Rachel Botsman: Collaborative Consumption Will Define the 21st Century

Rachel Botsman, leading futurist, thinks that if the 20th century was defined by hyper consumption, the 21st century will be defined by collaborative consumption.

Botsman defines collaborative consumption as being about “reputation, community and shared access” as opposed to “credit, advertising and individual ownership”. It is about connecting to each other and sharing and exchanging all kinds of assets, including cars, skills and money. “It has the power to reinvent not just what we consume but how we consume,” she said.

One of the cornerstones of collaborative consumption is trust between strangers. “The notion of connecting trustworthy strangers is an untapped market. What are the different dimensions of trust that should be measured. How do we make sure that our digital identities reflect our real identities?” She asked.

She explained: “Social, mobile and location technologies are coming together to make efficiency and trust. Technology creates the social glue for trust to form between strangers. It means we can mimic the exchanges that we used to do face to face. Technology is taking us back to old market ways of trading, bartering, sharing and lending — reinvented in ways that are relevant for the Facebook age.”

She mentioned Airbnb as the posterchild for the trend. It has recently been rocked by a couple of high profile incidents of vandalism and theft. But, she explains: “They have made two million reservations to date and there has only been two serious incidents.”

Botsman believes that the ability to measure or value a person’s reputation — their reputation capital — across different marketplaces will become a crucial metric for the 21st century, which she believes will be “more important than our credit history”. She adds: “Can we track and aggregate generosity, reliability, and consistency across marketplaces such as eBay, AirBnB and Zopa?”

Rachel Botsman

Rachel Botsman, author of What’s Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live, has quickly become a leading international expert on social innovation and futurism as it applies to the massive marketplace of new consumers. Rachel has spoken at TEDx and events hosted by prominent organizations such as Google and The Clinton Global Initiative.

Presently living in Sydney, Australia, Rachel is easily available for speaking engagements throughout all of Asia. In addition to her core concept of collaborative consumption receiving mention by Time Magazine as one of the “10 Ideas That Will Change the World,” Rachel was recently named by Monocle as one of the top 20 speakers in the world to commission for your conference.

While she is best known for her work on collaborative consumption, Rachel is a prominent future trend speaker available to speak on a wide variety of subjects related to business and social innovation, including: how participation is changing the face of corporate branding; how communities form, grow and dissolve in the digital age; the importance of trust and transparency in the modern marketplace; and what society and business will really look like in the 21st century.

To book Rachel for a speaking engagement, contact us at [email protected].

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