Lessons Learned from the Kibbutz
Israel has a long history of sharing resources, even before it became a state in 1948. Shortly after the 1905 Bolshevik revolution, small groups of Jews escaped Russia to avoid persecution. Accustomed to sharing property, they established collective farms to start a new life in a hostile, arid environment. They called this new working and living arrangement a Kibbutz.
The kibbutz structure was instrumental in helping the new immigrants establish themselves and became part of the early Israel success story. But the success didn’t last and Israel became primarily a capitalist, consumption-based economy.
The weakness in the kibbutz model – as for all traditionally socialist structures – was that it relied on a central authority to decide for the individual. Israelis are just as resistant to letting someone else control their lives as any other people. At the same time, the kibbutz experience may have made Israelis more aware of the virtue in making the most of limited resources.
Start-Up Nation: Ready-made for Collaborative Consumption
As chronicled in “Start-Up Nation,” Israelis are extremely entrepreneurial and tech-savvy, both as developers and users. They spend more time online per capita than people living anywhere else. Cellphone ownership is 125% of the population, meaning many people own more than one phone.
Even without the kibbutz experience, this would make Israelis better suited to a collaborative consumption system than most people. There are plenty of imaginative, talented young developers ready to build a new sharing platform, venture capital to support them, and a public receptive to the concept.
The Occupy Movement and the Sharing Economy
The September 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement, with its focus on economic and power inequality, quickly spread across the globe. In Israel, it landed on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel-Aviv – center for the noveau riche who prospered the most from the country’s high-tech industry.
For months, this well-to-do street was dotted with tents of the occupiers. A march drew an estimated 10 percent of the Israeli population. Although the activities did not result in any concrete changes, they were part of a society-wide rethinking that led to one-third of the Parliament being ousted in a subsequent election.
It also led many Israelis to jump on board the Collaborative Consumption band wagon. We have been actively tracking the various forms that Israelis can participate in the movement and sharing them on this blog. We routinely hear of new services and share them with our blog’s readers and ask them to do the same.
Here is an abbreviated directory of some of the leading collaborative consumption sites in Israel. Most of these sites are Hebrew-only. If you are interested in learning about a specific site’s content, contact us and we’ll provide assistance.
Market Place (Employment/Service Providers/Partners/Social)
Fiverr: An international site for micro-entrepreneurs (AKA “Gig Economy”)
Shutaf: Lets users find a partner for business, travel, housing, or hobbies
Jobs4Mom: Helps mothers with young children find suitable positions
Agora: The leading non-profit sharing board
JustPark.it: Focuses on corporate users as well as individuals
EasyPark: The market pioneer in digital parking tools
HomeDine.in: Sharing costs and connecting socially, while dining at other memebers homes
Yummi: Home-made food delivered to users
EatWith: Similar to HomeDine.in
TheLibrary: A municipally owned home for Tel-Aviv based start-ups
HubTLV: The local HUB branch, Tel-Aviv based
Mekusharim: Mod’in-based (near Jerusalem)
Coworking: Raanana-based (central)
TopCenter: Haifa-based (northern)
CoSpace: Netanya-based (central)
Misantrope: Tel-Aviv based
TechLoft: Tel-Aviv based
LendU: A sharing-focused social network system
Mimoona: The local version of KickStarter
Start*ART: Mainly focuses on art projects
HeadStart: Same as Mimmona
Ashoka: Gives businesses incentives to solve current social issues by funding ad-hoc competitions
Hasdera: An open platform for political/socio-economic movement management
Uru: Hebrew for “wake up!”, it promotes social involvement
Bar Kayma: The Israeli sustainability hub/pub