When we think of buying something or when we go shopping, we consider buying things that have already been produced, that we have seen or that someone has recommended to us because in turn he has already bought them. It almost never occurs to us that we can have goods that are not already on the market. On the market, the goods and services are not there by chance, someone offers us products that they thought of making and marketing previously, not to make us a pleasure but to gain a profit, a profit. This behavior together with the interest of those who buy, which Adam Smith called “the invisible hand”, is the key to trade and the economy, or at least the economy that we usually know. Therefore between those who buy and those who sell there is no benevolence but only interest. At this moment I leave out the fact that market exchanges also always have a social and relational value but that does not yet find adequate development. Let’s try to play the game of the market of interest, however reversing the factors, let’s first think of something to have, to buy, made in a certain way and then ask that it be produced and that it can be available in the preferred way. In this case, it will not be the production that proposes, through advertising, the products designed elsewhere. Obviously as the world of production, distribution and services is currently organized, it seems almost impossible to bring about this reversal of the actors. But things are changing. At least two decisive elements can be listed that make the demand point of view relevant and perhaps also decisive, compared to that of the offer: the cultural and technological spheres.
1) The ever-increasing educational and cultural competence of people allows you to make more informed, responsible choices related to a better lifestyle, moreover the awareness of being able to influence the market through consumer choices and opinions is spreading and on the socio-environmental context.
2) The other determining element is the great technological transformations regarding both information and communication and production. Today, information on practically every aspect of human life and endless news from all over the world are available through the internet. The interpersonal connections have no boundaries and it has become easier and easier for anyone to communicate potentially with all human beings and also with an infinite number of machines. Once structured in large and rigid factories, production is now more widespread, much more flexible and with the advent of industry 4.0 and the emergence of 3D printed products, it is much easier and less expensive to adapt production to the requirements of the question.
Considering this new reality, citizens can now co-generate consumer products and production together with other citizens and better satisfy their needs and desires: a real revolution, a new balance between market consumers and businesses.