May 22, 2018
The everything economy: The end of ownership
By: Bill Lesieur


The following is a fictional account of daily life in 2030. This story was inspired by Accenture Business Futures, Accenture’s Foresight-over-Forecast research, thought leadership and workshop platform.

The Everything Economy: See you in the future

March 30, 2030 (Chinese Year 4728) (WWW turns 40)

Max’s pod tracks his sleep cycle and gently wakes him up at an optimal point. It’s 7:30 a.m. and MyAdvocate, his AI agent and personal advocate platform, is planning his agenda. Nicknamed Mya, his agent needs him to confirm its recommendations for the day: Does he want to adjust the workday priorities? Does he like Mya’s dinner suggestion, which is based on his activities and wellness program?

In the "Everything" Economy of 2030, we no longer own stuff – Accenture's Bill Lesieur goes back to the future: #UX 

With his input, Mya orchestrates his day—a seamless interaction amongst numerous other AI agents, platforms and providers. It identifies clothes based on his activities and the weather. A make-your-own breakfast kit and on-demand appliances are waiting in the kitchen. And an autonomous vehicle is scheduled to arrive in an hour.

The year is 2030, Max is 32 years old, and he owns practically nothing. Instead, he subscribes to lifestyle-experience packages that aggregate hundreds of services from B2B platform ecosystems that own, or source, all the products he might need. His subscriptions include food, clothes, appliances and even housing.

His sleeping pod is docked within MyNeighborhood, subscription housing with locations across the United States and affiliations worldwide. The MyNeighborhood ecosystem is a consortium of providers with interconnected smart living products and services. It’s semi-private with shared living space, and each resident subscribes to MyStuff, intelligent movable containers for clothing and personal items.

Max’s subscriptions have access to his MyStuff container, and anything he needs—like ski gear or a pasta maker—can be quickly delivered. Everything is "smart"—Max’s clothes are made with e-textiles sensors that can track biometrics and lifecycle. And everything is circular, meaning they are shared by many, and eventually repurposed or recycled. Max’s t-shirts, for example, are either garden-ready biodegradable or regenerative.

It’s a world with no mortgages, car loans or clutter. Circular and on-demand products were made possible by breakthroughs in materials science, which redefined product innovation and lifecycles, and technology advancement in clean energy and AI, which made transportation cheap. It’s the Everything Economy, and it has redefined daily life.

At 8:30 a.m. Max’s autonomous vehicle arrives. It’s equipped with XR so he uses the 30 minute ride to call his sister Chloe. They talk about her new job leading the People First 2050 platform consortium, and thanks to the near-real power of XR, it’s almost as if she’s in the vehicle with him.

When he docks, he’s at the People Reality Tech Center, a co-working space that has both XR equipment and in-person meeting rooms. Based on strict privacy and data controls, AI agents can act as digital twins and collaborate on behalf of their owners. Mya identified this as an ideal place for Max to meet with his freelancer platform advisor, and reserved a meeting room for two, so they could discuss his next gig job. Despite the convenience of XR, many still prefer in-person interactions.

The evening is just as on-demand. He goes to the gym, where a designated locker has gym clothes and shoes for him. Dinner is 3D-printed tacos. And after dinner he goes to a social and entertainment-themed XR Center. Eventually, another self-driving shuttle takes him home.

Max is my son, and today in 2018, he’s a 19-year-old Millennial and Gen Z “cusper.” He’s studying computer science and economics, with a keen interest in robotics and rockets, and lives in the college dorm. His sister Chloe is a 22-year old Millennial driving social change. Every year, they both collect more stuff—clothes, furniture, gadgets and small appliances that they use periodically, but wish they didn’t have to store.

There are a number of reasons to believe their generation will drive the Everything Economy. Ride-sharing continues to grow. Clothing subscriptions are beginning to appear. WeWork, a leader in millennial-friendly co-working has launched WeLive, a co-living venture. Millennials are driving the Everything Economy with a preference for experiences over things and a love for sharing and on-demand services. As they spend more discretionary income on experiences, rather than products, design standards will begin to change. Millennials in 2030 will want significantly higher-quality products that are co-created and designed to be sharable and circular.

As experience economy, smart connected products and circular economy trends coalesce, individuals will be defined by the ecosystems they subscribe to. For businesses, this will lead to a massive restructuring of economic structures, value creation models, product development, and market power. For people like Max and Chloe, they will align themselves with ecosystems that reflect their ideologies and tribalism—redefining the social blueprint—and they will identify as citizens of those ecosystems.

How will The Everything Economy and the end of ownership impact your future? In 2030, who will product makers sell to? Who is the customer? What will happen to consumer product brands? What’s the business model? Where’s the money?

SEE YOU IN THE FUTURE: To learn more about using Foresight over Forecasts to embrace the future, please see Accenture Business Futures.

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