal (Linking Positive) and Guillermo (I Do Like Sharing). Both wrote excellent articles about collaborative consumption but did not manage to continue with their writing due to various reasons. I will try to convince them to write more, either on their blog, on ConsumoColaborativo, or on OuiShare.net!

We enjoyed sharing time with Francesc Hinojosa from Eureka-Startups (also introducing the revamped version of StayAtFriends (home share social network) and Javier Creus and Mara Balestrini from NoSomosHormigas (a guide book for well-informed optimists). They are very experienced people with an eye focused on the collaborative economy.

Last but not least, thanks to all OuiShare community, Cristobal (favorece.net, a favor based network), Irma Nuñez and Anna Renau for their support to organize everything including the photos and the video.

Thanks again for attending, we are looking forward to seeing you at the next one! And in the meantime, feel free to add comments and suggestions on how we can do it even better next time.