The Effects of the Sharing Economy on Participation in the Digital Future


As collaborative consumption via new technologies increases, traditional economic models are evolving into trendy models that fall under the sharing economy. As models change, the roles of producer and consumer become blurred. Communication models allowing for feedback become more applicable in a connected world providing platforms that not only allow for consumers to provide feedback but also to be conversation starters. The connected world proposes many opportunities for interactions between users and producers and some of these interactions have led to collaboration between participants. Additionally, this new economic model is not simply a two-way or even circular communication, it includes a third party that does not necessarily act as a message sender or receiver, but rather as a messenger and this messenger is often voice-less, face-less and interacts using a computer interface. As these interfaces are accessible beyond international borders, local participation expands internationally. As with all forms of cross-cultural communication, in order to build participatory international audiences, relationships need to go beyond virtual foundations by adopting inclusiveness and mutual respect.

The proposed study takes on a Grounded Theory and Participatory Action approach by consulting with concerned societies on their positive and challenging experiences using shared platforms that allow for service exchange. Using a quantitative and qualitative questionnaire, we ask consumers and service providers using collaborative platforms to share their views based on positive, negative or neutral encounters and experiences. A questionnaire was designed in response to the call for proposals for the IAMCR conference to be held in Beijing on June 2020. To date, 100 respondents have participated in the research, 3 quarters of which are millennials from various countries such as the US, the UK, France, Belgium, India, China, Palestine, Canada and Ivory Coast. Most of the respondents are based in cities and have a Bachelor or postgraduate degree. This project, currently in its early phase, has the potential to give us an understanding on (1) who are the actors of the sharing economy (2) what are the roles of these actors (3) why and how do they participate in the sharing economy (4) what are the benefits and challenges of current sharing platforms and most importantly for this conference (5) is participation in the sharing economy inclusive and respectful? If not, what recommendations can be made? Problems and recommendations will be sourced from users directly. It is hoped that at least a few hundred results are gathered by June so that some of these results be analysed and presented at the conference.

Furthermore, the dominant actors in this evolving economic model, the solution providers, will be studied using an analysis grid. Based on the questionnaire results, 4 sharing platforms will be selected so as to understand their solution proposal and how they ensure participants interact respectfully. I propose to present part of my findings on these dominant actors in the conference.

12min video format+Visuals including PowerPoint slides

1-3 mins intro, study objectives, definitions

4-8 mins methods

8-12 mins results and discussion questions