One of the Top Ten ideas that will change the World

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Rachel Botsman is a social innovator who writes, consults and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing through network technologies. Rachel Botsman is a social innovator who writes, consults and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing through network technologies.

Sharing is caring. Although a phrase much favoured by Barney the dinosaur, it is now one that is taking the world by storm through a new movement called Collaborative Consumption.

Collaborative Consumption 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.

Why buy when you can rent?  Or swap?  Or share?  Want to go on holiday but can’t afford it? Why not consider a house swop?  Or how about swopping books, CD’s and DVD’s with friends? Perhaps you need to hang pictures in your home – rather than rushing out and buying 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.

These are a just a few of the many ways that people are starting to change their consumer behaviour. The 20th century has seen us churning out mass produced consumer goods such as laptops, cell phones, TV’s, cars etc. – we are a society of consumers - but people are being driven through a combination of recessionary thrift and a growing consciousness of what we are doing to our planet to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ that we own. 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.

TIME Magazine recently called Collaborative Consumption one of the "10 Ideas That Will Change the World" and 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.

The master class series forms part of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) Convention and Exhibition - South Africa’s premier green building conference and exhibition, which provides access to the latest, cutting edge, exciting information delivered by international and local experts!
Running for its 5th consecutive year from the 23rd – 25th October 2012, the annual convention provides an inspirational platform for world-class education, knowledge sharing and decision-maker networking concerning sustainability and the built environment.

Botsman will also be presenting at the GBCSA Convention as a keynote speaker, alongside Dan Epstein, the Director of Sustainability for the 2012 London Olympics; Dr Nils Kok, an associate professor in Finance and Real Estate at Maastricht University in the Netherlands; international expert Jerry Yudelson, who has been dubbed “the Godfather of Green” and Tristram Carfrae, considered to be a trailblazer in building design.

For more information on the master classes and to book visit


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