• Program 2011-12

Collaborative Consumption - The Sharing Culture


January 31, 2012


6-8 pm


Green Spaces - 394 Broadway, 5th floor (btw Walker & White); New York , NY 10013

With an economy in the most pronounced recession since the Great Depression, more people are reassessing the value of our consumer culture and scaling back on purchases. In response, many people are turning to collaborative consumption to save money and build community. Collaborative consumption is an economic model of sharing, swapping, bartering, renting or borrowing access to products as opposed to ownership. According to The Economist, collaborative consumption is a part of the “thought-provoking sector of 2012” and was identified by Time in 2010 as one of the 10 ideas that will change the world. The concept of reusing or sharing goods and services isn’t new. For years, people have used some kind of product sharing: libraries, laundromats, Goodwill and Salvation Army donation centers, public and private housing collectives and salvage centers. The internet and social media communities are enabling market behavior to be reinvented in a way, and on a scale, not possible before their advent. The web has fueled large marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist, as well as people-centric marketplaces such as Tradepal and Taskrabbit, that help connect people with their neighbors for goods and services. There are also emerging sectors, such as social lending (Zopa), sharing residential property with travelers (CouchSurfing, Airbnb), and car sharing (Zipcar, Getaround, RelayRides). Why buy a college textbook only to sell it a few months later when you can rent one for the semester? Why pay $400 for a tiny hotel room in Manhattan when you can rent someone’s charming one bedroom in Soho or funky East Village pad via airbnb for $200 a night? As the marketplace grows, building trust and quality metrics is critical. Come hear SPN panel experts discuss the implications of this significant social and economic trend and the challenges collaborative consumption faces as the market grows.


Roo Rogers, Founder Ozolab


Jen Abrams, Our Goods; Ron J. Williams, SnapGoods; Paul Steely White Transportation Alternatives; Danya Cheskis-Gold, Skillshare.