Collaborative Consumption and Public Services

Over lunch earlier today I starting watching some Ted Videos as I subscribe to their feed in my google reader and I enjoy getting inspired listening to the talks and they create little sparks of thought, most to be honest never make it to a blog post but some do.

The talk I watched featured Rachel Botsman, who is the co-author of the book What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption.

Rachel States:

Collaborative Consumption describes the rapid explosion in swapping, sharing, bartering, trading and renting being reinvented through the latest technologies and peer-to-peer marketplaces in ways and on a scale never possible before. If you’ve used a car sharing service like Zipcar, experienced peer-to-peer travel on Airbnb, given away or found something on Freecycle or lent money through Zopa, you’re already part of the rise of Collaborative Consumption.

Collaborative Consumption is a game-changing opportunity for networked technologies to transform business, public services and the way we live.

I do very much like this concept and the movement that it promotes, however I started thinking that it does seem very similar to the concept of LETS:

A Local Exchange Trading System is a local, non-profit exchange network where all kinds of goods and services can be traded without the need for money, using an interest-free local currency so that direct bartering does not need to be done.

It offers many social as well as economic benefits, through regular core group meetings, trading days and social events. LETS is a truly international movement, although there is no global governing body. There are similar groups in places as diverse as France, Japan, the USA, and Hungary.
Via Exeter LETS Scheme

Considering the new focus on technology enabled collaborative consumption schemes and the existing LETS schemes – are these another key foundation and building block for Big Society and Public Service Delivery.

Then it struck me again that I’d already seen something which pretty much does this and is using technology as well as providing social care services –  Southwark Circle states on its website:

Southwark Circle members get together to enjoy a variety of interests and activities, and to learn new things through the Member Calendar. They can also buy tokens to get help from local, reliable Neighbourhood Helpers. Some members also help out fellow members and can earn tokens for doing so.

So I’d suggest that any public service people thinking about connecting with groups who can help get involved in providing services either formally or through connected networks or strong neighbourhood groups, then I would take a look your local LETS.

The game layer on top of the world and Chief Ninja

I always make time to watch a TED Talk videos as i find them fascinating – after all that is their purpose – Ideas worth Spreading. Also video for me is so much more accessible and i can not only listen and learn, i can read the transcripts as well as see the presenter, all obvious stuff i know.

Anyway this video by Seth Priebatsch talks about the game layer and  how the last decade was the decade of social and the decade of where the framework in which we connect with other people was built, this next decade will be the decade where the game framework is built, where the motivations that we use to actually influence behavior, and the framework in which that is constructed, is decided upon.

More importantly and related to my previous post about job titles – Seth is also a Chief Ninja :o)

About the video

By now, we’re used to letting Facebook and Twitter capture our social lives on the web — building a “social layer” on top of the real world. At TEDxBoston, Seth Priebatsch looks at the next layer in progress: the “game layer,” a pervasive net of behavior-steering game dynamics that will reshape education and commerce.

Links: Interesting talks/videos

I thought I would share some very stimulating and interesting videos or talks from the interweb and in particular TED.

I was looking at the Ted Prize 2009 winners and watched Jill Tarter: Why the search for alien intelligence matters

It was a fascinating watch and it reminded me of some of the motivations people often refer to when using Social Media or Social Networking tool – “I feel i can connect with people and feel part of something much bigger and organic”.

Barry Schwartz: The real crisis? We stopped being wise -He argues powerfully that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world. He also states “rules and procedures maybe dumb but they spare you from thinking”


Better late than never

Over the past few days and weeks i have been looking for books on and around the theme of social media and change. Some of them i wish i had read a while ago, but as the post title states, better late than never.

In a conversation with Sharon Richardson (@joiningdots on twitter) on wednesday, she suggested i read the book – “Wikinomics” by Don Tapscott.

In adding it to my amazon wishlist, i thought i’d search you tube for any relevant videos etc and found this one.

Sharon also mentioned the book “We Think” by Charles Leadbeater, again i did the same and found this short video

If you are interested in collaborative creativity, this TED Talk features Charles Leadbeater talking about the rise of the amateur professional

Do you have any good books you would recommend i read in this area?