The collaborative economy is booming. We hear about continuously emerging platforms , new solutions, new questions … But what is the collaborative economy? What activities fall within its limits?
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As in any field that expands at great speed, the theoretical exploration is developed at the same time as the practice itself. Confusion, ambiguities and even legal loopholes are consequences and causes of a certain lack of definition. Therefore, Adigital (Spanish Association of Digital Economy) and Sharing Spain (organization representing collaborative economy companies) have made a report in which they want to shed light on this new phenomenon. In this sense it includes:
Collaborative economy, on demand and access
As “collaborative economy” would enter those online platforms that function as intermediaries , enabling the exchange of goods and services, with or without economic consideration. Either between equals (individuals or companies), or from individuals to companies (provided that it originates from the first). Meet the requirements of the proposed definition examples known as sharing homes between individuals (Couchsurfing), practices such as carpooling (Blablacar), crowdfunding or the sale of second-hand products ( Wallapop ) .
Outside of the collaborative economy proper, according to the study, there would be an economy on demand , in which a commercial relationship is formed between users. It gathers the options in which a platform intervenes as an intermediary, and in this case between the professionals , who provide the service, and the consumers . In such cases the usual is the existence of profit motive , so that commercial regulations should be applied as basic regulation of the activity.
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The third group, the economy of access , would be formed by platforms that allow sharing for example a car (owned by the company holding the platform) among several users who use it alternately or coworking spaces to rent work areas at certain times . In these cases, the key is that it is the company that provides the service directly.
As can be seen, the collaborative economy implies a series of changes , large and small, radical and aesthetic, in the predominant values to date. We already attend an adaptation on all fronts .
In a world that is built day by day with millions of users in constant feedback, the challenges that open are exciting, do not you think?