Shared economy or collaborative consumption is not a new concept. Your ride in Uber or Lyft or perhaps your stay with Airbnb is an example of peer to peer collaborative consumption. What makes this idea interesting is the ability of the shared economy based companies to offer simplified yet delightful experiences to consumers. Such an easy services driven concept is enabled by technology and is silently building a profound effect on our society – leading a Social Change.
Obviously Social change is actually a procedure for major changes over a period of period in pattern of behavior, cultural values and norms of society. These changes have long lasting impact on the society. So, let’s understand how these new age companies focusing on old style of Shared economy are assisting to bring a Social Change:
1. Socially we have been moving from Ownership to Sharing: Should you closely take a look at these firms, they neither offer any technology to work with nor they offer direct services. The delightful experiences are delivered by someone who is sharing the goods and services together with you. This really is helping individuals to move from full ownership to a sharing model thus opening to unknown group of people from across the globe. This mode of sharing can’t be seen as selling since the provider of services is enabling you to be part of something that they completely own & probably use in their lives. The greater people share more they grow & more they grow the greater they share. By doing this we are moving from I & one to we & us ultimately causing a harmonized happy world. This is actually the basis of the new direction and a paradigm shift that is leading a whole new means of life – a Social Change.
2.Our company is trusting the unknown: Every time you consume services through the shared economy model you trust the unknown. Yes you can find reviews about the services you are planning to consume but you need to trust reviews from people who you don’t know and therefore it is trusting the unknown. Principes Communs De Solidarité from one area of the globe are trusting people from another area of the globe – that they can could have never visited. Imagine this – you have planned a vacation trip in Chicago and will be travelling from your comforts of your house in Colombo. You have booked a room through Airbnb and know nothing about your host in Chicago. The sole source of information are among the great reviews regarding the host. You still go ahead, finish a great stay with the host and provide them 5 star reviews. This is actually happening and happening around the globe in a pace faster than your reading speed. Phenomenal. We as a Society are willing to trust more & take more risks to get global citizens. Looking more optimistically, this style of mutual respect & trust is succeeding more than the traditional style of consumption. This capability to trust the unknown is challenging well known brands. It is actually making them innovate and win consumer’s trust according to improved services or value if not they clearly face extinction. We have been sharing more, we have been also caring more and we are trusting more as being a Society.
3. We are embracing change: Once you go for services with the Shared Economy model you might be moving from the traditional established to a completely new model of consumption. The existing models are definitely more mature and it’s easy to go with the previous and trusted way of doing things however the world is embracing this transformation. If the development of companies like Uber or Airbnb is any indicator then it’s clear that world is moving almost in one direction and that is certainly to move from traditional system to an alternative age model. Once you take a look at leading surveys you will notice that Airbnb is booking more rooms than Hilton or Uber operates in than 250 cities and contains better market valuation in comparison to many leading Airlines on earth. This may not be an unexpected at all. With proliferation of mobile connectivity & internet we will see this modification being embraced by way of a larger population thus ensuring a deeper & more significant impact on the society.
4. We have been supporting Social entrepreneurship: Imagine this – an older lady in UK has a 3 room apartment near city center and she doesn’t desire to put it on long term (1 year or maybe more) rent as her distant family visits her one or two times in a year. At the same time she needs to monetize the real estate investment. She wants to meet people and doesn’t desire to be lonely. With the shared economy model she will do this all at the ease of few clicks. All that she needs to do is to achieve the details uploaded on Airbnb or similar portals that she trusts. She can not just monetize the investments but will also have the chance to meet people from diverse backgrounds. No reason to browse through the hassles of contracting with every tenant or hire staff to run the show, no running around authorities, no necessity of posting costly ads, no follow ups and no reason to engage real estate brokers. In this particular new model she can run her very own business in simple yet quite effective way. When the society starts supporting its constituents the progress is inevitable. The complete world- well almost- is coming together to back up you to make you successful. That’s social entrepreneurship.
5. And we are helping the Environment: This one is clear to understand but has the most crucial influence on our future. Whenever you choose car-sharing, bike-sharing or a ride-sharing you might be actually helping to reduce carbon footprints, you might be saving fuel and everything linked to it. Rather than buying new stuff we have been re-utilizing and monetizing existing assets by sweating them which is always better than throwing and buying new. Shared economy model helps you to reuse stranded assets like cars, bikes to vacant rooms in addition to toys which otherwise sits idle occupying space and they are seldom used. Underutilized goods develop into waste quickly which model helps eliminate that. Using this method we are helping ease pressure on environment by lowering the quantity of old items that are discarded or thrown as well as reducing the rising demands of the latest goods. Add to this reduced traffic congestion, savings as a result of lower intake of energy hawiho resources and it will be possible to clearly see the benefits of this new model on society as a whole. Our company is helping ourselves and the future of the society overall.
When you might have observed there is an inevitable change we all are experiencing- our company is sharing more, we have been accepting more, we are embracing new, we are becoming diverse and we are making tomorrow better. This is undoubtedly a big paradigm shift that can slowly result in a Social revolution with far more lasting impact than current technological advancements.