Rachel Botsman writes and talks about the power of collaboration and network technologies; she argues that it might have a bigger impact on our lives than the Industrial Revolution. New markets have opened up with ‘mass online democratisation,’ but with data at the centre it brings a risk of power merely moving from banks to web giants. Rachel explains why every industry must adapt to service networking, and why we all need to own our own data.
Rachel Botsman is one of the most influential thinkers on the power of collaboration. She argues that network technologies herald a ‘Collaborative Consumer’ revolution, which is set to have a greater impact on society than the original Industrial Revolution.
Rachel’s book What’s Mine Is Yours has been recognised by TIME Magazine as one of the ‘10 ideas that will change the world.’ It explains that consumers now have an acceptance of sharing, and that those community-driven marketplaces in which we place our trust will change the way we live. The priority for business is to understand the extension of social networking to service networking, and the seismic cultural shift that it represents.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, by 2020 70% of those currently in their twenties expect to access the majority of goods rather than own them - both out of convenience and cost. As one example, car clubs are already showing exponential growth (and insurers have noticed that members make fewer than average claims).
Meanwhile an increasing proportion of personal loans in the developed world are made through peer-to-peer lending sites, and ‘Task Angels’ are earning serious money (or tradable credits) for running errands for those with less time to spare. Anyone can be a producer or an entrepreneur.
In her presentations Rachel explores these trends and what they mean for corporations, SMEs and online communities themselves. How do they alter traditional rules of supply and demand? How should established brands respond, and new entrants make their mark? And on a different plane, what might be the implications of virtual currencies?
Rachel Botsman is a former director at the President Clinton Foundation and a partner in the Collaborative Fund, which offers seed capital and strategic support for creative entrepreneurs. Based in Australia, she speaks at TED events across the world and contributes to publications from WIRED to Harvard Business Review. Her next book will focus on ‘reputation capital.’
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Not only have Rachel’s book and ideas helped me make lifestyle choices, she’s also got some absolutely essential advice for twenty-first century businesses. Her speeches are peppered with nuggets that you’ll find yourself repeating to friends and colleagues for days to come. 200,000 views within two weeks of her latest TED Global talk going online say it all. JLA Agent Barbara de Lacy
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