Research project on digital platforms in the sharing economy

Which opportunities do cooperative models and blockchain technology offer to the sharing economy? In the inter- and transdiciplinary junior research group platforms2share we want to answer this question.

Today, new digital platforms for sharing, swapping and other ways of collaborative consumption are widely associated with positive economic, ecological and social effects. At the same time, existing platforms like Airbnb and Uber are increasingly criticized in public debate for having negative effects on people, local economies and our planet. As a counter model, new decentral models combining alternative organizational forms (such as platform cooperatives) and new technologies (such as Blockchain technology) are discussed and tested. The promise to better reach social-ecological goals and offer potential transform the sharing and platform economy.

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Aufgrund der aktuellen Entwicklungen um Covid-19 werden wir nun das i-share Symposium und das platforms2share Forschungskolloquium auf den Herbst verschieben. Erfreulicherweise haben wir bereits einen Ersatztermin gefunden, so dass die Veranstaltung am Montag, den 12. Oktober 2020 an der Universität Mannheim stattfinden wird.
In their exploratory study, the platforms2share researchers find that sharing organizations receive attention, resources and legitimation from a „disruptive field“ of organizations including tech-media and venture capitalists – a field that initiates and support technological innovation which potentially disrupt existing fields and industries. So far, the field pays attention to dominant models in the sharing economy such as Airbnb or Uber. The authors published the chapter in the renowned series „Research in the Sociology of Organizations“.
Venture capital allows start-ups to grow their business significantly and gives investors the chance to participate from the growth of a company from an early stage onward. For platform cooperatives however, equity capital raises a major concern: control over the company is transferred to investors, which interferes with the democratic processes of a cooperative. Redeemable preference shares though, are a financial instrument which have equity characteristics and allow cooperatives to stay independent. (Deutschsprachige Version unten)
Nachbarschaftshilfeplattformen sind in Zeiten des Coronavirus ein hilfreiches Instrument, um Hilfesuchende und Hilfegebende zu vernetzen. Die Plattformen koordinieren Angebot und Nachfrage und sorgen dafür, dass Vertrauen zwischen Suchenden und Anbietenden geschaffen wird. (English Version below).


Universität Mannheim
10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Universität Mannheim
9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Barcelona, Spain

Contact persons at platforms2share

Project Description
Neuer Termin gefunden: Das sechste i-share Symposium und zweite platforms2share Forschungskolloquium finden am 12./13. Oktober 2020 statt
Research Team and Partners
Santje Kludas
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Redeemable preference shares: the equity instrument that allows co-operatives to stay independent
How is the sharing economy field structured? Dominika Wruk, Tino Schöllhorn and Achim Oberg address this question in their current publication
Plattformen für Nachbarschaftshilfe bündeln Solidarität in Zeiten der Covid-19 Pandemie
Prof. Dr. Dominika Wruk