Pieter van de Glind and Harmen van Sprang are the co-founders of ShareNL, a Dutch knowledge and networking platform that connects and informs initiatives from the sharing economy: consumers, businesses, organisations, governments, research institutions and media. Founded at the idea stage in 2012, in 2013 Pieter and Harmen set up the actual shareNL platform and started building on it. The team has now grown to include four more team members helping them in their work.
One important initiative started by shareNL is Amsterdam Sharing City. They work together with the city’s Economic Board, among a broad range of other local stakeholders, to make Amsterdam the first official “Sharing City” in Europe, following international examples like Seoul in South Korea and San Francisco in the US (BayShare).
In this interview, we asked Pieter and Harmen to share some of their experiences with this still relatively young project.
Stina: Sharitories – what does this neologism evoke to you?
P&H: It evokes the transition from closed to open. From ownership to access.
Can you please tell us more about your work with shareNL? How did you end up doing it?
P&H: A couple of sharing economy entrepreneurs discovered the need for an overarching platform in the Netherlands. We stepped into making this platform happen while we were still studying and working on other things. Pieter at the time was doing research on the consumer potential of collaborative consumption. Co-founder Harmen van Sprang stepped in while he was working as a freelance innovation manager within the field of creatieve industries in Amsterdam. However, the main reason we ended up doing this is because we have a lot of passion for it.