neal gorenflo

neal gorenflo

Neal is co-founder of shareable.

one intro to him here:

Shareable, Ouisharefest 2014 Paris

seats to meet – again much like app function – world widely glocal..

book: sharing cities



shared by Bert Ola – Martijn of crowd expedition interviewing Neal –  mar 2015:

my drive is just – wanting more people along with me for this ride..

the american dream was about free time..

we lost sight of that dream.. the dream became about something else.. about accumulation.. about salary…

we can re think things…

12 min – ie: coops, open value network, block chain

coops, block chain

they have created – policies for shareable cities

americans spend $9000 on cars – one car shared takes car of 15 people

23 min – create ecosystems (in cities) where it’s easy to start coops

27 min – the idealists are the practical people.. the impossible is necessary


Neal’s interview in David Passiak‘s empower:

p 85 – part 2 – sharing

p 87


DP: Many readers of this book want to share more, but might feel stuck in a job they don’t like or they just don’t know where to start. We tend to get trapped into this conventional way of think- ing that sharing is something we do part time, instead of being an essential part of who we are, what we do, and how we interact with the world.

I would love to start this interview with your personal story, because it is so powerful and inspiring. You had an epiphany that led you to leave the corporate world. Can you tell us a bit about that experience and the realizations you had on how to live a more meaningful life?

NG: June 2004, it was a sunny Saturday afternoon and I was stay- ing at the NH Hotel in Brussels. I had been travelling a lot working for a big multinational corporation, DHL, part of the backbone of  the global economy. I ate a hearty European breakfast and headed out on a jog through my normal route in this business park. When I got to the rst turn at the top of the hill, I stopped in a parking lot of a warehouse.

Then something unexpected happened—I started to cry. I real- ized this was not what I wanted to do with my life and that I would never realize my creative potential on this corporate path. I would not have the type of relationships I want, become the type of person I want to be, do meaningful work, or be part of a real community.

p 88

This is not the way to get what we really want out of life, which is a basic desire to become a fully realized human being. This wasn’t just about me, but also feeling that pain in others.

exactly.. deep enough.. to what

I made a decision on the spot to change my life and do whatever I could to create a world where it was easy to nd love and friend- ship, community and meaningful work, and

where every day could be filled with authentic human connection.

Except, I didn’t know how to do that. I kept asking myself, “What should I do?” and I didn’t have an answer. I made a vow to find out. I ran back to my hotel room, sent in my letter of resignation, and booked the first flight home to start a new life.

DP: I agree 100% that many people want to break out of the corporate world but don’t know what to do

begs we model a nother way.. that 7bn could leap to.. today

p 8 9

NG: It was helpful to have some experience, but I would say that the most powerful thing going for me is my level of commitment.

*It is deep and real, and it goes to the marrow of my bone and the core of my soul.

I had this unexpected a-ha moment that I didn’t ask for.

**I listened to it and acted on it.

*yes that.. and that’s exactly why we can’t have asks.. et al.. it has to be the person’s bone marrow.. soul core.. – deep enough.. then simple enough to access and in an ecosystem open enough to keep it free..

**quiet enough ness

Ask questions, be curious, listen and be open, particularly to what comes through you. One of my favorite quotes is by Martha Gra- ham, the famous American modern dancer and one of the greatest artists in the 20th century:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is trans- lated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valu- able, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your busi- ness to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

That’s what I would say to anyone in a similar situation as I was. The change can’t come from just your intellect. The mind can help, but there has to be a spiritual shift, and that *takes time.

so that’s our goal.. to shorten that *lag time.. between intention/curiosity and action/connection.. for 7 bn people.. everyday.. then we’ll see/grok exponentiation..

we can do that.. we can facil that..

we can’t not.. [ie: as i write this.. 100 more deaths in syria.. car bomb.. and that’s only the beginning of the list.. campos wake up law et al]

p 91

because I experienced the transformation personally. So have many of the people at Share- able. It is not just an idea to talk about. Sharing is our experience, and it’s life changing, so we want others to experience it too.

we can cut thru a lot of crap B & b and make this happen for everybody.. the dance becomes.. not even a pay back ness.. if we include the entire world..

