I’ve been thinking a lot about some big cultural shifts that have started to emerge around the way that we manage our personal resources and consumption habits. People are starting to look for ways to tap into their connections (that already exist, or can be easily created) to redistribute things that they don’t need anymore, and identify other means to obtain, borrow, or rent the things they do need.

Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, authors of What’s Mine is Yours, think that with advances in new technologies we have literally wired our world share, and we can expect to see more people adopting these behaviors. They have divided these emerging behaviors into three systems.

The Three Systems
Collaborative Consumption is thriving across sectors as diverse as finance and travel, agriculture and technology, education and retail. When researching What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption with my co-author Roo Rogers, we saw that the vast array of examples from around the world, could be organized into three clear systems:

Pay for the benefit of using a product without needing to own the product outright. Disrupting traditional industries based on models of individual private ownership (e.g. car sharing & peer-to-peer rental)

Redistribute used or pre-owned goods from where they are not needed to somewhere or someone where they are. (e.g. swap trading & reuse marketplaces)

It’s not just physical goods that can be shared, swapped, and bartered. People with similar interests are banding together to share and exchange less tangible assets such as time, space, skills, and money. (e.g. social lending & person to person travel)