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Opportunities and Risks of the Digital Sharing Economy for Sustainability


Pouri, Maria (2020). Opportunities and Risks of the Digital Sharing Economy for Sustainability. In: Sharing & Cooperativism: Designing For Economies, online, 26 October 2020 - 26 October 2020.

Abstract

In recent years, there has been a rapid growth in the use of digital sharing platforms by individuals and also companies in various sectors. These platforms – such as Uber, Airbnb, Couchsurfing, BlaBlaCar, and many others – are predominantly associated with the sharing economy phenomenon. It is envisioned that in the coming years, the proliferation of platforms in the area of sharing economy will reach a point where it will eventually become a crucial, inevitable part of the global economy.
Sharing platforms appear to have been more attractive in the eyes of consumers because they offer a wide variety of services that are often more affordable, efficient, convenient, and accessible than their counterparts in the conventional market. Nevertheless, the growth of the digitally enabled sharing economy can have both positive and negative effects from a sustainability perspective. In the technical sense of sharing, potential positive impacts take place as consumption processes are optimized through higher utilization of resources. From a social aspect, sharing enhances consumers’ collaboration and cooperation in providing access to resources, particularly in the case of consumer-to-consumer sharing models. However, a more critical insight can reveal risks of digital sharing for sustainability as well: For example, rebound effects – which occur as a result of increase of efficiency in consumption – and increasing inequality and discrimination in the social and economic practices promoted by platforms. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to reflect on the potential impacts of the digital sharing economy for sustainability.

Abstract

In recent years, there has been a rapid growth in the use of digital sharing platforms by individuals and also companies in various sectors. These platforms – such as Uber, Airbnb, Couchsurfing, BlaBlaCar, and many others – are predominantly associated with the sharing economy phenomenon. It is envisioned that in the coming years, the proliferation of platforms in the area of sharing economy will reach a point where it will eventually become a crucial, inevitable part of the global economy.
Sharing platforms appear to have been more attractive in the eyes of consumers because they offer a wide variety of services that are often more affordable, efficient, convenient, and accessible than their counterparts in the conventional market. Nevertheless, the growth of the digitally enabled sharing economy can have both positive and negative effects from a sustainability perspective. In the technical sense of sharing, potential positive impacts take place as consumption processes are optimized through higher utilization of resources. From a social aspect, sharing enhances consumers’ collaboration and cooperation in providing access to resources, particularly in the case of consumer-to-consumer sharing models. However, a more critical insight can reveal risks of digital sharing for sustainability as well: For example, rebound effects – which occur as a result of increase of efficiency in consumption – and increasing inequality and discrimination in the social and economic practices promoted by platforms. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to reflect on the potential impacts of the digital sharing economy for sustainability.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Event End Date:26 October 2020
Deposited On:26 Jan 2021 09:57
Last Modified:26 Jan 2021 20:30
Publisher:NordiCHI Conference
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://sharingcoopnordichi2020.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/108-cr-pouri-opportunities_and_risks_of_the_digital_sharing.pdf
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:20543

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