Imagine waking up one day to find that virtually every activity you engage in outside your immediate family has become a "paid for" experience. It's all part of a fundamental change taking place in the nature of business, contends bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin. On the horizon looms the Age of Access, an era radically different from any we have known.
Rifkin argues that the capitalist journey, which began with the commodification of goods and the ownership of property, is ending with the commodification of human time and experience. In the future, we will purchase enlightenment and play, grooming and grace, and everything in between. "Lifestyle marketing" is the buzz in the commercial world as more and more consumers become members of corporate-sponsored clubs and participate in corporate-sponsored activities and events. People are even living out their lifestyles in planned commercial residential communities. The business of business, therefore, is no longer about exchanging property but, rather, about buying access to one's very existence in small commercial time segments. In the Age of Access, Rifkin asks, will any time be left for relationships of a noncommercial nature?