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E-Commerce Techonomy Events

The Economics of Sharing

Airbnb, DogVacay, Uber, Lyft and TaskRabbit. A host of new platforms are transforming the economics of sharing. But what does their rapid spread mean for a city and its citizens? Is the sharing economy the future of employment, compensation, and exchange of value? As the trend reorients business, social and cultural norms, how can we ensure that cities and citizens become beneficiaries? TaskRabbit's Stacy Brown-Philpot, April Rinne of the World Economic Forum, and NYU's Arun Sundararajan discuss the future of the sharing economy in this session from Techonomy Detroit 2014, moderated by Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution.   More

E-Commerce Government

Governments and Sharing: Lessons from the UK’s Beyond Jobs Project

What can governments do to boost the sharing economy? What would be their incentive to do so? Where are the commercial opportunities if public policy were to fully embrace sharing transactions? I have spent 20 years writing, consulting, and overseeing publicly funded projects based on these questions. The answers in brief: governments are potentially the biggest buyers of fragmented labor, its regulators, setters of tax/welfare codes, administrators of databases of record, and ideally will serve as marketing machines for economic initiatives.   More

Business E-Commerce

New Economics: Sharing Isn’t Free, and Price Gouging Isn’t Mean

The pros and cons of the so-called "sharing economy" are getting plenty of press these days. Consider the diverse takes this week from Technology Review, the New York Times, and the Kansas City Star. In a Times report about workers who are finding "both freedom and uncertainty" in the contract employment trend, Natasha Singer explains how Navy veteran Jennifer Guidry attempts to help cover her family's food and rent costs with popup gigs.   More

Business E-Commerce

How to Regulate the Sharing Economy

Techonomists Arun Sundararajan and Andrew McAfee were among seven who contributed to a debate in The New York Times last week about how to handle the disruptive economic effects of the emerging sharing economy. The Times asked the pundits to consider whether the apps and online services that are powering the sharing economy, such as Airbnb, Uber, and TaskRabbit, are “cutting edge conveniences that should be encouraged, or money-making businesses that need more regulation?”   More

Cities E-Commerce

Brookings’s Bradley: A Sharing Economy That Serves All

We know the sharing economy as an efficient and convenient resource, and launchpad for trendy startups like Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit. But the sharing economy could help address needs for a much wider swath of society, instead of just enabling better options for the already-privileged. At Techonomy 2013, Brookings Institution fellow Jennifer Bradley discussed the sharing economy's opportunity for inclusion, such as creating an Uber-like system to help low-income people get to work, and enabling the sharing of essential "means of production" like 3D printers and power tools.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Business Internet of Things Security & Privacy

People, Companies, and Trends: Techonomy’s 2013 Top Ten

As 2013 winds down, Techonomy takes a moment to look back on highlights from the year, especially those that portend—we think—the future. Our Top Ten list recognizes the people, companies, and ideas that embodied how technology is catalyzing change in business and society. Some of the individuals and organizations here were represented at our 2013 conferences, labs, and dinners, where we convene leaders to explore the biggest tech-driven challenges and opportunities. Some were featured in our expanding online editorial content.   More

Business

Has the Sharing Economy Already Left Zipcar Behind?

Zipcar was a harbinger of the new sharing economy, but according to Arun Sundararajan of The Harvard Business Review, because the company has to maintain a fleet of vehicles, its business model is really no different from an old-fashioned rental car company. Sundararajan points to two upstarts, RelayRides and GetAround, that mobilize a true peer-to-peer marketplace, with fleets of cars owned and operated (and parked) by a community of users. Their reputation-based approach can be traced to Airbnb and other resource-pooling companies like SnapGoods and TaskRabbit.   More