James Moody believes that since the industrial revolution there has been five distinct waves in industry, “each starting with disruptive new technologies and ending with a global depression”. James says that each wave has “transformed our industries, societies and economies almost beyond recognition. We are now on the cusp of another massive transformation – the sixth wave.”
It is his sixth wave prediction that fascinates me. A future where waste will be an opportunity and new markets will move away from being dependant on resources to becoming resource efficient.
Here an example that James Moody gives:
Let’s say today you purchased a brand new washing machine from a local store and the warranty on that washing machine is three years. Who has an invested interest for that washing machine to last a very long time? The answer is really only you – the company’s interest is to ensure the machine lasts for the period of the warranty.
Now let’s say in a new business model, that you rented a washing machine from the same company who manufactured the machine. Who now has an invested interest for that washing machine to last a very long time? Now the answer is both parties – you and the company.
This last week I have been hearing about the phrase ‘Collective Consumption’. To be honest I wasn’t sure the meaning but had a sneaking suspicion, it was the same thinking as Dr James Moody’s ‘Sixth Wave’.
Time Magazine has called Collective Consumption one of the ten ideas that will change the world.
What exactly is Collective Consumption? It is retro thinking – the old world behaviours like sharing, swapping, renting and bartering, again becoming the way to do business (and as Dr James Moody suggests, to survive in a resource limited world).
This last Thursday I was invited to attend the opening of Open Shed who’s business model was based on Collective Consumption. Open Shed is all about renting each other’s stuff.
I remember renovating our home five years ago. To save money, my husband and I did much of the labour ourselves. However as we are not tradies we needed to ‘purchase’ a number of power tools. Now five years later those tools sit unused in our garden shed.
A better use of our money and the earth’s resources would have been to rent those same power tools. We could have gone onto the Open Shed’s website to find tools that we needed, from people who lived nearby.
Not all is lost however as now our unused tools can be listed on the Open Shed website to rent to people who need them. We make money, they save money and collectively we have reduced consumption on the earth’s limited resources – this is collective consumption!
Australian Businesses who are built on the Collective Consumption model: