Friday, 23 October 2015

"Collaborative Consumption"

Every year Macquarie University students are given privy to attend a speaker series that changes topics every year. The speaker is usually someone who has achieved some level of accolade, and fittingly the event is named the “Distinguished Speakers Series”. Unfortunately, despite rather good intentions many of the speeches in the immediate past have been dry, dreary and hold little to no relation to our interests or aspirations. This year was different.

Rachel Botsman started off simply enough. The humble beginnings of an inventor, what spurs on someone to create a world-changing idea. The stories and fables and anecdotes continued - all pretty interesting mind you! But then she gets to the hitter. The largest hotel chain in the world owns no rooms (Airbnb). The largest consumer transport company in the world owns no vehicles (Uber). The fastest growing finance company owns no capital. And then it clicked. The world is changing from the focus on huge, multi-national corporations who hoard all of their assets for themselves, into huge multi-national corporations who still hoard most of their assets but use a new currency of choice; Trust. Trust that our rooms won’t be trashed, or our car seats destroyed.

It makes me think of what other underused resource we all have lying around us that remains unused. Australia’s dire lack of STEM undergraduates come to mind, along with the unbelievable surplus of said students that Asia produces. Its in interesting thing to take a bird’s eye view of everything that’s going on around you, all the small, solve-able problems and fix them with whatever limited resources you have, where-ever they happen to be

Here’s to another day of problem solving!

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