Servicize it! SPREE Concluding Conference in Brussels
It’s amazing how time flies.
Yesterday we marked the official end of 3 intensive years of SPREE Project research and although I only joined the SPREE Project six months before its completion, I had the privilege and pleasure to take part in the “Servicize it! SPREE Concluding Conference” in Brussels on June 12th 2015.
Much like in a conference, during my relatively short involvement in the project, I had to quickly grasp and understand concepts such as Servicizing, Decoupling, and Policy Packaging. For the conference itself, the SPREE Consortium had to think and discuss together, how to pass on to participants from diverse backgrounds, from EC officials to businessmen and academics, the concepts, methodologies and most importantly the final outcome of the project – the “Servicizing Policy Packages” in the Water, Mobility and Agri-food sectors.
From the diary of a new researcher
During my BA in Economics, Geography and Human Environment, I joined the transport research unit at Tel-Aviv University on October 2013.
Three months later, I became a research assistant to Dr. Moshe Givoni, working on the Israeli case study in SPREE project as part of the mobility sector.
Three months after that, I found myself on a plane heading to Brussels on my way to the “Services for Sustainability” conference where for the first time I met the other partners of the SPREE project.
Sharing is more than just caring at LeWeb 2013
LeWeb is an international conference on technology, start-ups and media that takes place bi-annually in Paris and in London. It was also coined by the Economist as “the place where revolutionaries gather to plot the future”.
I was very much looking forward to attending and hearing about the most avant garde trends in the world of technology and the predictions for the next few years from experts in the field such as Silicon Valley star Guy Kawasaki and Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson, who has invested in companies such as Twitter and Kickstarter.
As soon as co-founder Loic leMeur took the stage for the opening speech I braced myself for 20 minutes of endless buzzwords and elaborate talk of Google Glass and other futuristic gadgets. To my great surprise the focus ended up being completely different. There definitely was mention of 3D Printers and the current value of Bitcoins, however, most of the talk highlighted the fields of online education, digital detox and the collaborative economy.
How is Finland Servicizing in the Mobility sector?
Finland is not only known for its countless lakes and saunas but also for its innovation and leadership in the hi-tech industry. Companies such as Nokia paved the route for Finland to become one of the world leaders in information and communication technologies (ICT). But it is not all just about one company anymore. Today, Finland is home to hundreds of small and medium sized enterprises specializing in mobile ICT and the market is growing fast. Recently, we’ve witnessed a boom in the mobile gaming industry. Angry Birds, and other similar games, have nested in millions of homes worldwide.
Innovation and Servicizing: Conceptual thoughts
What is the role of innovation and what role does it play in the transition towards a more servicized economy? Is it a component of a Servicizing system or an attribute of the system as a whole? The truth is, it’s both.
Innovation is broadly defined in the “EUROPE 2020” policy framework, issued by the European Commission, as: “[C]hange that speeds up and improves the way we conceive, develop, produce and access new products, industrial processes and services.“
Moving towards servicizing? Infrastructure is vital!
Reinier van der Veen
The term ‘infrastructure’ indicates all interlinked activities of production, transmission, distribution, trade and delivery in a supply chain. A specific infrastructure, the electricity transmission network for example, is often built, operated and maintained by a single infrastructure provider, whose monopolistic activities are regulated by the government. In general we consider the core infrastructures of society and economy as one big interconnected national infrastructure. However, infrastructures may have national, regional, and local dimensions. In addition, there are ‘hard’ infrastructures such as electricity provision, water provision or road traffic, but there are also ‘soft’ infrastructures that include education, healthcare and law enforcement.
Is Car-sharing becoming big business?
Car-sharing has grown in popularity in urban areas across the globe over the past decade and is just one demonstration of the significant potential for servicizing in the mobility sector. Many business models exist, but the overarching feature is that the car is deemed a common resource that can be shared by city dwellers; removing the costs and burdens of car ownership whilst providing the means to make particular trips with very little hassle. At scale the concept reduces the need for parking and alleviates congestion.
On efficient (and sufficient) consuming
Dr. Andrius Plepys and Yael Marom
Take a minute and think about the following incredible fact: About 80% of environmental impacts are associated with the “use phase” of many products, especially those using consumable materials such as water or electricity. Meaning, throughout their entire lifecycle, beginning at the very first stage of the manufacturing or supplying processes until the last stage of their consumption and disposal, 80% of the environmental “footprint” is the result of the way we use and consume them. For example, 75% of the energy consumption linked to a pair of trousers arises from washing, drying and ironing. Isn’t that astonishing?
“Efficient consuming” presents the opportunity to minimize the environmental impact derived from using the products, reduce over-exploitation and waste of non-renewable resources and reduce emissions of toxic substances that are sometimes being used at the manufacturing stage of many products.
Efficient consuming focuses on us, the consumers, and offers a way to modify our behaviors without jeopardizing our satisfaction from consuming the product. We can change our habits by, for example, washing clothes less often or at lower temperatures or by avoiding food waste. We can also choose to upgrade products by, for example, improving the performance of our computer through software of hardware upgrades, or by “restyling” clothing. Another way is to give products a second life; goods like clothing, leisure equipment, books and DVDs can often be reused by other people if passed on to second-hand or charity shops. These examples of efficient consumption necessitate only a slight modification in our consumption habits, and while important, have already proven to be insufficient. We need to rethink the traditional solutions.
A significant difference in consumption can be achieved by shifting the focus from owning many, low quality, low cost and short-lived products, to gaining access to high quality goods and/or services. Rather than owning goods that are only rarely used, such as home repair tools and garden equipment, access to products can be organized on the basis of collaborative consumption: an emerging global trend. Sharing systems can be directly established by users through peer-to-peer networks. Another way is to buy the service that provides the function we are interested in, such as purchasing a service of garden equipment supply for the purpose of maintaining our gardens. We actually do not need a lawn mower lying idle in our garages between each maintaining period. It suffices to rent them according to our actual use, and hence an efficient and sufficient consumption can be achieved. This is what Servicizing is all about!
Rachel Botsman on Collaborative Consumption:
Popular peer-to-peer sites: