Buy local, work at home and share
In addition, a number of municipalities are considering moving their funds from the large banking institutions to smaller, community-based banks that are more directly involved and invested in the community where they operate. Berkeley, CA is one of the larger examples. Make no mistake, the large banks are not going away anytime soon, but a rebalancing of the system is happening and who knows where it will stop?
Bye-bye middle man, hello Access Economy (trend). Disintermediation and collaborative consumption examples are numerous, from Amazon’s CreateSpace to TechShop in the Bay area, AirBNB, GetAround, and Square– these viral solutions embrace the direct connection with individuals and cut down on friction and energy, much of it facilitated by our newfound biosphere connector, the Internet. Two great talks on this topic include Rachel Botsman’s on collaborative consumption @ TedX Sydney – “moving us from a culture of me, to a culture of we,” and Adam Black’s on the shared economy from KeyWiFi @ TedX East.
What’s being dubbed the collaborative consumption economyis also bad news for middlemen and the big box guys, as the push for more stuff seems to be running headlong into common sense. Why own a car, drill, wok, etc. if we only use them a small percentage of the time – the graph featured here from Atlantic Cities online edition piece on the Rise of the Sharing Economy– which highlights a recent survey by Zipcar of licensed drivers which shows how the up and coming generations already have a huge predilection towards not only car sharing, but many other items as well.
This amazing transformation is summed up well in a recent Fortune Magazine piece featuring Ray Ozzie, the creator of Lotus Notes and one of the forefathers of workgroup concepts and collaboration: “All this was unstoppable from the moment somebody installed the first network – this steady march toward reducing transaction costs faced by individuals. And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
Peak Oil (fact): Much of our current economy and society has suddenly (meaning in the last few hundred years) become organized around cheap fossil fuels, whose days are finite and numbered – peak oil has most likely already happened and the arguments around this are moot if you have a reasonable bone in your body. The end of “easy” oil is probably the most damning early indicator of the game’s-up scenario here. As extraction becomes more difficult and expensive, the public becomes more and more agitated when we start removing pristine mountain tops, flooding the Gulf with oil, blowing up tar sands and stringing pipelines over major aquifers – all in the name of getting fossil energy to market.