Why Presidential Candidates Need to Care about the Sharing Economy

As 2016 presidential candidates release their messages and gather support for their parties, a segment continues to feel disconnected: millennials. Brought up in the fast-paced digital world of computers and iPhones, they are looking for candidates that understand them. Since they make up a third of all voters and heavily influence other generations, candidates need to pay more attention to winning them over. Some candidates, like Hillary Clinton, are bringing up the “gig economy,” something the younger generation knows a lot about.

A central theme for millennials is trust. The sharing economy, and its roots in trust, is an untapped platform for candidates to connect with this generation.

What do presidential candidates need to do to win over millennials?

In a recent address, Hillary Clinton brought up the “gig economy” and how it presents opportunities, but also challenges for creating fair jobs. Key points: job creation, resolving overwhelming student debts, the environment, and building community, were brought to the forefront and we predict will continue to fuel future debates. Like anything new, more leaders need to discuss how to incorporate policies that will allow this industry to fuel, not only economic growth, but fair job opportunities and resources for entrepreneurs.

Whatever your political leanings, it’s clear that this dialogue is needed for things to move forward and fairly.

Rachel Botsman, thought leader in the industry who coined the phrase “collaborative consumption,” notes that the currency of the new economy is trust. Since the sharing economy’s currency is trust, candidates learn how to better earn millennial’s trust by taking part in this economy.

Many young people feel disconnected by politicians because they seem unreachable, far-removed from their world. In recent news, it was reported that Hillary Rodham Clinton chooses to ride Lyft while Jeb Bush released a statement saying he will ride Uber on his next trip to San Francisco. Although candidates are divided on which types of sharing companies they support, they are united on one front: the sharing economy is here to stay.

Presidential candidates need to address what most millennials are experiencing: a more democratized form of consumerism that provides job opportunities and is a refreshing step away from the old “Keeping up with the Joneses” philosophy. Hearing politicians bring these important issues up is just the beginning as hundreds of industries continue to be disrupted by this tidal wave, and many more are to come.