Imagine a world where you didn’t own “stuff”, but instead chose to rent or share everything with your community. That includes your car, kitchen utensils, caravan, space and even your pets. Welcome to the future, with experts predicting that by 2030 we will become an “asset light” society.
“We have now become an experiential society,” says Morris Miselowski, an Australian business futurist.
“Whilst post-war baby boomers saw value in the assets they owned, Millennials are putting more value on new experiences to boost happiness over owning assets.
“This is due to the rising cost of living and also, along with the rest of society, we now have more choice than previous generations.”
Centuries ago before monetisation, communities would trade their assets and services to survive, Miselowski says.
This concept has been revived in modern day with the rapidly growing sharing economy or, what some might know as the gig economy.
Still in its infancy, the sharing economy is already worth $2.6 billion helping 92,400 people make an income in NSW alone.
“Already we are seeing a massive change in the way we consume,” says Steve Orenstein, co-founder of The Sharing Hub, Australia’s first sharing economy accelerator.
“Traditionally we have been a consumerist society that’s about passive consumption; however individuals are now being empowered to make and save money through the sharing economy.”
With Uber and Airbnb paving the way for the sharing economy in Australia, there are some homegrown platforms that have become increasingly popular in Australia.
“Pet sharing platforms like Mad Paws, that connects pet sitters and dog walkers with pet owners, has become a popular way for people to make money, while owners can seek more affordable care. Also Zoom2u is another ‘service’ sharing economy where instead of couriering people, you can deliver parcels to make up to $2000 a week,” says Orenstein.
With space coming at a premium, it has also become a tradable commodity with Spacer.com.au helping Australians to make money off their spare garage, driveway and attic, along with Camplify, that is also helping people make money by renting out their idle caravan, motorhome and campervan so Australians can enjoy more affordable road trips.
The future, what’s next?
With more Australians choosing to share to become more efficient, culturally over the next 12 years this is set to evolve. This includes the start of us living in multi-generational homes, more of us becoming digital nomads and becoming citizens of the world.
“Centuries ago families would live in multi-generational homes. With the cost of living rising, homes will soon be built to home different generations, so grandparents, children and grandchildren all live under one roof. This will also include a working area, as more of us don’t see the need to commute to work, saves costs and is more convenient,” Miselowski says.
Part of this experiential society is based on happiness.
This includes instead of being stuck at a desk, more of us working in environments that suit our personal preferences to boost productivity.
Mainly only civil servants will need to have 9 – 5 jobs in the future, while more of us work flexible hours to become citizens of the world, where we own less to live more.