One reaction to the consumer economy is that many Americans seem to be buying less and making and sharing more as they establish and grow their communities. Customer reviews of products are more important than ever, making the relationship between the business and customer of primary importance. Rather than focusing on transactions, many American businesses are shifting to relationship building with their customers, employees, and other business partners. Some governmental agencies seem to be gaining awareness of their relationships with the public, becoming more transparent with their budgets and other information of public interest.

Use the following prompts to reflect on how you can become more engaged in the relationship economy:

  • Who are your neighbors at home and at work? How can you build a sharing economy with them?
  • How can you change your spending to be more relationship-based?
  • If you run a business, how can you focus on building a relationship between the company and customer? How can you have authentic, mutually beneficial conversations with customers about your product/service?
Habib Todd Boerger in Practicing Democracy with Your Money by Habib Todd Boerger, Krsitin Ritzau