What’s Mine Is Yours

I have just finished reading ‘What’s Mine Is Yours‘ and it has helped to strengthen my faith in human nature. Using examples from the UK and US (its a pity there are not many international examples) it shows how some people have harnessed the power of the internet to build trust, create communities around shared needs, and generate social capital. The book was full of revelations for me about the ingenuity behind web phenomena such as Zopa (the social lending community) and Landshare (the garden use website) that focus on shared use rather than individual ownership. Last week in Oslo I had some time to sight-see and joined the city-wide bicycle rental scheme so that I could visit the sculpture park, the Nobel Peace Centre, the new opera house and get a feel for the city in just a few hours. ‘What’s Mine Is Yours’ explains how schemes such as Oslo’s bike rental scheme works and how riding the bike is only part of the benefit that helps users to connect with one another and feel part of something meaningful. When you know that the electric drill you’re about to buy in the hardware shop is only likely to be used for 12 minutes in its whole lifetime, you begin to wonder whether there’s a better way to buy ‘holes’! What’s Mine Is Yours provides plenty of practical ideas for an alternative to ownership of more stuff – namely, Collaborative Consumption.

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