Sharing, or “Collaborative Consumption” as it is often now called, really started to gain traction in 2011. I started yours2share in 2006 and frankly most people thought I was insane. Now I hear about new sharing related websites daily and it seems like all my friends and relations are busy Couchsurfing, AirBnB-ing, freecycling, car clubbing, co-working etc. If you want to know more about Collaborative Consumption, I highly recommend Rachel Botsman and Roo Roger’s book “What’s Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live”
I am now heavily involved in several other areas of collaborative consumption as well as yours2share. I run a co-working group Norwich Jelly which enables homeworkers, freelancers, self employed and anyone working on their own to co-work together once a month in Norwich, Norfolk. This is part of an international network of Jellys. Most people, like me, work on their own from home, but we’ve seen an increase in professional people with full time jobs based entirely home. Everyone appreciates a day when they can interact with people, laugh a little and share ideas, hints and tips.
I’ve also helped to set up a LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) in the Chet Valley, my local area of Norfolk, which enables local people to trade goods and services for a local “virtual” currency. Our system is still very new, but I’m encouraged at the enthusiasm with which it has been greeted so far.
Finally, we’ve had a few more couchsurfing visitors and they’ve all been a pleasure to have staying with us. We are planning trips to Berlin and to Italy next year and I’m hoping to surf a few couches whilst we are there!
And on that note, I’ll wish a healthy, happy and collaborative New Year.