We define the sharing economy as a socio-economic system involving a spectrum of activity based on maximising the potential of our underused human and physical resources, from our skills to our things.
There are of course other businesses, for profit and not, in the sharing economy that operate locally in a physical space rather than globally through online platforms; however, the boom in sharing activity relates to its scale, which we can attribute to the vast networks that technology allows users to tap into. Therefore, the focus of our research will be on online platforms in the sharing economy.
The initial aim of this project is to present a new frame for understanding the sharing economy so that we can reimagine collective approaches to the governance and regulation of its online platforms.
We are grateful to Airbnb for sponsoring events and the Student Design Awards ‘Fair Share’ brief, and to Innovate UK for sponsoring the research.