Shared economy or collaborative consumption is not a new concept. Your ride in Uber or Lyft or maybe your stick to Airbnb is an illustration of this peer to peer collaborative consumption. The thing that makes this concept interesting is the ability of the shared economy based companies to supply simplified yet delightful experiences to consumers. This type of easy services driven concept is enabled by technology and is silently building a profound effect on society – leading a Social Change.
By definition Social change is really a procedure of major changes over a period of period in pattern of behavior, cultural values and norms of society. These changes have long term impact on the society. So, let’s understand how these new age companies working on old model of Shared economy are helping bring a Social Change:
1. Socially we are moving from Ownership to Sharing: Should you closely look at these businesses, they neither offer any technology to work with nor they feature direct services. The delightful experiences are delivered by somebody that is sharing the goods and services along with you. This is helping men and women to move from full ownership to some sharing model thus opening to unknown group of people from throughout the world. This mode of sharing can’t be observed as selling because the provider of services is enabling you to take part in something that they completely own & probably use in their daily lives. The more people share more they grow & more they grow the more they share. In this way we are moving from I & you to we & us ultimately causing a harmonized happy world. This is actually the basis of the newest direction as well as a paradigm shift which is leading a whole new way of life – a Social Change.
2.Our company is trusting the unknown: Each and every time you eat a service with the shared economy model you trust the unknown. Yes there are reviews regarding the services you are wanting to consume but you have to trust reviews from people that you don’t know and therefore it is actually trusting the unknown. Principes Communs De Solidarité from one portion of the globe are trusting people from another part of the globe – that they may have never visited. Imagine this – you have planned a vacation trip in Chicago and will also be travelling from the comforts of your house in Colombo. You may have booked an area through Airbnb and know nothing regarding your host in Chicago. The only source of information are some of the great reviews about the host. You will still go ahead, complete a great stick with the host and give them 5 star reviews. This is really happening and happening all across the globe in a pace faster than your reading speed. Phenomenal. We being a Society are prepared to trust more & take more risks to be global citizens. Looking more optimistically, this type of mutual respect & trust is succeeding greater than the traditional type of consumption. This capacity to trust the unknown is challenging well-established brands. It is actually making them innovate and win consumer’s trust according to improved services or value otherwise they clearly face extinction. We have been sharing more, we are also caring more and that we are now trusting more as being a Society.
3. We are embracing change: Whenever you go for services with the Shared Economy model you happen to be moving from your traditional established to a completely new model of consumption. The previous models tend to be more mature and it’s easy to choose the existing and trusted means of doing things but the world is embracing this transformation. When the expansion 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 go from traditional system to a different age model. Once you examine leading surveys you will notice that Airbnb is booking more rooms than Hilton or Uber operates in more than 250 cities and it has better market valuation in comparison with many leading Airlines in the world. This may not be a surprise whatsoever. With proliferation of mobile connectivity & internet we will see this change 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 wish to place it on long-term (1 year or more) rent as her distant family visits her one or two times annually. At the same time she would like to monetize the real estate investment. She likes to meet people and doesn’t desire to be lonely. With all the shared economy model she will do all this at the simplicity of few clicks. Everything that she has to do is to have the details uploaded on Airbnb or similar portals that she trusts. She can not only monetize the investments but may also have the chance to meet people from diverse backgrounds. No requirement to go through the hassles of contracting with every tenant or hire staff to operate the show, no walking around authorities, no necessity of posting costly ads, no follow ups and no need to engage real estate agents. In this particular new model she will run her business in simple yet extremely effective way. If the society starts supporting its constituents the progress is inevitable. The whole world- well almost- is coming together to support you in making you successful. That’s social entrepreneurship.
5. So we are improving the Environment: This one is clear to understand but has the most crucial effect on our future. When you opt for car-sharing, bike-sharing or a ride-sharing you are actually helping to reduce carbon footprints, you might be saving fuel and everything related to it. Rather than buying new stuff we are re-utilizing and monetizing existing assets by sweating them which can be always better than throwing and purchasing new. Shared economy model helps to reuse stranded assets like cars, bikes to vacant rooms along with toys which otherwise sits idle occupying space and they are seldom used. Underutilized goods become waste quickly and this model helps eliminate that. In this way we are helping ease pressure on environment by lowering the volume of old products which are discarded or thrown and also reducing the ever increasing demands of brand new 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 our Society as a whole. We have been helping ourselves and the way forward for the society as a whole.
While you could have observed there is an inevitable change that we all are going through- we are sharing more, we have been accepting more, we have been embracing new, we are becoming diverse and our company is making tomorrow better. This is definitely a big paradigm shift that can slowly cause a Social revolution with a lot more lasting impact than current technological advancements.