Venture Deli Spots 3 Social Business Trends

Venture Deli Spots 3 Social Business Trends

‘There is going to be some very big environmental savings to be had in these business models,’ says Assaf Weisz

There is much discussion about the idea of social business, with people eager to learn where there’s potential to create successful companies that solve social and environmental problems. Assaf Weisz, co-founder of social business accelerator Venture Deli, points to three sectors he says are budding with opportunity for innovative companies to make a difference.

Collaborative consumption – the business of renting, lending and sharing goods.

Named by Time magazine as one of 10 Ideas that will Change the World, collaborative consumption is a shift away from our traditional ownership economy that enforces the ideal of people owning one of everything.

Collaborative consumption, made possible by advances in network technology, moves us to what Weisz refers to as an access-based economy, where we have access to goods and services when we need them.

Successful models include Netflix, where members pay a monthly fee to stream movies and TV on media devices and Zipcar, which allows members to reserve and drive cars located in their neighbourhood.

“There are lots of companies now that are actually facilitating ownership and what that does in a very real way is it cuts down the amount of manufacturing we need to do,” Weisz tells Axiom news.

“If 100 people can share a car effectively than we don’t need to create 100 cars. There is going to be some very big environmental savings to be had in these business models.”

Digital media is an ever-expanding sector Weisz says offers opportunities to change the world. While he takes issue with many smart people devoting their intelligence to things like displaying ads more efficiently, he’s says there is plenty of room for digital media to solve complex and entrenched problems, including acting as a platform to connect bright minds.

He points to an iPhone application that allows doctors to interface with patients from all over the world.

“If you are an aid worker in rural India and you need to deliver medical treatment you can literally talk with a doctor from Boston Medical, and they can not only see the condition but they can walk you through step by step,” says Weisz. “That’s an example of using technology as a way to bridge a physical gap in helping people.”

Finally, Weisz predicts underutilized urban space to undergo a transformation to support local needs like food or energy production.

“I think there is so much rooftop space and hugely underutilized space in cities where you could turn that into productive space,” he says.

“I really believe there should be no useless rooftop 10 years from now. Everything should either be either producing energy or be producing food.”

Related Story:
Social Business Angst Gives Rise to New Company

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Writer Bio

Camille Jensen's picture
Camille Jensen

Camille Jensen is an employee share ownership consultant with ESOP Builders, Canada’s largest provider of employee share ownership plans (ESOPs) for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Prior to joining ESOP Builders, Camille was a generative journalist and team member at Axiom News. She credits her time at Axiom as fundamental to her understanding that business is one of the best opportunities to make a difference in the world.

Camille is a B.C. Partner for Social Impact and volunteer with Okanagan Changemakers.

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