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The essence of industrialization was to automate the production of things, which in turn brought about the industrialization of people, changing work and workplaces. People went from producing their own food at the countryside to producing stuff in the factories, for the stores in the cities. And so the modern consumer was born. But times are changing again!

As we move further into the Networked Society, the traditional consumer is challenged, even though the economists want consumption to keep spinning the wheel. New transformative businesses go to market with new business models at the same time as people’s behaviors are starting to change.

“Why own a car when you can just have one when you need it?” is what you can hear from young urban dwellers today.

Putting it simply, there are two major trends ahead for commercial life: (1) the big project for businesses is to automate the consumption or usage processes, and (2) traditional business models and the logic of the capitalistic economic system are challenged by “involved consumption” and the “sharing economy”.

This week, we release five reports about the future of commerce and consumption. This is the quick guide to these reports:

  1. Disruption of the old consumption logic: This report is about how we moved from an age of industrialization to the Networked Society and how the consumer logic once again will change.
  2. Emerging consumer values: This report reviews the expectations people will have on businesses as well as a set of emerging consumption dichotomies.
  3. The sharing economy: This report analyses the different parts of the sharing economy, such as barter trade, local currencies and cooperatives.
  4. The consumer in the Networked Society: This report outlines the characteristics of the future consumer.
  5. A tale of two transforming cities: Case studies highlighting urban transformation in Detroit and San Francisco and how progressive businesses and individuals organize consumption.
  6. The evolution of the consumer: infographic.