On a mission to spread collaborative consumption in Germany: KoKonsum & OuiShare
As in many other countries, collaborative consumption is also taking off in Germany. The new blog Kokonsum.org has been launched to finally give a voice to the growing collaborative consumption movement in German speaking countries.
Since I live in Germany myself, I have the impression that a lot of people are already sharing resources, but don’t know that it’s part of something bigger. Michael Aechtler, founder of peer-to-peer (p2p) rent and barter platform Leihdirwas says, “I have been in this space for several years now and realized that the sharing economy really lacks visibility in Germany.” Just like Ouishare is doing in Europe and Collaborativeconsumption.com on a global level, someone needs to connect the dots and create more awareness for collaborative consumption in Germany.
On his mission to do this, Michael found Daniel Bartel, founder of p2p carsharing platform Autonetzer and Gijora Dammann, mulitmedia engineer at CHIP communications. In their spare time after their full time jobs, the three of them started working on building a blog on the sharing economy in the German language. Their motivation?
I want to show people how sharing can be a win-win situation.
“As an evangelist of a p2p-carsharing community, joining forces with others to drive Kokonsum.org forward seemed like the natural thing to do,” Bartel explains.
Gijora is also passionate about the advantages of collaborative consumption: “During my work as a developer, my collegues and I often encountered problems with sharing and organzing resources. When I tried to solve them, I soon realized how many intrinsic benefits the Sharing Economy has and started looking for likeminded people.”
While doing research for my bachelor thesis about trust in p2p marketplaces last spring, I stumbled upon the KoKonsum Facebook page and was thrilled to find other collaborative consumption enthusiasts in Germany. After meeting Gijora and Daniel at a KoKonsum Meetup in Munich in April, I joined the KoKonsum team.
Why call it KoKonsum? In German, the term Kollaborativer Konsum is really difficult to pronounce. “That’s why we looked for an alternative with the same meaning that sounds more fun and simple, and ended up with KoKonsum,” says Michael.
Spreading the concept of collaborative consumption
Similar to the international blogs consocollaborative (France)and consumo collaborativo (Spain), KoKonsum aims to make the concept of collaborative consumption more accessible to the German public and connect peers and startups within the sharing economy.
The community blog is an entry point for people interested in the sharing economy to get involved and start using collaborative consumption platforms – and if they like, publish articles in German. A directory of marketplaces in Germany also seeks to give visibility to new collaborative consumption platforms.
The Ouishare community: growing all over Europe
That’s not all: the Ouishare Community is also growing rapidly in Germany outside of Berlin. Last Thursday, Ouishare and KoKonsum hosted the first Ouishare Drink in Munich at Allynet Coworking. It was a great event with 30 passionate people and pitches from four local startups:
- Leihdirwas, p2p marketplaces for barter and renting of goods (Stuttgart)
- LocalGuiding, a p2p platform on which people can offer tours to tourists (Munich)
- Carpooling, the largest p2p ridesharing company worldwide (Munich)
- Kleiderkreisel, a p2p swap, sell and gifting platform for clothes (Munich)
If you speak German and want to learn more about collaborative consumption in Germany, make sure to check out the KoKonsum blog. Please also get in touch with me at francesca[at]kokonsum[dot]org if you are interested in contributing an article in German or would like to be listed in our directory of German platforms.
We’ll keep you posted on the next upcoming Ouishare Events in Munich and Berlin!
Here are the pictures from the event:
Photo credits: Mark Aechtler