Research on the platform economy

Which opportunities do cooperative models and blockchain technology offer to the platform economy? What are other potential pathways toward a more sustainable platform economy? 

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. These and other alternative models promise to better reach social-ecological goals and offer potential to transform the sharing and platform economy. 

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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).
Sustainable investing is rapidly increasing in popularity shifting investors’ focus towards additional investment criteria next to financial returns. This paradigm shift could also bene-fit platform cooperatives as new financing opportunities open up. Platform cooperatives like Fairbnb strongly promote sustainability and social values and therefore fit ESG invest-ment criteria, but even better suit socially responsible investing approaches. (Deutsche Version im Blogpost enthalten)
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Redeemable preference shares: the equity instrument that allows co-operatives to stay independent
Research Topics
Prof. Dr. Dominika Wruk
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How Platform Cooperatives fit the Landscape of ESG and Socially Responsible Investing
Plattformen für Nachbarschaftshilfe bündeln Solidarität in Zeiten der Covid-19 Pandemie
Das Bundeskanzleramt veranstaltet einen Hackathon zu (unternehmerischen) Lösungen im Umgang mit Corona vom 20. bis 22. März