During the industrial era, especially after the war of 39-45, an American way of life developed consisting of a model of consumerism with two poles : the consumer and the producer.

However, in the knowledge-based society citizens prefer to find cheaper products through the Internet, make bundled purchases and manage the rest of their lives as they see fit. Thus, a more lateral model has begun to develop: social economy, collaborative economy, contribution economy, alternative economy, collaborative economy, etc.

The appropriate slogan is not so much to change the world, but rather to change the way of life:

Growth is not enough. More attention needs to be given to human and social development, to freedoms, to the articulation between development and democracy.
The Democracy of Others, Armatya Sen.

We are now starting to organize local economies centered on local needs. P2P and commoning / commons initiatives are proliferating around the world.

The sharing economy, or share economy, seeks to replace the only two economic-value-creating tools currently offered by industrial administrators: concrete and credit (see the emergence of the Inter-agency on Social and Solidarity Economy at the UN, and the UNRISD conference, 2013).

A process of collectivization

We speak of a logic of frugality in neighboring smart spaces. It is no longer a matter of dividing abundance, but of organizing sobriety.
Hervé Kempf, to save the planet, end capitalism.

The social and solidarity-based economy often assumes public service tasks which the State does not have the capacity to carry out. The model has already inspired several movements in the world :

  • carpooling ;
  • apartment sharing ;
  • couchsurfing, which reinvents tourist travel ;
  • group purchases ;
  • credit networks between individuals ;
  • civic crowdfunding ;
  • homes with near zero energy consumption ;
  • solidarity food : paying-forward coffees or soups or sandwiches (people buy two coffees, one for them and the other for someone in need) ;
  • ready-to-donate : the Givebox, self-service books (Little Free Library), public shelves in the neighborhood (offering small appliances, DVDs, etc.) ;
  • the movement of makers who make their own material objects, which gives birth to fablabs;
  • microcredit (see the experience of the banks of Muhammad Yunus) ;
  • in the IT field : Open Source, Creative Commons, community radio and television networks.

Moving from the linear economy to the circular economy.

Change the world from the bottom.
Bénédicte Manier, A million quiet revolutions.

The sharing economy

  • A citizen’s life takes place almost entirely at the local level, that is, in private and personal spaces (ie in villages, neighborhoods and smart towns).
  • In turn, this proximity requires citizens to take responsibility for their environment. It is achieved through a process of collectivization that seeks to restore the sense of community in society.
  • Its purpose : to better allocate resources and powers :

The economy of digital networked information must be based on a system of production, distribution and consumption of informational goods characterized by decentralized action and supported by non-market and widely distributed tools that are independent of commercial strategies.
Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks, 2006,

Two challenges currently prevent this model from thriving : the difficulty of getting the State, the associations sectors and local and regional authorities to sit down at the same table and talk. The other challenge is to provide a multi-platform broadband network throughout the country that is capable of communicating and avoiding social divides.

The transitions :

Neo-liberal = Proximity
Bricks & mortar = Bricks and clicks
Global needs = Local needs
Centred on sale of products = Centred on the exchange of data
Circulation of capital North-South = Circulation East-West
G7 = G20 (G8 + BRICS)
Cost-sensitive = Sensitive to value-added
Globalization of production = Approach based in solidarity/ecology

The practice of putting services together does not create only happy consumers and workers, Already, taxi drivers are protesting against Lyft, SideCar, UberX, RelayRides, BlaBlaCar and hoteliers against Airbnb because of the absence of tax, insurance and other regulations.