Sharing Economy

Part 3: Collaborative Consumption Not Just for StartUps Any Longer

On the heels of major announcements by auto sector giants GM and Ford getting into the sharing economy game with GM investing $500 million in Lyft and Ford announcing a shared leasing model, the aerospace sector followed suit today with Airbus announcing a new partnership with Uber.

The new Airbus partnership with sharing economy unicorn Uber is part of an experiment that would allow Uber users to hail copters, as well as other forms of transportation.

The recently-formed Airbus Ventures will operate with $150 million commitment to “identify and invest in the most visionary entrepreneurs in the global aerospace ecosystem,” Airbus said in a release.

This new tie up will allow Airbus to provide on-demand transportation service using its H125 and H130 helicopters. According to Airbus, the partnership will help carve out “a new business model for helicopter operators to access a broader customer base.”

With this news, it is clear that the sharing economy is no longer a blip or fad, but rather a pervasive economic engine that is here to stay. And one that is at the front lines of business innovation and disruption.

As the line between sharing economy companies and traditional businesses continues to blur, it is likely that collaborative consumption will continue to move away from being compartmentalized and toward a center of business strategy and innovation. This will be similar to the evolution we saw with technology and digital strategies over the last decade, and what we are also currently seeing with the new purposeful business movement.

With a clear footprint into traditional industries ranging from transportation to lodging to aerospace, retail and auto, 2016 seems poised to be the year WE-Commerce explodes as the visceral shift from the singular me to the collective we evolves into a powerful new economic paradigm.

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

Wecommerce book Sharing Economy


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