We live in a society where the ownership remains the ultimate symbol of social success, where the accumulation of goods develops an exacerbated individualism and the unknown is perceived as a threat.
Today, every person with a vision and a bucket of ideas upsets the economic cycle. The “Internet culture” gradually comes to overhaul the ideal carried by mass consumption, promoting a vast network of collaborative initiatives. Crowdfunding, crowdsourcing attest to the growing popularity of sharing – replace the use of possession, as the trend would gradually assert in this century. The sharing of ideas, information and objects by millions of Internet users has already begun to bypass traditional commercial market channels. The eloquent example is the music market: the ownership of the CD has given way to access online music libraries, putting the music industry to its knees. Car sharing online services, bicycle, tools, clothing, toys, houses, skills experience (Time banking) these have created a major boom since the shock of the global economic crisis in 2008. The indebtedness of families and the fall of their purchasing power are beginning to question the value of always accumulating more assets, when many of them often remain unused. The new collaborative system teaches us that physical possession rhyme with less personal fulfillment.
In a world where collaborative lifestyles seduce more than ever, projects such as car sharing, bartering clothes, bicycle sharing system, parental nurseries, shared habitat make life cheaper to live, revive social links and reduce our ecological footprint. The remarkable success of Wikipedia, Couchsurfing, Freecycle, Kiva, open-source software and Creative Commons show. They tell a magnificent story about human nature, a story that is still covered too little by the traditional media. They show what is possible when we begin to share. They show that we act only for our benefit but also for the common good. They show the way forward to solve the social and environmental crises we face. They show that a new world is about to emerge where sharing is synonymous with respect.
These changes bring companies to rethink the way they evaluate the economic performance. The emergence of sharing, prosumers and decline of capitalist labor liberate a human staff who migrates to the social economy and collaborative communal, serving common interests; hence, the incorporation of new indicators measuring economic progress by focusing on quality of life and not merely the quantity of the product.
General economic well-being of society tends to be redefined through new social priorities: education of a population, accessibility of health services, life expectancy, infant mortality, sustainable development, degree of democratic participation, equity in the distribution of wealth, etc. This is what the new collaborative system seeks to put into practice at the heart of its vision of collaborative commons. It considers that deregulation and privatization have marked the abandonment by governments of responsibility for the well-being of the general interest. The states have become “empty shells”, leaving immense power to the private sector over the affairs of the company. This change was made to the speed of light without major debate, leaving very little time to react to the people.
Given this situation, today we share an intuition that our mindsets will change considerably: new technologies, social networks and new uses have opened up a field of possibilities that innovators, entrepreneurs and even average people have just begun to explore, opening a new chapter in humankind history.
Written by: Yahya Kabboul
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