collaborative consumption / by Nick Ierodiaconou

Collaborative Consumption Grouondswell video via A great little film on collaborative consumption explaining (at break neck speed) the benefits of a of we-economics approach to consumption. The tagline is if the 20th Century was all about hyper consumption (ie zombie consumers buying cheap plastic from china and then paying them by the boatload to take back the same cheap palstic) to a 21st century collaborative consumption ie reintroducing sharing, bartering, exchanging upstream and downstream of goods all enabled by peer to peer platforms. So the pitch goes – it is not what, but how we consume. Does this mean we really can have it all? Seasonal fads and goodies, that we only use once a year – but shared between 365 people around us. Hmmm. I like the premise of the idea – the benefits of a product ie its service, without the need to own the product. Does this make consumption “more” viable? I’d like to naively think the answer is yes – because what the peer to peer platforms enable is the capacity to build “communities” – of identity, interest, ethic, practice…butthe question for us is – how does this behaviour translate beyond consumption into collaborative communities. If we can learn to play nice with each other, can we learn to create and make nicely together?

A few soundbites borrowed from the film…

Did you know that the fastest growing form of transportation is bike sharing?

Did you know that as the 3 big US car companies were being bailed out there was a 51.5% increase in car sharing membership?

Did you know freecycle has 7 million members across 86 countries? (and the 3rd most searched environmental term…before Earth in 4th place!)

Anyhow – you don’t need me to recount this – watch the video.Share the video. and perhaps that spare blender in your kitchen cupboard that’s been gathering dust.