NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT OUR PUBLICATION FUTUR(S)11
Like a “radicant”, the term the French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud uses to describe a new globalization aesthetic founded on interaction and mobility, the web will not merely revolutionize our information and communication systems. Its unprecedented, open and porous structure, without arborescent hierarchies or geographic frontiers, tends today to permeate the “real” world. It is inspiring new attitudes, ways of thinking and consumer values.
“New online and offl ine market places are forming where people can once again ‘meet’ in a global village and form nonlocal trust. We have returned to a time when if you do something wrong or embarrassing, the whole community will know.” Rachel Botsman and RooRogers, “What’s Mine is Yours”
The web, Cloud Computing (a cloud-based network of computersstoring data or software on remote servers), the democratization ofWi-Fi networks and Smartphones provide today’s consumers with a cloud of dematerialized possibilities that rematerialize when needed.
Founded on free exchange, the peer-to-peer revolution has made it possible to envision new consumerism models freed of traditionalmarket logics. It involves deeply reassessing the need to possessmaterial goods, aside from the digital realm, and confi rms the undermining of conspicuous consumption, first seen in Bottom Up Innovation(Futur(s)10). Consumers, for economic as well as ecological and practical reasons, no longer feel the need to own objects, preferring simply to have access to them when necessary.
Collaborative consumption introduces a new form of trust intuit personae (a moral contract between individuals). Since our onlineactions influence our peers, we are shifting from an individualisticarrangement based on ownership, to a more interdependent andconvivial social model based on trust.
1. What’s Mine is Yours
Lending, renting and swapping via the Internet rely on confi dence and mutual trust. “Collaborative consumption is reinventing not just what we consume but how we consume.” What’s mine is yours, the rise of collaborative consumption, Rachel Botsman & Roo Rogers, 2010
2. The new convivial society
Leading members of diverse “anti-capitalistic” movements (degrowth, new affl uence indicators, anti-utilitarianism, the gift-paradigm...) are laying the groundwork of a convivial society capable of recreating social bonds.
De la convivialité Dialogues sur la société conviviale à venir, Alain Caillé, Marc Humbert, Serge Latouche, Patrick Viveret, 2011
3. Cooperative supermarket
The People’s Supermarket in London off ers locally-sourced organic and farm products. In exchange for 4 hours of volunteer work per month and a small contribution, clients are granted 10% off their purchases. Collaboration helps keep prices down.
EVOLUTION OF VALUES
REPUTATION AND CREDIT RATINGS
Each online action, communication, exchange or acquisition leaves a trace on the web; as seen in user ratings. According to Rachel Botsman: “reputation is a new social currency, which may become as powerful as credit ratings.” With the explosion of social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, which create close relationships between individuals and brands,the notion of reputation will become essential for future marketing.
CONVIVIALITY AND PRAGMATISM
The network society is paving the way to collaborative exchange models that free the consumer from traditional market paradigms, and introduce new economical and ethical options. Notions left behind by individualistic, capitalist and hierarchical societies are being revalorized: the common good, conviviality, solidarity, empathy, and they are embraced for pragmatic reasons, because they take into account each individual’s interests.
CREATIVE CONCEPTS : FUN TRADE
The sharing logic is spreading to new markets and populations. Both economical and generous, this novel consumer model is also appealingly convivial, accessible and fun.
1. The Garden Library by Yoav Meiri Architects.
A library for migrant refugees and workers. Books are seen as a fundamental human right, a possibility of both escape and shelter, and available in the users’ languages.
An online site for sharing objects or services among neighbors within a 1000-yard radius: tools, DVDs, parking places, toys, volunteerhours, etc.
1. Public Wardrobe by Vincent Wittenberg & Guy Königstein.
When donating used garments for recycling is revamped by design, this project touches on the private, collective and public spheres.
2. The Cushion Tree by Matali Crasset.
An invitation to relax on a high school lawn, incite students to share and interact informally, like people do around a campfire.