You are not commanding people to do something. Instead, you make the invitation to join in what you are doing and it’s the power of your purpose that makes the invitation attractive.

i think this is killing us.. and i think that’s the opp we have today.. that we’ve never had before.. we don’t have to call people .. to join .. if we’re all connected.. ie: hlb.. no one needs to be recruiting..

p 92

NG: I think we see a limited and unambitious exploration publicly around the future of work that centers on how we can make this freedom-limiting institution better or make the cage more com- fortable. This seems completely backwards and un-American in the sense that it’s anti-freedom. It shows how conditioned we are in this economy that we cannot think beyond a job.

spot on.. spinach or rock and graeber job less law et al

In a sense, this is like going backwards to before the 19th cen- tury. The labor movement had some focus on improving wages and working conditions, but the priority was to shorten the workweek over time until there was no work. In other words, the goal was freedom through prosperity and abundance.

The real question we should ask about the future of work is: How do you get from a job to no job?


and i think.. like this: we model a nother way

Let’s try to imagine it from our contemporary situation. We have lots of on-demand workers on peer-to-peer platforms and things like InstaCart delivering groceries, etc. One possible transforma- tion that is partially under way is these platforms could give their stakeholders (the users and providers) a say and an ownership stake. This would help platforms remain *competitive. This kind of shift would allow you to go from just being a worker on a plat- form to also being an **owner and a decision-maker, and perhaps have a say and stake in multiple platforms.



we have to disengage from irrelevants

p 93

NG: Yes, exactly. Imagine you are an owner and decision-maker in platforms, instead of working for wages.


Perhaps you occa- sionally work to get some income but maybe you are getting divi- dends or building up equity to help these platforms be successful.


That stake in ownership also provides *additional incentives for you to work harder, be loyal, *refer friends and family, and so on. Ownership could create more sustainable ***business models instead of this hyper growth fueled by venture capital that is ultimately unsustainable.

*killer and **killer and ***killer.. such deep soul ness.. and we still can’t let go..

That’s a vision for platforms. But you can have a similar arrange- ment for housing, food, and transportation using less technology- intensive modes like cooperatives. Instead of buying what you need by working and earning wages, you are a member of a community that creates, manages, and uses a shared asset—i.e., a commons— that provides you bene ts like food, water, electricity, transporta- tion, housing, etc. That is where we need to go.

agreed.. via have/need ness .. we can’t be measuring transactions.. ie: 10 day care ness

p 94

want free time to develop yourself, which in turn develops into capacity to contribute even more to the community.

indeed.. luxury.. leading to eudaimoniative surplus.. how..? gershenfeld something else law

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

You have support for what you want to gift to the world, but you are creating a gift that only you can give to your community. That’s a reality that already exists in part, but

how can we create a world where everyone has a shot at that reality?

like this..

NG: First, the idea of a Sharing City hasn’t been defined and is in some ways contested. Corporations have grabbed hold of it and are defining it in a certain way, and nonprofit organizations like Shareable have a different perspective.

Our view is that a Sharing City is defined primarily as a commons rather than a marketplace or a political or governmental entity. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a market; it’s that the commons is dominant. Examples of commons are things like public parks and cooperatives, co-working and hacker spaces, time banks and tool libraries.

A complete Sharing City doesn’t exist in any one place, but parts of it exist everywhere. The effort we engage in is to bring all those pieces together into a singular vision. Every function of the city can be operated as a commons, from utilities and transportation, to food and housing—people working together as peers in a com- mons can manage most if not all of a city.

exactly.. let’s do it.. not partial ..for (blank)’s sake

p 97

believe we’re entering an era where the community is becoming the hero. They are the central change makers. It’s people coming together voluntarily, not because anyone tells them to do it, but because they choose to do it.

