Emergent Research and Intuit, the two U.S.-based solution providers for small businesses, have conducted a study on the demographic, social, economic and technology trends that will affect the so-called on-demand economy which stands for ‘an online marketplace or application that connected providers/freelancers with customers’, also knowns as ‘sharing economy’.

COMMON, a global collaborative brand and a startup accelerator for socially conscious business practices, is about to roll out the ethically-minded COMMON Marketplace platform. It is a place where people from across the world can sell or buy products and services that resonate with the “goods for the good” philosophy. The site that launches on January 31 is now calling sellers and buyers to join in by signing up.

This is the most fascinating time of the year. One day we are reflecting on the year behind us, taking stock of what has been accomplished and enjoying a well-deserved break. And the very next day we are starting from zero. New dreams, new promises and new goals to reach. For the business world, it’s just like the first day of school. The best chance to purge, get organized and most importantly, think and act differently. 

Today, being eco-minded is an integral part of living consciously. Consumers are switching to “slow” food, “slow” fashion, “slow” living, focusing on quality and durability rather than quantity and growth. People are caring not only about what and how they consume, they are questioning their impact on environment and society: consumerism is gradually giving way to mindful lifestyle.  Now, it’s not about owning or digesting more, it’s about consuming no more than you really need, making the most of resources and giving back to nature. Below, there are six growing trends that have been driving mindful consumption movement over the year of 2013.

Google is offering a whole new way to fix real-life problems—now users are prompted not just to “google it” to find some information on the issue, but can also get a “personalized” video advice from real people. The tech powerhouse is launching Helpouts, an online service that connects people who seek help with those who can provide the required guidance though paid or free online meet-ups. The service is offered in eight categories, from Art&Music and Cooking to Fitness&Nutrition and Health.

Why to buy something if you need it for a limited time only? It’s much easier (and more rational) to share underused assets instead of purchasing and owning them individually. The past few years have witnessed the rise of what’s called the sharing (share or shared, collaborative, peer, access) economy which implies collaborative consumption of physical, virtual and intellectual goods. The new model of consumer relationship emerges at the intersection of online social networking, mobile technology and the social movement that comes as a response to the reduction in purchasing power. While the concept of the sharing economy seems to be clear, it needs some detailing. Why is the sharing economy good to people? What threats to traditional business can it pose? Does the collaborative consumption have a potential to become a consumer religion of tomorrow?