Thursday, 23 August 2012

Collaborative Consumption: The Sharing Economy

Life's better shared

We all got a mild tail kicking from the GFC a few years ago. Some of us lost jobs, others weren’t sure about their jobs, things became hard to afford and we looked across the water at the US, UK and Europe a little nervously there for a while. But sometimes the scary times birth wonderful innovation and invention in the human mind. 

It was some of that thinking that spawned ‘Collaborative Consumption’, Australia’s newest eco-business movement!

What is Collaborative Consumption?

Peer to peer sharing

For all its fancy pants sounding name, Collaborative Consumption is not anything we have not experienced before. It is basically about taking something we already have and sharing it across a few people rather than everyone having their own version to contend with. 

In TaskRunners’ case, it simply means taking the tasks one person faces and giving them to another willing person to perform, for either cash reward or the return of a similar favour at a later date. Or, on the other hand, if you have a skill or knowledge that you're proud of, sharing that as well. Nice!

Do I know of any Collaborative Consumption businesses?

Some of these car and ride sharing businesses look familiar?

A few well known businesses you may have heard of are things like the traveller’s new best friend AirBnB, events like clothes swaps, car sharing and of course task orientated businesses like TaskRunners. The idea of sharing things, labour, experiences and more across every day people in the community has really taken off in Australia. We now have over 70 kinds of businesses offering everything from local tours to textbooks, pet vacations and desks in office spaces, and even shared cooking and dining experiences. 

You'll be surprised just what you can find!

How is Collaborative Consumption green and socially responsible?

By sharing resources, we lessen our impact on the environment. This is particularly true of businesses like Open Shed , Zookal or Find a Uniform who specialise in sharing and/or recycling commonly needed goods across a few people on a regular basis.

Collaborative Consumption is also socially responsible because it relies on getting people together to help each other. This helps to:
  • end isolation in our community, 
  • give people a sense of belonging, and 
  • provide a reason to be proud of the places where we live. 

Not only that but by working together:
  • we help lighten our load and the stress related to it, 
  • we give people reasons to feel useful, and 
  • it's scientifically proven to aid self esteem and chase away the blues through helping
Sharing also keeps you from getting eaten by big cats
It is amazing to think that sharing something so simple as an item or a task can add so many benefits, but it’s true. These connections have a really positive impact on our environment and our community. 

Are you feeling the buzz?!

Will TaskRunners be useful for me?


In this day and age, most of us are super busy and wearing multiple hats in order to get by, work towards our dreams or even just manage to juggle work and family. But no matter who you are, we’ve all experienced the added value a pair of extra hands offers when it’s time to get things done. Or we want to be able to help others but can’t afford to market ourselves or don’t know how to let people know we are available. So TaskRunners is designed to simply connect the everyday person who needs some help with another everyday person who can provide it. It's that simple.

Where do I sign up?

Keep following us as we get ready! 

You can follow our journey through to September 2012 when we launch in a couple of ways. Tres exciting!

This is about you too - so just hit us with your questions and suggestions! 

What are your thoughts on Collaborative Consumption? Have you used a Collaborative Consumption business before? Share your experience with us.


  1. Great blog & I enjoyed the read. Collaborative consumption is not a new concept. Rural communities amongst others have been using this method of sharing resources and skills for 100's of years. Just in my lifetime I have experienced farmers sharing machinery and labour to help out each other (when one finishes harvesting everyone pitches in to help others). We even shared our school governess with others in return for help around the house/garden!

  2. Thanks Jessica! I'm glad you enjoyed it and resonated with you. And you're right, Collaborative Consumption is nothing new at all and your example of how it's used in rural communities is a perfect example. What we're aiming to do is bring that sense of community back to the cities and our suburbs which is why we're created the function for people to choose whether they'd like to make payment in 'cash' or 'kind'.

    What did you find were the crucial elements in ensuring people were happy that the received as much in return as they provided?

    It would help us very much if you could also help us fill out our survey to give us more of an insight. Feel free to share it amongst your friends and family especially those you feel would feel quite passionate about sharing.

    You can also join the conversation on our Facebook page

    Have a fantastic week Jessica and thanks again for your input!

    Cheers, Cheryl