Albert Cañigueral: "Collaborative consumption will change the world"
Multimedia engineer, he worked for many years in TV3, in the Department of Innovation and Research, promoting the development of digital television. Then he went into the world of collaborative consumption. It captivated him so much that now he dedicates himself professionally to that. Together with four other professionals, he takes the consumcolaborativo.com blog and collaborates with the OuiShare.net project.
How did your fascination for collaborative consumption begin?
I read the book by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers Whats mine (Harper Business, 2010) and it attracted me a lot. I found that the collaborative consumption was an intermediate route that without being very ideological could attract many people. It was a practical way to attack hyperconsumption and become more efficient in our day to day life. I did research and saw that many local experiences were being carried out here in our area but that most of the information that existed was in English, so I decided to start spreading collaborative consumption in Catalan and Spanish.
What exactly is it?
It is what has been done all life inside intimate circles but adding internet and social networks. With friends and family we have always shared the car to go on vacation or we have spent the children’s clothes when our children have grown up or even left money when they have gone badly. Collaborative consumption is exactly the same but on a larger scale and exchanging with people you do not know at first. For it to work it is necessary that there is supply and demand of needs and establish relationships of trust. Nowadays the Internet facilitates these two things and this collaboration on a small scale takes a new speed and even jumps borders.
Do you believe in it?
Of course! I could not dedicate myself to promote it if didn’t belive in it. Time Magazine said that collaborative consumption would be one of the 10 ideas that would change the world in this coming century.
What benefits does it have?
Collaborative consumption brings economic, social and environmental benefits. Economical, because when you participate, you save money, social because the community is regenerated since the collaborative consumption does not work without the trust between people, and environmental so that we stop consuming and producing so much. Collaborative consumption is like the Trojan horse: we do not change the language with which we are accustomed to communicate, but by practicing it we are making a cultural change. For me, the most important thing that brings us is the social benefit, to restore the feeling of community that has been lost.
And its drawbacks?
Being a practice with a lot of technological and social innovation, legal insecurity damages its development. Also, when dealing with “people” and not companies, the quality of the service can vary a lot ... but at the same time this serendipity makes it attractive.
Any advice for people who right now are starting to hear something about collaborative consumption?
I would tell them to be encouraged to try it because the collaborative consumption is an experience that is just understood when you live it.
At La Fàbrica del Sol we have presented the Social Car initiatives for car rental, Trip4real to offer unprecedented activities to travelers, Eatwith to share delicious dishes and the banks of time, among them the Gracia and online bank Prepárate. The people who have presented these initiatives have highlighted as positive the human part of the exchanges and the bonds that are established. We can all offer something to others and at the same time receive from others what we need.