Re-thinking Consumption

Consumption nowadays immediately evokes a negative image, whether it reminds you of overflowing landfills, obesitas or climate change – it is anything but optimistic. If I was responsible for the brand identity of the word  ‘consumption’, I’d immediately hire Rachel Botsman.

Rachel identified a number of social trends, all for us to see, but only for Rachel to connect, that together form a strong case for a new type of consumption: collaborative consumption.

We’re all familiar with either the power of crowds, peer-to-peer networks, the rise of the digital natives, increasing mobile collaboration or ponzi schemes, to name a few. But we might not be familiar with what’s behind their emergence:

1) A renewed belief in the importance of community
2) A torrent peer-to-peer social network and real-time technologies
3) Pressing unresolved environmental concerns
4) A global recession that has fundamentally shocked consumer behaviors

Then, what does this mean for you and me? It means that there’s a new consumption paradigm on the rise, one that requires to look beyond individual consumer preferences and acknowledges that when half of the stuff we acquire is going stand idle for 90% of its lifetime, we might need to rethink those propositions.

But not in a cynical, anti-consumerist way. Instead, imagine what opportunities lie ahead, that enable the redistribution of markets, that support collaborative lifestyles or extend existing products with a service-system. I’m excited. We’re embarking upon the re-branding of consumption.

Thanks, Rachel.

One thought on “Re-thinking Consumption

  1. eye opener!
    A simple solution to reduce consumption needs to nearly 50%:
    everybody with neighbours (that’s most of us) makes a hole in the wall on two sides. Fit in neat doors on each side. small screen on both sides with a keyboard and type in your required machine/ utensil and time. Even better: common closet in the common walls with most kitchen/ household/ hobby machines. Doors can be locked for safety reasons.
    But this so;ution is not so romantic as when you are required knock on your charming neighbour’s frontdoor to borrow two spoons of sugar or an egg or ask to do your laundry in his/ her washing machine. Collaboration then has a better chance to evolve into something even more durable.

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