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What is Collaborative Consumption?

During the last few years, Collaborative Consumption (CC) has become a novel and relevant concept, as it provides the chance to do “more with less”, meaning that through the use of technological means and networks, people can hire, exchange and share products and services on a previously unimaginable scale. Entrepreneurs, financial experts, and retailers pointed out collaborative consumption as an interesting alternative way of achieving a target without spending a lot of money which can progressively be applied in general frameworks. Thus, it became a subject of many types of research and studies. The terms “sharing economy,” “peer economy,” “collaborative economy,” “on-demand economy,” “collaborative consumption” usually they are used in the same context however they have different meanings and applications.

The idea of collaborative consumption is simple. It is based on sharing, renting and borrowing. If I need a ladder and I do not have one, I borrow one from someone else. What someone gains from this procedure is to achieve what he wanted to do, at the least cost not only for acquiring something but also for maintaining it. That technique already existed in the past but it re-emerged especially after situations of financial crisis like the one that Greece had undertaken. This reinvention of traditional market behaviors like renting, lending, swapping, sharing, bartering, gifting is facilitated through technology, and the extent of it’s appealing is far bigger than expected.

However, how ready are our societies and we as individuals to borrow what we believe as ours or to consume less than normal?

This model tries to introduce a new way that the global economy should work, especially when environmental pollution is constantly augmenting, the natural resources are running out in order to live in sustainable societies. Aim of the collaborative consumption is to convert the existing interest of people in acquiring and possessing things, to the better and easier access in goods and services.

In Greece, the most popular segment of collaborative consumption is the peer-to-peer accommodation, but owners who decide to open their houses to guests for short-term accommodation face several challenges, with the most usual being the competition.

In the framework of this Erasmus+ project “Development of a Training Program for enhancing sustainable collaborative consumption in elder persons”, or COL-SUMERS for short, the partnership aims to bring the elderly, i.e. people over the age of 60, closer to the concept of collaborative consumption in order to expand their opportunities for as well as provision of essential goods.

Find out more about the project by clicking the official website:

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