Collaborative Consumption

By Katherine Madden

After a day at GBCA's Green Cities conference in early March, I've had plenty of time to reflect on the ecletic mix of presentations, thoughts and aspirations. The most striking thing to come out of the conference for me was Rachel Botsman's thinking on "Collaborative Consumption". Its a wonderful concept based around satisfying our desire for access and meeting our needs without owing stuff. And the evidence out there is that the shift is already happening. Not all of us want to own cars, we'd rather use car share serices such as Go Get. We don't necessarily want to own the CD but we want access to the music that it holds. Sound familiar? Well this is what Rachel has observed and what she speaks about. She also points out that some of us want to out-source our tasks, which has given rise to websites like Task Box We live in a very connected age with on-demand access to information and people. Rachel discribes this as the means which is enabling the shift away from owning stuff to sharing and enabling access to things.

According to Rachel, she came to this thinking in 2008 around the time of the start of the global finalnial crisis, when it became obvious to her that we were reaching the limits to growth of our planet, out of which she osberved people wanted to become more connected with their community, resolve environmental concerns.

Its happening all around us, but Rachel has cleverly pieced it together and describes it as Collaborative Consumption. Check out You can alos see plenty of Rachel's presentations at,

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