In January I attended a talk on collaborative consumption as part of the Sydney Festival. It had been one of those days that had been long and hard, and more than a few times I thought I might ditch the evening in the city in favour of a cup of tea and an early night. I didn’t though and damn, I’m glad I didn’t.
My brain grew a little that night. One of those moments where you can almost hear the audible pops, as ideas and thoughts run unhindered when you are by yourself and really, really are able to listen. Needless to say I loved it, but what on earth is Collaborative Consumption?
The sharing economy (sometimes also referred to as the share economy, shared economy, mesh, collaborative economy, collaborative consumption) is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical assets. It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organizations. These systems take a variety of forms, often leveraging information technology to empower individuals, corporations, non-profits and government with information that enables distribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity in goods and services. [Wikipedia]
In a nutshell it’s a shared economy, and that’s a good thing.
Now there are oodles of different shared economy sites to use these days, it’s just a matter of finding one that suits you and getting started. After that, it’s a kind of landslide effect and the doors keep opening.
Here’s an easy ten to get you started.
1/ Airbnb– accommodation in 34,000 cities and 192 different countries. Options from one night in a tent in someones backyard to a castle for a month- with everything else in between.
2/ Landshare– “Connecting growers to people with land to share.” The concept of Landshare began in the UK and was launched by super-duper popular River Cottage.
3/ Eat with Me– “Connect with interesting people by planning or attending event’s to share food and eat together”
4/ The Clothing Exchange– Swapping clothing either online or at one of their regular exchange meet ups.
5/ Garage Sale Trail– “Bargains are had, treasure is discovered, friends are made, money raised and fun is had by all. The cupboards, garages and sheds of Australians are decluttered, re-used and waste minimisation is put into practice en masse.”
6/ Skillstay– “Exchange your skills. Make new friends. Stay for free.”
7/ Hive Studio– Desk or office space, coworking spaces are offered with a community atmosphere.
8/ Car Next Door– Neighbour to neighbour car sharing
9/ MamaBake– “Group, big batch baking for mothers.” A group (say 4) comes together, cooks one big batch dinner each and then swaps- dinner for the next 4 nights.
10/ Jayride– An easy way to hook up a ride with someone going in the direction you need to. Rides could be free, or for just a couple of dollars.
…and the big mama of them all Collaborative Consumption. My top ten is fairly Australian based but if you click on this link it will take you to which ever country you are from, showing sites that will be more local and possibly relevant to you.
What are some of your favourite Collaborative Consumption sites?