This is heroic. This is what we should admire in society. Collective actions like this lead to the type of answers that I sought when I left my job in search of a more meaningful and connected life. We can think big about changing the world through Sharing Cities, and we can start locally with small projects in our neighborhood. It is all interconnected. That is the power of sharing.




Check out my interview (1 hr video)  @reinventnet about #sharingcities & social capital:…

6 min – when you help people do what they’re dying to do.. you make best of friends.. transformational.. not transactional..t

8 min – practice a new reality.. people lived into it.. connected based on purpose.. get together on a new level based on trust..

imagine that for 7 bn everyday – rev of everyday life

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

10 min – 2008 – we don’t need to start anything.. there is already a sharing trend.. not recognized as a movement.. that no one has connected the dots.. and put a narrative around it

12 min – 2 elements: 1\ sustainability 2\ humanity..  the transformational ness

13 min – working together.. makes higher level of cohesion.. and this is what makes communities really resilient

from teaching experience with group work.. may seem better for a bit.. but begs we zoom out and let go.. to the max.. ie: people aren’t taking turns working on each other’s projects.. we listen to each voice/curiosity .. everyday.. and connect people by that.. that’s the energy we’re missing (the thurman alive and zinn energy mash up)

the belonging and human connection piece – peter

14 min – what distinguishes us as species.. we share and collab.. share more when less abundance..

affluence w/o abundance

15 min – open was a sharing paradigm.. coops.. commons..

17 min – sharing econ.. meaning changed over time.. in early days.. had social/environ connotations front and center.. so very diverse..then the story was.. just the business/tech piece.. then.. not even diverse in terms of businesses.. ie: uber/airbnb.. and that became synonymous w sharing econ

19 min – you can only control a message for so long.. media gets a hold of it.. and they have a bias

20 min- so we started talking nabout sharing cities/coops.. that was more about the transformation that was possible

23 min – sharing cities.. we needed our own political econ.. started looking at commons.. (pool of assets, group of users, governing over it)

25 min – elinor – people better to manage resource than market/govt.. her work being translated into urban complex..


26 min – christian iaione – worked on project


32 min – we want to create a world that can contain many worlds.. we don’t want the commons to be an end all.. replacement.. for everything.. we just want it to be heightened

38 min – ie: platform coops..

53 min – the time is now.. about you and i here.. to really appreciate that.. just to enjoy life.. right now we’re in s ca and having this cool convo..

we need more man .. ie: rohinga et al


on team human

about book: sharing cities

TeamHuman (@teamhumanshow) tweeted at 6:06 AM – 25 Oct 2017 :

Ep. 60 is up! @Shareable’s @gorenflo joins @rushkoff to discuss new book Sharing Cities Activating the Urban Commons (

7 min – restore human civilization to human scale.. easiest place to start.. already happening.. in the human city.. – douglas

10 min – almost everything that happen in cities can be done on a coop level – neal

commons is the political economy.. elinor won nobel peace.. because she showed local

makes me think of jason – saying people who win noble (are good people) but win for something that will perpetuate status quo

trying to undermine tina.. no alt to capital

commons: 1\resource that’s shared  2\users 3\governance system

ie: ccm

24 min – if people could be close to enough ie’s that look/feel like them – douglas

25 min – book/site as catalogue of solutions ready to be taken

30 min – start to measure different things.. happiness.. real wealth

can you measure and still have it be a commons..  and can you measure happiness..?

31 min – sharing city seoul.. mainstream sharing in megacity over 10 mn people.. mayor – sharing guy and human rights lawyer by trade.. econ stagnation.. highest suicide.. sees sharing as method to address all those.. a shape of things to come.. in terms of policy/investment/programs..

33 min  – commons not to exclusion of state and market.. harmonized..

34 min – has to be negotiated into existence w what is already there.. one of key challenges..

why assume market has to be there.. when it wasn’t for most of our human existence..?

