In many cities around the world, people whose lives have been enriched by the sharing economy were getting together to work out how to find new opportunities to share. With the right tools and support, we can achieve more by working together, across communities, cities, counties and the globe.
We began meeting with small groups of people who share their cars, homes, skills and time to build a grassroots organization, from the ground up. Within a few months, we had meetups and house parties happening in cities across the globe, from Boston to Barcelona and San Francisco to Seoul.
In summer 2013 we launched Peers to provide support and tools for people who want to see the sharing economy thrive. We support the movement in three ways:
- Mainstream the sharing economy By raising the profile and visibility of sharing
- Protect the sharing economy Through policy campaigns for smart regulation
- Grow the sharing economy By helping people to connect and discover how to make their lives shareable
We are proud of the progress we made in our first two months of action!
- MAINSTREAM: Our work has received widespread attention and started important conversations in the media. You can read about us in CNET, The Next City, Bloomberg Business Week, the SF Business Times, Politico, Fast Company, Forbes, and Salon.
- PROTECT: We’re supporting members in shaping the future of sharing in their communities. Matt, a Peers member in Silver Lake, started a petition and organized his neighbors to protect homesharing in his city. Peers members had a big victory when the state of California legalized ridesharing. And Peers member Mishelle is currently fighting in New York to legalize homesharing.
- GROW: We brought our founding community together in 90 cities around the world for potluck Dinner with Peers.
Please help us continue the momentum. Sign up to join Peers today!
Our Structure and Funding
Peers is a deep collaboration of the Peers Benefit Corporation and the Peers Foundation working together toward a common vision: we believe that sharing is a smart, simple, scalable economic solution for the 21st Century. Peers Benefit Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Peers Foundation.
The Peers Benefit Corp leverages collective action to advance sharing as a 21st century economic solution.
Together we are Peers.
Our Staff and Board
Shelby Clark | Executive Director
Shelby is an early pioneer of the sharing economy, who has always been intrigued by the power of connecting people online to positively impact the offline world. He founded the world’s first and largest peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace, RelayRides, which today operates in over 2,300 cities across the US, and where he continues to serve as Board Member. Prior to RelayRides, Shelby was an early employee at Kiva.org, the online peer-to-peer microfinance pioneer, and helped guide its biggest period of growth in the early days of crowdfunding. Outside of the office, Shelby loves seeking a good adventure in the California sun, and is an avid rock climber, kite surfer, and skier. Shelby holds degrees from Harvard Business School and Northwestern University.
Milicent Johnson | DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS, BENEFIT CORPORATION BOARD MEMBER
Milicent draws on her extensive involvement at the forefront of the sharing economy movement. She comes to Peers after co–founding Bayshare, an advocacy group dedicated to building a thriving environment for sharing in San Francisco, and several years as community manager for Shareable.net. Prior to Shareable.net, Milicent served as a community reinvestment fellow at the Greenlining Institute and a program coordinator at the Organization for a New Equality. Milicent’s passion for empowering communities to find meaningful solutions and resilience led her to work on asset building and economic development through education, policy, research, and community organizing with a focus on new economic models, low income communities, and communities of color. Follow Milicent: @MilicentJohnson
Kit Hayes | Director of Campaigns
Kit works at the intersection of online organizing and social innovation. She led the development of Peers while at Purpose and joined the team full time as a Campaign Director in 2014. Before diving into building the sharing economy movement, Kit launched multiple brands, businesses and social movements in the US, Europe, South Africa, India, Southeast Asia and Australia. She’s worked on a range of global social issues including extreme poverty, modern slavery, renewable energy and clean water. To round out her civic leadership skillset, Kit was selected as a fellow in Coro’s Leadership New York program. Using New York as a classroom, Coro works with business leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs and neighborhood activists to provide a deep immersion into the city’s current, pressing social and economic issues. Kit began her career as an award winning brand strategist at global advertising agencies TBWAChiatDay, Anomaly and What If Innovation.
Sam Witherbee | Director of Community and Member Services
Sam is a pioneer in applying grassroots organizing strategies to create positive social change in sustainability markets. Before joining Peers, he co-founded the non-profit social enterprise Groundswell. Sam led Groundswell’s Community Power Project, a renewable-energy purchasing collaborative comprised of faith institutions, schools, and affordable housing developments across the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Also while at Groundswell, Sam launched WeatherizeDC, a campaign that created green jobs by using community organizing to drive demand in energy efficiency markets. Prior to Groundswell, Sam worked as an organizer for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and as a leader in the climate movement with Clean Air-Cool Planet.
