What's the Latest Development?

Rachel Botsman notes that "collaborative consumption" is not new but thanks to internet-enabled social networking and "geo-located" smart phones—and environmental and economic crises—the concept is taking off. 

What's the Big Idea?

Botsman's advice for anyone considering diving into the world of collaborative consumption is to begin by drawing up an inventory of your assets. Consider the spare storage space you might have under the stairs or in a garage; the electric drill you could rent to neighbours; your unique skills—dog-walking, accountancy, shelf-fitting—you could hire by the hour, or exchange for someone else's skill. Leo Hickman says critical mass seems to be just as an important an ingredient to collaborative consumption as trust and the connectivity of the internet.