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The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community Paperback – May 18, 2009
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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"This canny, thorough book offeres detailed advice on how to make clear sharing agreements and minimize potential confusion and conflict." (ERNEST CALLENBACH, author of Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging )
"[G]reat practical advice on how to act on our best instincts toward sustaining our society as well as ourselves in the 21st century." (BRUCE SIEVERS, Senior Fellow, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers; Visiting Scholar, Stanford University )
From the neighborhood level to the global, sharing may be the single most important strategy to reduce our environmental impact, gain financial health, promote equity and have fun. The Sharing Solution provides valuable advice and how-to tips for seasoned sharers and new converts. T his book is a tremendously valuable resource for us all, and a must-read for those who want to chart a new path: a more sustainable, more compassionate and more fun one.
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So Nolo Press brings us this. From ridesharing all the way up to communal housing developments, the authors Orsi and Doskow lay out the many and varied issues involved in sharing -- ownership shares, niceties of communication, business partnership issues -- and provide a simple, easy-to-follow approach to dealing with them. Tables and worksheets lay out the variables in a simple-to-follow fashion, and case studies show the principles the authors lay out in action.
The social isolation that once allowed people to start and operate a collaboration on a handshake no longer exists in the United States or most of the Westernized world, if it ever really did to begin with. Nolo Press has always sought to be a substitute for that, making many legal procedures accessible to nonspecialists. This book continues that long tradition, bringing the reader as close to handshake-contract territory as is reasonably possible.
Personally, even thought the authors present a very good argument for sharing, I don't see myself sharing to the extent the authors cover in this guidebook. However, I do feel it is an extremely useful guide for those who do wish to create more sharing opportunities and organizations, and do it right. So, for a certain group of people, this book will be very valuable. For others, they may dismiss the idea of sharing altogether. For those not into sharing to the extent the authors recommend and advocate, fine, the book is not for you. If, on the other hand, you want to create a sharing groups, or a sharing agreement with someone, or just find out more about what this "Sharing" buzz is all about, this is a book well worth reading.
The first part covers sharing basics, and includes chapters on topics such as how to get started and the benefits of sharing which the authors discuss social, personal, environmental, and financial benefits. Chapters on finding sharing partners and what you should consider when you share. The chapter on sharing communications was interesting and provided good general communication advice, as well as a little on resolving conflict. As a mediator, I was happy to see the authors promoting mediation as a very good way to resolve sharing disputes because the mediation process is great for not only resolving the conflict, but preserving the relationship witch is a must if you wish to continue sharing. There was also a chapter on the importance of putting your arrangement in writing. For simple sharing, a written agreement is not necessary, but for some of the more elaborate sharing arrangements the authors discuss a written agreement is very important and the authors provide good advice. In my law practice, I've seen a lot of problems that would never have happened if clear communication and written agreements would have been used from the beginning. I'm glad the authors covered these topics.
The second part of the book covers sharing solutions. Each chapter discusses in more detail sharing in different situations. These chapters include: Sharing Housing; Sharing Household Goods, Purchases, Tasks and Space; Sharing Food; Sharing Care for Children, Family, and Pets; Sharing Transportation; and Sharing at Work. All of these chapters provide good information if you are interested in sharing in these areas. The authors provide many ideas of how you can incorporate sharing more into your life, and provide sample agreements and check lists to help you.
The Appendixes provide additional resources and forms to assist you as well. Over all, I found this to be a very informative and useful book for those that are interested in sharing more as the authors advocate. It's not for everyone, but for those it is for, it is an excellent resource.
Reviewed by Alain Burrese, author of a regular column on negotiation for The Montana Lawyer.
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