Cindy Phan | Special Projects Manager
Cindy is interested in unraveling the connection between people, ideas, and technology to empower individuals to create a world that benefits them. At Peers, Cindy is in charge of special initiatives to support Peers and the sharing economy movement, ranging from fundraising, business development, and design strategy. Prior to joining the Peers team, Cindy was at SquareFoot, an organization focused on activating underutilized spaces to revitalize neighborhoods and at Prevention Institute, leading efforts to improve the built environment through community organizing and policy. Follow Cindy: @cindytphan
Natalie Foster | CO-FOUNDER AND FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBER
Natalie spent the last decade at the intersection of social movements and technology. Prior to joining Peers, she was the CEO and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for powering people–driven economic change. Before that, she was the digital director for President Obama’s Organizing for America (OFA) and the Democratic National Committee. While there, she built and directed the team responsible for web content, grassroots fundraising social media and mobile for BarackObama.com as well as Democrats.org. She also built the Sierra Club’s first online organizing department and served as the deputy organizing director for MoveOn.org. Follow Natalie: @NatalieFoster
Douglas Atkin | Co-founder and Foundation Board Member
Douglas Atkin co-founded Peers and is Head of Community at Airbnb. He is founder of theglueproject, a blog and venture to create social glue through Community and a founding Partner of Purpose, an organization that mobilizes millions for social change. Douglas is a board Member of AllOut.org, the world’s largest LBGT movement. Douglas is also a Meetup Fellow and former Partner and Chief Community Officer at Meetup-the world’s largest network of communities. Follow Douglas: @datkin
James Slezak | Co-founder and Foundation Board Member
James Slezak co-founded Peers and is founder of the New Economy Practice at Purpose. A longtime activist on sustainability and progressive social causes, James now heads New Economy Lab, building innovative forms of social enterprise in partnership with leading global organizations. He previously consulted at McKinsey & Co, leading projects on sustainability, internet technology and economic development. James holds a PhD in Physics, serves on the board of a number of social-impact oriented nonprofits and businesses, and is an affiliate at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Follow James: @jslez
Rachel Botsman | Foundation Board Member
Rachel Botsman is a global thought leader on the power of collaboration and sharing through network technologies to transform the way we live, work and consume. She has inspired a new consumer economy with her influential book What’s Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing The Way We Live. Rachel was a founding partner in the Collaborative Fund, an early stage investor in disruptive ventures and a former director at President Clinton’s Foundation. She is currently the founder of Collaborative Lab, the leading source of expertise for businesses and governments that want to embrace the collaborative economy. Follow Rachel: @rachelbotsman
Jessica Jackley | Benefit Corporation Board Member
Jessica is a social entrepreneur focused on empowering others through entrepreneurship and access to capital. She currently serves as an investor and advisor with the Collaborative Fund, investing in entrepreneurs who champion the sharing economy. She is also a Visiting Practitioner at Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society. Before this, Jessica was a co-founder and CEO of ProFounder, a pioneering crowdfunding platform for U.S. entrepreneurs. Earlier in her career, Jessica was a co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Kiva, the world’s first p2p microlending website. Kiva lets internet users lend as little as $25 to individual entrepreneurs, providing affordable capital to help them start or expand a small business. Follow Jessica: @jessicajackley
Peers was incubated with support from Purpose and guidance from the following thought leaders:
- ANTONIN LEONARD CREATOR OF CONSO COLLABORATIVE AND CO-FOUNDER OF OUISHARE
- ARUN SUNDARARAJAN PROFESSOR AT NYU’S STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
- JEREMY HEIMANS CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF PURPOSE, CO-FOUNDER OF AVAAZ, ALLOUT AND GETUP
- LISA GANSKY AUTHOR OF THE MESH: WHY THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS IS SHARING
- NEAL GORENFLO CO-FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER OF SHAREABLE MAGAZINE
- Robin Chase FOUNDER AND CEO OF BUZZCAR, AND FOUNDER AND FORMER CEO OF ZIPCAR