What do eBay, Zipcar, Craigslist, Kiva and timeshare real estate have in common? They all represent businesses that harness the power of collaborative consumption, or simply put, sharing. But this is not playing nice in the sandbox, rather, it is tracked and coordinated sharing on a global scale. Large scale sharing creates a more sustainable future by decreasing overall consumption while increasing enjoyment. This video with Rachel Botsman, author of What’s Mine is Yours: the Rise of Collaborative Consumption, explores how green entrepreneurs can ride this wave of collaborative consumption.
Four forces are reshaping global consumption behavior: environmental awareness, global recession, re-emphasis on community and network technologies. This reshaping of how we consume translates to massive opportunities to redefine sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping through technology and peer communities. Opportunities can be found in areas with critical mass and idling capacity, while belief in the commons and trust must be established to enable the sharing community. We are entering an age where usage trumps possession, and access is better than ownership. The new order is collaborative consumption. Are you ready?
Connie Kwan is a GreenTech Marketing professional based in Silicon Valley, CA. She is pursuing an MBA in Sustainability at Presidio Graduate School and blogs about sustainability and business at Sustainable Thinking: Applied.