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Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on October 30, 2008
I’m off to the World Economic Forum conference in Dubai on Tuesday night after I vote. Some 700 folks, including Jeff Jarvis at Buzzmachine, are going to brainstorm about making post-crisis world a much better place. I spent time on the subway this morning thinking about what a new economic model might look like and what might have any chance of succeeding and came up with ZipCar Capitalism. Treehugger calls it Rentalism but that doesn’t ring well in my ears. Actually it’s Tamara Giltsoff in Treehugger who did the fantastic article.
I sent off my thoughts to the dozen or so people who form the Global Action Council that I belong to—the design one. Yep, it’s a GAC. A design GAC.
Here’s what I said: “
With the WEF-GAC just a few days away, I’d like to build on Toshiko’s ideas for an inclusive, holistic and humanitarian economy by suggesting we look at a model that is beginning to get traction in the US and UK—Zipcar Capitalism. Treehugger calls it “Rentalism.” It is a Rent/Share/Collaborate/Interaction economic model rather than our current Own/individualize/Transaction model.
The benefits of this economic model are many. It builds on the existing collaborative behavior of the Gen Y cohort in much of the world and fits into the more communal cultures of Asia and Africa. It works off the web/tech grid that is increasingly so much a part of our lives. It is premised on sustainability—generating Green Growth, while shifting away from conspicuous consumption in the West to a more modest way of living that isn’t centered on owning stuff (the story of stuff). It offers a structure for corporations that is different (perhaps they “own” the stuff and recycle it when consumers return it a la the German model for autos). Etc.
Zipcar capitalism also has the virtue of being a BIG IDEA encompassing many groups, technologies and interests. It offers avenues of cooperation among countries.
Food for thought.”
So, what do you think? Jeff’s idea is for the internet to become an individual right. I like the idea but think it’s too narrow. The web is a tool that enables models (collaborate, distributive, etc.) but any number of models that can lead to good or bad are possible.
Again, what are your thoughts.
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