Last week, I was lucky enough to be chaperoned by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), around a variety of emerging tech companies in Silicon Valley. The IPA/UKTI interactive mission has been a real smorgasbord of tech inspirations and here are my views on the trends that will be coming to European shores shortly.
As a child, I was brought up to believe that sharing was a good thing to do. It makes sense to share things we don't need to use all the time. It's a way of making and keeping friends. It often comes with an emotional reward. And it's a sign of a civilised society at work: not every exchange of valuable goods requires a transaction.
It's all over the news; today London's Black Cabs are staging a protest against the introduction of Uber; a smart phone app that allows you to book private vehicles on-demand to get from A to B across the city. New York, Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, it's a battle that's being played out in cities across the globe. And it's not pretty.
Until now we have been approaching our cars and our apartments without thinking economically. If we want to change that, it is neither communism nor turbo capitalism. It is not to reach a higher moral goal either and certainly not an evil act. It is simply reasonable and in addition also human and beautiful.
This bank holiday weekend is your opportunity to join the international Slow Travel movement; the extra day will afford you the luxury of taking your time getting to your favourite holiday spot but there's more to Slow Travel than that. The term does not, in fact, necessarily indicate that you'll be longer arriving.
Today is National Sharing Day. Major players in this emerging sector and forward-thinking citizens across the UK are getting together to spread the word about the economic transformation we are part of. It's the official launch day of a new non-profit organisation called The People Who Share, supporting the growth of the sharing economy in Britain.