Rachel Botsman writes and talks about the power of collaboration, the network technologies that make it possible, and the implications both social and commercial. 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 and government to the tech giants. Rachel explains why every industry must adapt to service networking, why we all need to own our own data, and what trust looks like in the modern age.
Rachel Botsman is one of the most influential thinkers on technology and the power of collaboration. One of the first people to predict and explore the power of network technologies to bring about a ‘Collaborative Consumer’ revolution, she also examines the implications of an increasingly connected world.
Rachel’s book What’s Mine Is Yours was recognised by TIME Magazine as one of the ‘10 ideas that will change the world.’ It set out not just the technologies that enabled consumers to pool needs and the resources to meet them, but the consequent social and commercial changes. If younger consumers accept sharing rather than owning, both out of convenience and cost, what does that say about the idea of trust? The priority for business is to understand the extension of social networking to service networking, and the seismic cultural shift that it represents.
Away from shared ownership there is also the rise of personal loans in the developed world made through peer-to-peer lending sites, and perhaps most significantly, the rise of the gig economy. As people are engaged in tasks rather than jobs, anyone can be a producer or an entrepreneur. But there are downsides.
In her second book, Who Can You Trust? Rachel expands on some of the unintended consequences of the sharing economy and the companies behind them. She looks at how technology has changed society, for good and ill. If the digital world has built and enabled diverse networks of people, what responsibilities do the tech companies have? Do people trust strangers and AI more than government or the established media? Is the result more division rather than unity?
In her presentations Rachel explores the key questions and trends and what they mean for businesses and individuals. How do they alter traditional rules of supply and demand? How should established brands respond, and new entrants make their mark? What does it all mean for reputations, relationships and regulation?
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.
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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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