The Shared City

The One Where George Takei Explains “The Sharing Economy” to the AARP Crowd

Since his days as Hikaru Sulu on the USS Enterprise, George Takei has turned himself into something of a social media superstar, in large part because of his cheerfully nerdy Facebook posts that circulate like wildfire. But Takei has also teamed up with AARP in a series of YouTube videos called Takei’s Take that attempt to break down what’s happening in the digital world for non-digital-natives.

His latest installment is of particular interest to us. "It’s called the sharing economy," Takei booms in his trademark baritone, "and it’s changing how we buy, sell, and even how we live."

In just five minutes, Takei lays out a perfectly good chronology that ties together Craiglist, Airbnb — "great for empty nesters" — Lyft and more.

Pitching sharing-for-cash to the retirement set actually makes a good deal of sense. It’s a time in life when we might find ourselves with extra stuff: Guest rooms, cars we don’t drive all that much, time to TaskRabbit and so on. And because of Medicare, pensions, retirement plans and what have you, we might not be all that concerned with the traditional protections of more traditional work.

But don’t take it from me. Here’s George:

The Shared City is made possible with the support of The Knight Foundation.

Nancy Scola is a journalist and writer whose work on the intersections of technology and politics has been published by The American Prospect, Capital, Columbia Journalism Review, New York, Reuters, Salon, Science Progress, Seed, and other publications. She is a correspondent on technology and politics for The Atlantic. She was previously the associate editor of techPresident, a widely-read daily online publication of the Personal Democracy Forum. She’s talked about governing, campaigns, political organizing, technology policy, digital media and more on the BBC, CNN.com, MSNBC, and WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show,” and frequently appears on conference panels.

Tags: shared city, sharing economy, videos, aarp