36 min – markets are good for p2p exchange – douglas

g hardin paper.. key about tragedy of commons.. but key was.. that wasn’t a commons at all

what you’re describing doesn’t sound like one .. i don’t think you can common if there’s any measuring of transactions.. tallying of jobs/efforts..


Good ? Monitoring is part of Ostrom’s 8 commons design principles, but it can be relational. Ex. neighbors hint before sanctions are consid.

perhaps we reconsider that

monitoring relations doesn’t seem relational.. ie: ten day care ness et al

sanctions: 1\a threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule. 2\official permission or approval for an action.

that doesn’t sound very relational either.. perhaps try gershenfeld sel .. via 2 convos

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

perhaps why we haven’t yet gotten to equity.. we haven’t let go of commoning ness..


oct 2017 – Cities and Commons: Sheila Foster interview w Jerry Michalski and Neal Gorenflo – 1 hr video


4 min – s: i got into the commons thru doing work on environ justice.. so i’ve long associated it w the natural world

5 min – s: why don’t we think about the city and the resources of the city as a shared good..

7 min – s: for me the commons is both about common spaces in the commons.. but also about city governance.. how/who governs it

12 min – n: what is good about christian and sheila’s work is providing a means for ordinary people to have a say in what to do in the city

city sketch up ness

14 min – n: this is why i like commons over ubi.. it’s putting ordinary people in charge..t

18 min – s: ostrom’s contribution is in saying it’s not just market or state.. that there is an alt.. the innovation to me is bringing it into the urban world.. into a regulated environ where the market is incredibly strong


20 min – s: the heart of this project is collab pact.. the city giving up some of its control..

22 min – s: one idea of the commons that i embrace.. is an idea that puts justice and the right to the city at the heart of it.. we make the city

rights ness

23 min – s: is it a right to the city lens.. or a more eutopian lens.. i think the commons needs to scratch a little deeper.. because cities are a space of vast ineq now.. and if the commons can’t speak to that then we’re just a leftist liberal latte.. that won’t be speaking to the more fundamentally pressing challenges..t

24 min – j: the more we treat people like consumers.. the more selfish they get..t

27 min – s: (on bringing commons to level of ineq).. it’s very hard.. to bring it to those folks.. who are commoning.. let’s be clear..  they have informal norms.. institutions that are co op.. there’s a lot of sharing..  that’s why the concept lands very roughly there


29 min – s: an important part of her (ostrom’s) finding.. she found that institutions really work around small resources and in homogenous communities..  but if you bring that to a city.. to me that’s the exciting work.. when we get out of community.. what happens when you scale that concept up.. i think that’s what we’re struggling with.. we have to scale it up.. how do you do this at the city level.. that to me is the challenge..t

ie: cure ios city

31 min – j: ‘it won’t scale’ has killed more projects than anything else..

s: so how do we create a culture in the city (place and governance).. how to create an infra where this becomes more than a few projects and a way of actually operating.. t

ie: 2 convers as infra

32 min – s: 1\ you seed it somewhere.. experiment.. show it can work.. and then it permeates out..t

next experiment – model a nother way

s: 2\ networking things that already happen in city.. and make sure they are networked – toolbox – the more we develop this.. the tools.. institutional and legal.. the more we can see a scaling

35 min – s: yeah.. scaling takes effort but i would say it takes some really interesting thinking about.. bringing old tools/regs.. hack into current system and use some of their tools.. starting from scratch is where you set yourself up for failure.. ie: city is regulated.. govt and market are there and you can’t do away with those things

hmm – i don’t know

i think we have to come up w a mech that makes them irrelevant

36 min – j: Hans Monderman – naked streets – they needed to try it out themselves.. so he’s leave for a bit.. how do you make that contagious.. i think if we could figure that out..

Hans Mondermannaked streets

38 min – s: what does it mean to experiment is one way to think about contagion..t

39 min – s: commons only works if it comes from that place or is adapted to that environ

40 min – s: so be very careful to throw the baby out w the bathwater (ie: ghana and its regs).. to say you know.. ‘the market is awful’.. there’s a way we can leverage and hack into market.. and have fun to re integrate

? i don’t know.. i think we focus to much on that.. and then the tweaking is killing our opp for sync

41 min – s: it’s a matter of finding the right people to regenerate.. that doesn’t displace.. and.. someone’s got to finance the commons.. it’s not free

ie: short – bi as temp placebo

42 min – n: on experimentation and not using pre -formatted ideas/models to figure out what works.. that to me is very liberating and something i hope to see more in cities..t

n: and on scale.. in sv there is this kind of fetish for scale.. what people fail to realize is that is a philosophical accommodation to the investors.. we need to have other convos about the econ..

47 min – s: n made a great point and i’m glad to articulate it here.. idea that commons can’t mean that there’s profit/wealth.. what concerns me when i hear that.. you’re going to tune out a whole lot of people of color.. you can’t tell people who have been left out of the econ for so long.. you can’t benefit economically..  you can’t tell people who have lived that experience.. that we want to move to an econ system in which we share everything but there’s no wealth.. that’s not an inclusive message.. neal’s message.. we can have a robust econ.. not extractive.. but circular.. a broader squath of people

has to be everyone.. not just a broader squath

50 min – (j asks s what would help w your work) s: pooling.. we need more people to work on this.. obviously resources..  we’re busier than we should be.. people asking how to join in and it’s just christian and i and the young researchers.. so part of trying to seed this is trying to attract more people thinking about this.. so we have 1.0 of our pro city protocol.. designed to be improved.. for a collab process.. a commons school.. bring people who are experimenting in cities together to share every year to improve the protocol.. the design principals.. so 1\ resources – that includes people

begs a model that takes no training.. just that modeling you talked about earlier.. but then to jump in.. no one needs to prep.. it’s instantly accessible to everyone..

52 min – j: telling stories.. having tools.. have experts on hand.. to get ie: tools.. what paperwork do i fill out

53 min – s: a lot of this is local.. but there are general rules.. we’re coming out w a co city report..  the point is to make this all available.. as neal has done in the book.. the idea is to make it a lot more open

city sketch up ness

55 min – j: what are ie’s  s: participatory city in uk;

56 min – n: on participatory cities.. the urban villages movement.. putting it at the neighborhood scale..  and .. get the book – sharing cities..

sharing cities

57 min – s: these labs for cities ie: mexico city.. are very interesting.. dc.. these are a new innovation.. cities recognize need for cross cutting space for rethinking the city

58 min – s: cities are siloed.. so when create agency that are not siloed.. important for city to start thinking differently about self.. so i point to those labs

n: collab city councils – where projects can connect..  line between official and resident fades.. becomes more permeable. i’m for big govt and everyone is part of it

has to be all of us – everyone..

1:00 – j: ie: our block – i think waking people up is just as important


via michel fb share:

what is happening to my good friend Neal Gorenflo is happening to many of us, and I would include myself in that:

“In 2015, I began experiencing the world in a different, less enjoyable way. It started with occasional bouts of nervousness that I didn’t recognize as anxiety — because I’d never experienced clinical anxiety before. In fact, 2015 was preceded by the happiest, most fulfilling decade of my life.

These bouts, while only occasional, were significant enough that I began to question myself, the world around me, and my relationship to it in a deeper way than normal.

Next, that anxiety was deepened by dramatic changes on Facebook. I had been a heavy user since co-founding Shareable six years earlier. My Facebook feed became flooded with ridiculous, obviously false “news” stories that were clearly designed to shock or enrage. The high volume and low quality of these articles were deeply puzzling. Why were people sharing such crap? And why was Facebook allowing it to proliferate?

In response, I changed my Facebook settings to limit my exposure. However, I missed the bigger picture — that billions of people were likely experiencing the same toxic brew, and that could have dramatic, society-scale consequences.

