April Rinne & The Collaborative Economy Canada Tour

Four cities, six days, 14 events:

The Collaborative Economy Canada Tour was a groundbreaking tour de force on many levels. It set the stage for Canadian cities and policy-makers to become more shareable, Canadian entrepreneurs and business leaders to understand new opportunities, and individuals and communities across the country to see how they can “unlock wealth” in assets all around them. It also was the launch platform of Cities for People, providing key insights to move a Collaborative Economy and Shareable Cities agenda forward and to learn from a decentralized model of organizing. Collaborative Lab served as an “ideas catalyst” which was amplified by enthusiasm and coordination support on-the-ground.
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Connecting the Dots

In her talks, April Rinne, Chief Strategy Officer of the Collaborative Lab illustrated how the collaborative economy (which includes “the sharing economy”) has the potential to transform the way we design products and services, create sustainable and “shareable” cities, re-imagine public services, reduce waste and connect communities. As Lucy Gao, part of the Global Curator Team at Collaborative Lab notes, “A key theme throughout the tour was “connecting the dots,” specifically, how cities connect the expertise, resources and assets between government, citizens, entrepreneurs and companies to create a shareable city.

Close to 900 people attended in-person events and broadcast, & online and print media reached more than 1.4 million audience members.  

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The tour was also an experiment in teamwork and collaboration

It was co-hosted and organized by Social Innovation Generation (SiG) and members of the Cities for People team. In each of the four cities – Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver– local organizers and partner organizations worked to structure the tour events, assemble local partners, participants and resources, ensure that logistics were smooth and content well-prepared. The amount of coordination required was significant (no small feat!), and each of the local teams exceeded expectations.  Close to 900 people attended in-person events and broadcast, online and print media reached more than 1.4 million audience members.
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Supporters and Partners

In addition, multiple funders collaborated to yield maximum benefit. The role of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation was (and continues to be) transformative with regards to both the tour and Cities for People; this has enabled other funders to come forward and leverage collective resources. The robust results are a testament to everyone involved. The tour couldn’t have reached the level of success it had without the support of it’s partners and supporters:
Primary Sponsors – The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Social Innovation Generation (SiG) National, and Cities for People
Supporting Sponsors Vancity and the Calgary Foundation
Primary Partners – The University of Calgary, Centre d’écologie urbaine de Montréal, One Earth, Concordia University, MaRS, Collaborative Lab
Partners – Village Vancouver, Modo: The Car Coop, The HiVE. The Sharing Project, CityStudio, Board of Change. Extraenvironmentalist, Pogoride, City of Vancouver: Greenest City 2020, Share Shed, BC Partners, Ashoka, and Groundswell.


Download the final report
Learn more about the Sharing Economy with April Rinne’s presentation on Slideshare
See the video of April Rinne’s Vancouver PresentationThe HiVE, February 2014.
– See April’s Toronto presentation on Video: “The Collaborative Economy: How sharing is powering a sustainable future – MaRS Global Leadership”, MaRS Discovery District, Toronto, March 2014,  
– “Canada Sharing Economy Roadshow: April Rinne in Toronto”. Written March 5th 2014, by Lucy Gao, Global Curator Team, Collaborative Lab, Canada

– Read “The Sharing Economy: It’s more than we think, “ written by Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director, One Earth – 3 February
– Read, “National Tour on Shared Economy Marks Launch of Cities for People Initiative”written by Jesse Darling, Urban Project Designer, Evergreen CityWorks
– Read, Sharing Economy goes mainstream“, written by Janet Davison, CBC News, Apr 18, 2014
– Read, “Finding Hope in the Sharing Economy”, written by Geoff Dembicki, The Tyee. Feb 17, 2014
– Read, “The Sharing Economy, written by Tracy Lindeman. The Montreal Gazette, March 29, 2014.