We asked six experts to give their verdicts on the events of 2012 and suggest ideas for progression in 2013. In our third instalment, Julian Dobson looks at how an emerging collaborative economy is boosting local economies and renewing civic life. I’ve tried Airbnb, and it works. If you haven’t, it’s an alternative to a hotel. Instead of spending the night in a soulless Travelodge, you rent a room from an ordinary individual or family in the place you want to visit. What happens when you use Airbnb? Rather than supporting a hotel chain, most of your fee goes directly to the people whose home you’re sharing for the night. That money is more likely to stay within the local economy. In San Francisco, where Airbnb began, it’s been estimated that Airbnb hosts have contributed $56m of spending to the city, of which just over $43m has supported local businesses … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Julian Dobson is founder of Urban Pollinators