Platform Economy & Decentralization

So far, digital platforms for sharing and other forms of collaborative consumption were widely associated with positive economic, ecological and social effects. Today, however, digital platforms like Airbnb and Uber are increasingly criticized: platforms would skim off rents from transactions, their users would primarily be motivated economically, ecological advantages of sharing would be offset by additional consumption (so-called rebound effects), and regulations be bypassed. What many of these platforms have in common is that they are centrally owned and provide a centrlaized technical infrastructure.

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Towards a more sustainable sharing and platform economy?

As an antithesis, different decentral models combining alternative organizational forms and new technologies are discussed and tested. In which ways could alternative organizational forms (such as platform cooperatives) and new technologies (such as Blockchain technology) transform the digital sharing and platform economy? Do these alternatives lead to better socio-ecological impact? We analyze different forms of platform organizations from an individual, organizational and technological perspective. In addition, our interdisciplinary research agenda  allows us to study different market constellations and their social, economic and ecological impacts.

To this end, we bring together five different scientific disciplines and work closely with practitioners from the field of the platform and sharing economy.

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