This was just before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which, along with #MeToo#BlackLivesMatter, and the rise of the alt right and identity politics, laid bare deep social divisions that added to my unease. Social and other media not only exposed divisions based on gender, class, race, religion, geography, and ideology, they seemed to make them worse. ”

in comments:

John Robb Crude forms of identity are emerging to provide social cohesion as national identity melts away. We need a scalable, networked form of social cohesion to replace those crude forms. That requires finding and reinforcing networks of consensus.

? i don’t know if we would/should call it consensus.. rather let’s just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city.. in order to augmenting interconnectedness back in sync.. cohesion: 2 convers as infra

Neal Gorenflo Agree. For me, this is an exploration and starting place, not a destination. And as I say in the article, I’m not inclined to a strict localism, can see the dark places that can lead to, and seek an identity that’s translocal (probably imperfect usage here).

finding his tweet linked to it:

Yeah, that’s me getting off the escalator to fascism. This is abt more time interfacing w/ neighbors than screens. It’s time to become a citizen & practice democracy like my life depended on it, because it does. Better late than never. Wanna join me?

Original Tweet:

my notes/highlights from article (jan 31 2020): How we can avert our society’s drift toward disaster by charting a different course

Instead of bringing us together, social media has turned one against another, and, in the words of technology ethicist Tristan Harris, is “downgrading” us psychologically.

I see this first hand when friends with “wrong” opinions get bullied or shunned and our ability to engage in constructive conversation deteriorates. Like many, I sometimes self-censor or avoid conversations for fear I’ll be misunderstood or misspeak and wind up being shamed on social media. It weighs on me that I can’t speak freely and that we live in a society where everyone is one utterance from reputational ruin. Where’s the joy in this? This feels like a devastating loss of security, freedom, and conviviality.

imagine the vast majority of people that have never been heard.. that’s what we need to focus on.. has to be all of us (being heard).. everyday.. or it won’t work..

I nearly panicked, but I remembered to swim parallel to the beach to escape the riptide. Using what energy I had left, I slowly made my way to a jetty nearby. I saved myself, but only after getting smashed into the rocks by a wave as I climbed the jetty. I emerged from the water bloodied, but alive.

I’m at a crossroads like that moment in the riptide, where I know I’m in serious trouble and must change course. That’s why I feel a powerful call to deepen my commitment to the everyday practice of commoning..t

super.. but commoning begs we let go of any form of measuring/accounting/decision-making-ness

ie: from commoning article linked:

Commoning represents a new way for everyday citizens to make decisions and take action to shape the future of their communities without being locked into the profit-driven mechanics of the market or being solely dependent on government agencies for funding. 

we’ll never get there if our focus is decision making.. crucial .. as that takes us deeper than questioning the ills of market/govt fundings

Commoning is also a way to tap into the hidden chamber within our imaginations, which harbors vivid images of different ways to live. 

true.. and that is always changing.. less from memory more from living in the day/moment/curiosity

back to neal’s article

I want to, as Douglas Rushkoff would say, join Team Human and upgrade my psychological resilience and collaboration skills..t

that begs we listen within ourselves first .. ie: first thing everyday.. ie.. brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown

can’t collab unless you are truly you (changing everyday) ..

let’s use data already in us.. we need a mech (as it could be) to help us listen to/for that

My plan is to try local experiments and blog my lessons learned at least 1-2 times a month. Below are the three areas I’ll focus on:

I’ll start by learning more about how my local government works, reading all the major plans the city has made, and putting all elections and city council meetings on my calendar. This should give me insight into where I want to engage, including where I can introduce sharing as a solution.

pretty sure that’s all backwards neal.. wish we could one on one on this ie: curiosity over decision making

Others might be able to do more. For my part, I know I can’t do more without first giving myself a thorough re-education..t

has to come from inside out (not from ie: city plans; existing projects; other people; et al) otherwise not legit ed (educe – draw from w/in)

 I’ll share my progress using the hashtag #LocalYear on Twitter. I invite you to share your local adventures that way too.


find/follow Neal:
link twitter


money less

radical econ

city ness