For those still unfamiliar with the term Collaborative Consumption, here’s your ‘101’: the movement describes the rapid rise in renting, lending and even sharing goods instead of buying them. Predictably, we’re tremendous fans of what TIME is calling one of 10 Ideas That Will Change the World given its emphasis on the resurgence of community, environmental impact and cost consciousness. But perhaps even these exceptional benefits downplay Collaborative Consumption’s extraordinary potential: the ability to save a human life.
Airbnb, an online platform that matches people seeking rentals and other short-term accommodations with those renting spaces, is one of our personal favorites when it comes to organizations leveraging the power of Collaborative Consumption. And according to Fast Company, “Airbnb’s ability to transform an extra room into a steady income can be a life-changer.” For many Airbnb hosts the service is simply a bit of extra cash and a broadened perspective (provided you’re able to host people from all over the globe), but for others, it’s become so much more.
Meet Latasha for example. Again, as Fast Company explains:
In 2008, Latasha discovered she had an enlarged thyroid. Even with insurance, the medical bill for treating the condition clocked in at about $6,000. Latasha funded her surgery through Airbnb hosting and also credits conversations with her guests with encouraging her to live a healthier life.