Experiences are becoming more important than physical items, this is a consequence of the change in our patterns of consumption due to the emergence of a new type of goods and services: the intangible ones.
This factor, added to the recession we have been experiencing in the last years, have led to the rise of a new type of economy called collaborative consumption or sharing economy.
One of the major changes in the new way of consuming is the step from an exclusive use of the product (I buy a drill and use it myself) to a shared use (people in a community buy a drill and use it alternatively).
This mechanism allows to a reduction of domestic and maintenance costs but it also contributes to the strengthening of neighbourhood and community relations.
Collaborative consumption is a form of sharing. Bargaining and peer-to-peer renting have been used by societies for thousands of years as a way to provide a group of individuals with an asset without requiring each to purchase it on his or her own.
Between their many positive effects some are:
- Reducing negative environmental impact
- Saving costs by borrowing and recycling items
- Providing people with access to goods who can’t afford buying them or have no interest in long-term usage
- Increased independence, flexibility and by decentralization, the abolition of certain entry-barriers and self-organization
- Increased participatory democracy
- Accelerating sustainable consumption and production patterns in cities around the globe
Since the new consumption is based on the emergence of virtual platforms and communities that facilitate the connection and the organization between people, every day new platforms rise for recycle, reuse, exchange, renting, buying and selling and every day more people are using actively these platform to complement and respond their needs in a new way.
As an example, some collaborative consumption platforms are:
JoinUpTaxi – Taxi sharing
Couch surfing – House sharing
Wifis – Wi-fi connection sharing