You want to go on holiday but can’t afford it.  Why not do a house swop?  Or how about swopping books, CD’s and DVD’s with friends?  Perhaps you need to hang pictures in your home – so instead of rushing out to buy a power drill, rather borrow your neighbours or rent one.

And when the time comes to start a family, consider renting your baby equipment for the short period of time that it is needed.

Collaborative Consumption, a movement that Time Magazine recently called one of the “10 Ideas That Will Change the World” is all about sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping of all kinds of assets, from spaces to skills to cars.

It has exploded onto the scene through network technologies that allow for these more traditional ways of economic exchange to take place on a scale and in ways never possible before.

Sharing and renting more stuff means producing and wasting less stuff, which is good for the planet and is also a perfect fit for an urban lifestyle in which you have lots of neighbours and limited storage.

Internationally there are innovators who have established hubs where people can connect to engage in Collaborative Consumption – such as Brooklyn-based SnapGoods which helps people rent goods via the Internet, or Airbnb , which allows people to rent their homes to travellers.

And now, increasingly, people are dealing directly with one another and cutting out the middleman. Peer-to-peer sharing involves the re-emergence of community - another real benefit of collaborative consumption. People have begun interacting meaningfully with others and this shows a surging interest in community – people what to connect.

Rachel Botsman - a social innovator who writes, consults and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing - has written a book entitled What's Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing The Way We Live.

Botsman, who was recently named one of the “top 20 speakers in the world to have at your conference”, will be hosting an educational master class on this exciting movement at the Pavilion Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront on Tuesday 23 October 2012 from 09h00 – 12h30. .  

For more information contact Scatterlings on (011) 463 5085 or www.gbcsa-convention.org.za/

Would you ever take part in collaborative swopping?