I set myself a challenge. If I was to only use the tools of the collaborative economy, what would my day look like and is this a 2025 vision or a 2015 reality?
Let’s start with breakfast, where else? I open up the fridge and take out some ham, cheese, milk and take some fresh bread and honey to go with it. All of this is sourced directly from the producer using https://laruchequiditoui.fr/en/assemblies/6103 which is a collaborative consumption platform connecting producers and consumers, without going through classic supermarket or other intermediaries.
Imagine I’ve just dropped the kids at school and I’m ready to start my work day. Rather than going to the office, I head to the local “co-working” space so I don’t have to sit in traffic but am not isolated at home either. There are lots via http://coworkingbelgium.be . There are also more and more people teleworking etc… so there are lots of possibilities.
My first appointment is at 9,30 with Mr x. He needs some help marketing his businesses. He is a genius with wordpress and SEO which is exactly what I need help with so in the spirit of collaboration, we spend one hour looking at his needs and then he spends an hour helping me with mine. No money changes hands.
Time for lunch. As its sunny, I head home on my electric bike, grab a sandwich along the way and decide to cut the grass while I’m there. For this, I’ve rented a lawnmower from one of my neighbours using yet another collaborative platform along the lines of this one http://www.rentoid.com
My afternoon meeting is in Brussels. I decide to take the car. As I don’t own one, I use carsharing to get there along the lines of https://www.cambio.be/cms/carsharing/fr/2/cms?cms_knschluessel=HOME&cms_Feurocode=BXL but there are plenty of others such as zen car, wibee etc…
As its my wifes birthday, I’m taking her to the restaurant. I’ve found a local babysitter via yet another collaborative P2P platform http://listminut.com/fr/tasklist
The goal of this blog, isn’t to promote these specific platforms but to illustrate what is becoming possible with all of these new websites. That being said, the sector is still innovating and developing in Belgium and I heard about 3 new crowdfunding platforms launched in Belgium in the last month!!!!!
The next challenge will be, how the hell do I know which one to use as there are so many options? Some of these businesses are hoping to build communities, exploit your personal data and then get rich by selling in a few years. Others are hoping to promote value based, sustainable consumption. Clearly I’m interested in the latter, not the former. My advice is to find one where you believe that social, environmental and economic impact are the reasons they do what they do. If you need help, contact me as at least in Belgium, I know many of them!