Loic & Geraldine announce the LeWeb London theme: The Digital Hippies & The Sharing Economy


Via a new video posted to the LeWeb YouTube account yesterday, Loic & Geraldine Le Meur have announced the theme for LeWeb London: The Digital Hippies & The Sharing Economy. The event, set to take place on June 5th & 6th in central London, will be their second event in London, after last year’s “Faster than Real Time” event. The video gives mention to the big players in the sharing economy: Airbnb, Lyft, Cookening, Wikipedia, & more. In their usual “cute but awkward” style announcement video, Loic & Geraldine give tribute back to the “digital hippies,” the likes of Steve Jobs & Richard Branson, who were not just about “flower power” and “do nothing,” as Geraldine says, but saw the value in sharing things.

An excerpt from the description of the video hints at the larger picture behind the theme:

Today’s Digital “Hippies” share many of the core ideological views as the 1960’s movement including rejecting money, fame and power while focusing on creating products that they believe can change the world for the better. Digital “Hippies” are creating a sharing economy — one that includes creations like Wikipedia, Airbnb and Lyft — without a focus on exchanging cash.

This Bohemian approach values transparency, openness, authenticity and community. In their world, everything is sharable and should be.

-What effect does this sharing economy have on the mainstream?

-Does crowdfunding threaten traditional funding sources indefinitely?

-Will getting a ride with a stranger for free turn public transportation systems on end?

-Should the hospitality industry be nervous about the Airbnb model taking over?

-Are these people really just sipping each other’s Kool-Aid and a passing phase?

We see any big words popping up here: Sharing Economy, Crowdfunding, Transportation, etc. and I think they’ve touched, yet again, on what everyone is talking about. Forbes’ most recent cover page and headlining article today is about Airbnb, and the billion dollar businesses behind sharing.

Just like last December’s event, I think this event is a great opportunity to showcase some French startups (with London bakers) – Drivy, Blablacar, Zilok Auto, and many others have already built up a strong sharing economy in France. I often argue that it’s very much in France’s culture to share… as long as there’s a little money to be made 😉

While the LeWeb London site has yet to be updated with the new video and information bout the event’s theme – which usually comes when they send out the official notice about the event – tickets have been on sale for a while, and I highly recommend getting them before February 28th, as these tickets jump up in price pretty quickly. The event will take place in Central Hall Westminster, the same as last year’s edition, I believe.

This is the first event after Loic & Geraldine sold their controlling stake in the LeWeb series to Reed MIDEM last December, so it will be interesting to see how this event plays out. They’ve already said they will be involved in the 2013 events, but we’ll have to wait & see if Loic makes as much of an effort to bring out his Silicon Valley crew as he did before, or if he’s just enjoying the ride now.

h/t to FrenchWeb for spotting the video.