Last 27th of October the Collaborative Economy Research Network had once again the opportunity to get together and explore issues related to the sharing economy. The meeting took place at the OuiShare Fest Barcelona where enthusiasts of the collaborative consumption experienced great talks, workshops, games and more.
The novelty of the sharing economy and its exponential growth rise an enormous set of research questions and hypothesis in need to empirical analysis. Thus, the main purpose of this research workshop was to: (1) connect with other researchers and inform about the existent community, (2) discuss main investigation issues attached to the sharing economy and (3) engage in further workshops, conferences and other research activities.Over 30 participants from diverse fields -collaborative tourism experts, PhD and Master students, sociologists and independent entrepreneurs among others- actively participated in this activity which was structured in three parts:
1. Get together and short introduction to the Research Network
The workshop started with a short introduction of the current Collaborative Economy Research Network explaining its goals, mission, past meetings as well as highlighting how to engage from different social networks and mailing lists. Subsequently, participants had 2-3 minutes each to introduce themselves and to expose their research to the audience arguing main objectives and methodology (in case they had any).
2. Practical research game
Participants were asked to write in post-its their own thoughts regarding three categories: research questions, hypothesis and topics. A large board was divided into the same three sections in a way that researchers added their post-its in the correspondent column. Once all research issues were placed participants had the chance to evaluate other’s thoughts by drawing a little star on them. Afterwards, the team prioritized the most repeated and valuated ideas in order to open a participative discussion over all assistants.
- Research questions: How to get relevant data from private platforms, public institutions, etc?. How to define the collaborative economy?. What real values are behind collaborative platforms?. Are sharing economy platforms based on traditional businesses?
- Hypothesis: The collaborative consumption increases its positive effect when combining it with other business models. The collaborative consumption will get destroyed if it doesn’t melt with other social and solidarity economies. Platform cooperativism is much sustainable than unicorn models.
- Topics: political challenges to promote the collaborative economy, the future of work, privacity, online regulation, property, connecting research, open data and creative commons.
3. Coming events and research agenda
The workshop conclude announcing relevant call for papers, open academia positions, following conferences and workshops as well as remaining all participants how to engage in the Collaborative Economy Research Network. For instance, the upcoming International Workshop on the Sharing Economy at Lund University (16-17 June 2017), submission system opening on January 2nd, 2017 (http://www.iiiee.lu.se/urban-economy/4IWSE).
The session achieved very interesting findings by connecting experts from different disciplines and scientific areas. Aiming to continue improving collaborative research we encourage all those who are exploring this new system join the various existing networks and participate (or organize!) research workshops.
Esther Martos, workshop coordinator