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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Our collective future depends on whether we can ensure broad sharing of digital data with due individual and group protection. For the latter, we need to establish collective primary economic rights to data. The webinar will present the idea of community data, or community ownership of data and discuss implications for public sector politics and workers` rights.
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)



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About Us
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung: Webinar 'Economic rights in a data-based society' on May 19th 2020
Research Topics
Prof. Dr. Dominika Wruk
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How is the sharing economy field structured? Dominika Wruk, Tino Schöllhorn and Achim Oberg address this question in their current publication
Neuer Termin gefunden: Das sechste i-share Symposium und zweite platforms2share Forschungskolloquium finden am 12./13. Oktober 2020 statt
Redeemable preference shares: the equity instrument that allows co-operatives to stay independent