What the hell is OuiShare?
I’m sure you have asked yourself that question before. With the launch of our new, open source website today, we proudly bring you a platform that reflects the scope and diversity of OuiShare’s activities around the world.
First a blog and collaborative economy enthusiasts in Paris, now a non-profit and global community: since its beginnings in late 2011, OuiShare has rapidly evolved into an international organization with over 200 organized events in Europe, South America and the Middle East, 4000 contributors in seven languages and active community hubs in over 25 countries.
How did we get there? Giving OuiShare a name (a simple yet catchy play on words that proved to be popular) in 2012 was the spark that lead to the launch of the first basic OuiShare tumblr blog to publish content about the collaborative economy. Shortly after, we organized the very first OuiShare Drink in Paris, a casual get-together about the collaborative economy where local projects were invited to pitch. This mixture of on and offline interaction soon lead to the creation of many new connections with pioneers of the collaborative economy in Barcelona, Rome, Berlin and all over Europe. Gathering all these individuals for the first OuiShare Summit in Paris finally officialized the global scope of this project and laid the foundation of OuiShare as a non-profit organization, co-founded by Antonin, Flore, Edwin and Ben. (See our whole story on this timeline).
Much more than a magazine
One milestone project that came out of the first OuiShare summit was this magazine, created as an online media for in-depth analysis of the collaborative economy in different languages. This magazine became the face of OuiShare on the Web, but as we realized soon, it did not evolve with what our organization was becoming: more than an online magazine, it was a community with dozens of online discussion groups, local chapters, events and projects such as OuiShare Jobs, Ouikit and the OuiShare Fest.
To meet this evolution of our organization, we did not only decide to start a very ambitious and fully open source website project with our partners and community members Engage (Brazil) and Pitch me (France), of which the first version is now online. To help OuiShare grow as an open, flat, high-impact organization, we have been experimenting with and developing a long overdue OuiShare governance and organizational structure (which you can read more about on our new website) in the past months, while trying to preserve the spontaneity and agility of our organization.
2014 is going to be a big year for us: the second edition of our 3-day event OuiShare Fest, the first OuiShare Summit in Berlin, our first funded research project in France with la Fing and new communities and projects popping up everywhere.
Yet one of the biggest challenges still lies ahead: as a young non-profit, most of our activities still depend the amazing volunteer work of our members worldwide. While we have been able to cover costs and are starting to be able to pay individuals for specific projects, we are still struggling to provide sustainable incomes for the passionate individuals building the foundation of OuiShare. To help us turn OuiShare into a self-sustainable organization by 2015, our site now features a donate page through which individuals can support our work.
Thank you for your shares, comments and support!
We are looking forward to this next year full of exciting opportunities and challenges.