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We are surrounded by abundance as found in an incredible amount of untapped excess capacity. If we simply opened up this excess for use by others, we would have a much greater standard of living, at a fraction of the cost, and use up many fewer resources in our achievement of that goal. This excess is not equally distributed the world over, but untapped potential is everywhere if we look with the right lens and open it up.
Innovations required to get to a sustainable future
We need to provide people worldwide, in all their various markets, means that provide them better access and mobility than they experience today at lower cost, greater convenience, and reduced carbon footprint than they do today.
People are rational. If we provide them that choice, most people will choose the cheaper, more convenient way -- and let us make sure that this choice reduces carbon and congestion.
For me, the heart of the solution is dramatically more options. Today, most people have very few transportation choices: walk or bike in dangerous conditions, take over-crowded and inconvenient public transport, or "take control" and buy your own car to take you point to point. These few options necessarily lead us up the chain to increased car ownership and all the related negative consequences. We have to offer many more options so that cars are not the only solution. And we need to provide these options that suit people at all life stages, and income.
Robin Chase is founder & CEO of Buzzcar, a p2p carsharing company based in France. She is also the founder and CEO of GoLoco, an online ridesharing community. She founded and leads Meadow Networks, a consulting firm that advises city, state, and federal government agencies about wireless applications in the transportation sector, and impacts on innovation and economic development. Robin is also founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world.
She is on the Board of the World Resources Institute, the US Secretary of Commerce's National Advisory Committee for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and the US Department of Transportation's Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee. She served on the World Economic Forum Future of Transportation Council, the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation transition team, and the Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force. In 2009, she was included in the Time 100 Most Influential People. Robin lectures widely, has been frequently featured in the major media, and has received many awards in the areas of innovation, design, and environment. Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT's Sloan School of Management, and was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow.