FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Exchange Economy:The Rise of Barter Society
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Continued economic uncertainty isforcing people to evaluate alternativesto the traditional economic system.
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Demand is growing for tools that allowpeople to exchange goods and serviceswithout using money. Swap party in Beijing
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Drivers- Rise of Social Networking and the Information Exchange- Share Economy- Global Recession- Institutional Corruption and the Power Imbalance betweenregular consumers and the Financial Sector- Shift in Consumer Values- The rise of the Less is More philosophy- Push for Waste Reduction and Sustainability
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Bartering Networks in Starved EconomiesBarter Networks are providing a real alternative in tough economic times.Greek consumers squeezed by large wage cuts, tax increases and growing fears aboutthe Euro are looking for creative ways to cope with a radically changing economiclandscape.A growing network in Volos, Greece uses a so-called Local Alternative Unit, or TEM inGreek, to exchange goods and services — language classes, baby-sitting, computersupport, home-cooked meals — and to receive discounts at some local businesses.“The most exciting thing you feel when you start is this sense of contribution. You have much morethan your bank account says. You have your mind and your hands.“  — Maria Houpis, Co-founder of the Volos bartering Network.
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011From Burning Man to NeighborGoodsWhile representing the oldest form of commerce, exchanging goods and serviceswithout the use of money is becoming increasingly popular and desirable.Experiments in the emerging field of neuroeconomics suggest that exchange producesas much pleasure as consumption. When people exchange with other people, theiroxytocin levels rise – in other words, transacting feels good.Pioneering events like the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada demonstrate whatcan be achieved without traditional money. “The spirit of giving at Burning Man is amazing, it really alters the dynamic and creates a sense of community, a community not oriented on status or background. Its totally refreshing and without sounding too gushy it did really change my life” — Carl Cox, DJ.
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Help Thy NeighborNeighborgoods has a simple proposition – we all have things we rarely use i.e. tools,BBQ’s, ladders ect. This Platform connects those with unused or rarely used goods withthose who need to use them.Saves money, creates connection and builds community: win win win!Instead of presenting a thread it also presents potential for opportunities for connection.Implication: How could your brand facilitate local exchange systems for your products?
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Share the Land Landshare is an online platform that connects those who share a love for locally connected food. It connects people with disused gardens to keen gardeners who want to work the land for cultivation of food. Both owner and gardener can then share the ‘fruits of the land’ quite literally.
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Clothes and Toys SwapMost people are realizing that owning is sometimes not the best choiceClothing and toy swaps are a great way for a brand to assist struggling families andfoster community.ThredUp – Mothers exchange clothing, books and toys online.“It’s a cultural shift. People are pulling out of that hyper-consumerism of the early 2000s. It’s justreally expensive to own stuff. We lease and rent so many big-ticket items, and now this idea ofdoing it with smaller things is really resonating with people. I think the current state of theeconomy has provided an interesting lens in which to see this movement.”  — James Reinhart, Cofounder and CEO, ThredUP
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011 BookSwap The Guardian media group recently launched a national Book Swap with a 15,000- volume giveaway with books left in public places where readers are able to chance upon them. The Book Swap encourages readers and writers to give their own favourite reads away. “In an increasingly virtual age, book swapping offers a rare treat: a real book, left by a real person, simply celebrating how wonderful they found it to be.”  — Laura Barton, Writer for The Guardian Newspaper.
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011A Global Barter EconomyThe internet revolutionized the exchange of goods and services.People are now able to bypass middlemen, thus reducing costs and connecting theend consumer with the source supplier. “I think a few years ago it was more for fun but weve seen a real shift in the last year, andespecially an increase in the last few months, where I think people are really doing it to getby.”  - Jessica Hardwick, founder and CEO SwapThing, September 2008 
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Barter for Education and HealthcareTrade School is a pop up classroom in New York City’s Lower East Side.In exchange for instruction, teachers receive everything from running shoes to mixCDs.OurGoods, a barter network for New York creative types helps users trade the skillsor the things they own for the things and skills they seek.“Barter asks both parties to talk about value. I’ve traded my work dress for my personal website, fora photo shoot, fencing gear, laundry access, research assistance, and designer bikeattachments.”  — Caroline Woolard, OurGoods co-founderThe Woodhull Hospital in New York introduced a unique scheme allowing artists,who often don’t have health insurance, to trade their art for health care.- e.g. photographers taking pictures of new babies to give to the mother as a thank-you for choosing Woodhull hospital.“An actor might put on role-playing sessions for staff, helping them rehearse how to break badnews to patients and loved ones.”  — Amy Duquette, the Artist Access Program Coordinator at Woodhull hospital
