Companies must evolve their business models to avoid becoming disintermediated by customers who connect with each other, according to CareerOne CEO Karen Lawson.

Speaking about collaborative consumption at last week’s Sunshine Coast Business Expo, Ms Lawson said this trend was becoming more prominent and would significantly change consumers’ spending and buying habits, as well as recruitment processes within businesses.

Collaborative consumption – also known as the sharing economy – is where consumers are keen to rent, lend, swap, barter, gift and share products and services rather than owning products.

“We’re moving from a world where we’re organised around ownership to one organised around access to assets.”

Ms Lawson said if all Australian workers spent 10 minutes a week of their spare time in collaborative labour activities, it would create $700 million a week in extra income.

“This is not a passing trend, it’s a work revolution,” she told attendees during her presentation at the BizExpo.

RDA Sunshine Coast CEO Russell Mason said Ms Lawson was an example of one of Australia’s great new digital leaders providing real insight into future business trends.

“This was an amazing presentation about what is coming in the future and the importance of collaborative consumption for workers, as well as businesses.”

Ms Lawson was appointed CEO of CareerOne in early 2013 following from her success at Yahoo!7 as General Manager – Business Development where she held full commercial and operation responsibility of the organisation’s data, advertising, publishing, technology, search mobile and strategic partnerships including the Microsoft Bing alliance.

View Karen Lawson’s presentation: Collaborative Consumption – Sunshine Coast Business Expo – May 2014.