A vision for the EU
“Sharing Economy”

The foresight project explores the current development, future potential and possible challenges for the EU created by the so called ‘sharing’ or ‘collaborative’ economy.

It is running in cooperation with the EU Commission VP Jyrki Katainen and the Directorate General for the Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)


Exploring the future to inform today’s policy-making

The so called ‘sharing economy’ has grown considerably in recent years. While promising resource efficiency, economic growth and social innovation, it also challenges regulatory frameworks for consumer protection and employment, the current fiscal models as well as established economic operators. Moving the debate towards longer-term considerations and including diverse stakeholders in the process will facilitate the development of a more comprehensive view of the ‘sharing economy’ in the EU.


Understanding the ‘sharing economy’ and its possible futures

The project will support the development of a common European Commission vision for the ‘sharing economy’. Is it a temporary development contingent on a coincidence of factors such as technological and social innovation, environmental awareness, economic crisis and rising inequalities? Or is it an important element of broader socio-economic transformations with long-lasting implications for employment, economic growth, public services, sustainability and social values? The EU Policy Lab team will explore possible trajectories of the ‘sharing economy’ towards 2030 and their socio-economic implications. The work will inform strategic orientations and EU policy actions.


Including diversity of players and perspectives to capture the complexity

To explore the future of the ‘sharing economy’ in a systemic, open and imaginative way, four possible future scenarios for 2030 will be developed. The scenario analysis will be complemented by 3-4 case studies covering some of the areas in which the ‘sharing economy’ models have been particularly relevant (e.g. mobility or the use of space) or promise further expansion (e.g. digital currencies). A combination of desk research, interviews, focus groups and other techniques will be used and feed into interactive workshops and meetings with experts and stakeholder groups taking place between October 2015 and February 2016.

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