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Bartering AppsYapik is a location-based mobile app tailored to college students – providing aneasy way for students to locate and barter goods and services within their localcampus.Barto is a location based mobile app that allows people to exchange or bartereveryday items or skills/services of equal value.Taskrabbit is a collaborative consumption service that allows you to post tasksyou need completed and have other members (who have been vetted), completethem within the required time– it’s a great source of supplemental income with some people are generating over $5,000 per month.  TaskRabbit
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Local Currency Systems In an attempt to keep money within the local neighborhood, Brixton, an area in south London, has launched their own currency ‘the Brixton pound’. Not exactly an exchange economy but demonstrative of peoples wish to keep wealth local and also to bypass the established middlemen. “You have to establish trust with the community. We want to hit home the idea of localism. It is crucial we engage all ethnicities and social classes; we dont want it to be us and them’. Its something concrete for people to understand – a bit like being part of a secret club.”  - Tim Nichols, the Brixton pound project manager
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Exchange TravellersCouch surfing and home swaps have emerged as a popular way to travel with hundredsof sites around the world catering to every taste and budget.Air BnB founded in August 2008, lets users seek out non-hotel travel accommodationslisted by other users, has recently been valued for $1.3 billion and tops the list of start-ups most likely to succeed. AirBnB Home Rental Site
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011 Time as Currency A unique pop-up ‘time store’ in Netherlands uses time as currency, allowing groups and individuals to pool and trade their time and skills (labor) for commodities. “The current distrust of existing financial and economic systems and the radical cuts in art funding are an important driving force behind this parallel micro economy based on trust and solidarity.“  — Time/Bank Website “The ongoing effects of the recession have left us all cash poor. Our time and skills, however, offer renewed forms of assets.”  — MaryLou Costa, Writer for MarketingWeek
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Common ThreadsPatagonia in conjunction with Ebay recently launched the Common Threads. Aimed atreducing waste, the initiative allows people to sell and/or exchange their usedPatagonia products.
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 2011Implications Consider developing alternative, non-monetary ways for people to purchase your products or services, such as doing work for local communities. Help your customers to connect, share and exchange their unwanted products or skills with other like minded individuals. Set up barter networks as a way of encouraging connections between local communities. Introduce a skills exchange service internally within your company as a way of encouraging community and connection. Enable people to pass on or exchange your products when they are finished with them instead of throwing them away.
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FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 20111. Rachel Donadio. (2011). Battered by Economic Crisis, Greeks Turn to Barter Networks. Available:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/world/europe/in-greece-barter-networks-surge.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&ref=world.2. Agency Nil, http://www.agencynil.com/3. Caroline Woolard. (2010). OurGoods: New Yorks New Barter Network. Available:http://www.good.is/post/ourgoods-new-york-s-new-barter-network/4. Closet Infinite, http://closetinfinite.wordpress.com/5. Thred Up, http://www.thredup.com/6. Stephanie Schomer. (2010). Bye Bye, Baby Gap: Trading Childrens Clothes With James Reinhart of ThredUP. Available:http:/www.fastcompany.com/magazine/151/fast-talk-james-reinhart.html7. Rachel Donadio. (2011). Battered by Economic Crisis, Greeks Turn to Barter Networks. Available:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/world/europe/in-greece-barter-networks-surge.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&ref=world.8. Laura Barton. (2011). Book Swap is great: pass it on. Available:http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/sep/16/book-swap-great-pass-it-on.9. A. Pawlowski. (2008). No cash? No problem, if you barter. Available:http://articles.cnn.com/2008-09-02/living/bartering.rise_1_barter-section-craigslist-trading-goods-and-services?_s=PM:LIVING.10. Barter Card, http://nz.bartercard.com/11. Amazon Trade In, www.amazon.co.uk/trade-in12. Leo Hickman. (2009). Will the Brixton pound buy a brighter future?. Available:http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/16/will-brixton-pound-work13. Zopa P-2-P Lending, http://uk.zopa.com/zopaweb/public/about-zopa/big-idea.html14. Grameen Bank, http://www.grameen-info.org/15. Virgin Money, http://uk.virginmoney.com16. Zopa, http://uk.zopa.com/zopaweb/public/about-zopa/big-idea.html
FUTURE SIGNS LOWE COUNSEL LOWE AND PARTNERS NOVEMBER 201117. Lydia Lin. (2009). YouBike program kicks off. Available: http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/local/taipei/2009/03/12/199746/YouBike-program.htm.18. Redbox, http://www.redbox.com/19. US Cellular – Battery Swap, http://www.uscellular.com/uscellular/batteryswap/index.jsp20. Partner and Spade, http://partnersandspade.com21. e-flux. (2011). Stroom Den Haag. Available: http://www.e-flux.com/shows/view/958122. MaryLou Costa. (2011). Can alternative currencies see us pay our way out of economic decline?. Available: http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/disciplines/market-research/can-alternative-currencies-see-us-pay-our-way-out-of-economic-decline?/3030531.article23. Matt Buchanan. (2011). An iPhone App for the Post-Rapture Barter Economy. Available:http://gizmodo.com/5804183/an-iphone-app-for-the-post+rapture-economy?tag=itp24. Yapik App, http://yapik.com/25. Caroline Woolard. (2010). OurGoods: New Yorks New Barter Network. Available: http://www.good.is/post/ourgoods-new-york-s-new-barter-network/26. Meghan Young. (2010). The Woodhull Hospital Trades Art for Health Care. Available: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/woodhull-hospital