‘Sharing Economy’ foresees collaborative culture across all industry sectors in Brunei

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released a new white paper called ‘Collaboration in Cities: From Sharing to ‘Sharing Economy’’, which identifies and answers key questions for cities about the sharing economy.

Among the questions touched on in the paper pertain to what the sharing economy means for cities, who the actors of the sharing economy are, what the drivers of sharing are, what is being shared in cities, how can cities share, what the issues and challenges are in the sharing economy as well as how sharing should be regulated.

It includes case studies from cities around the world – including Seattle, London, New York, Melbourne, São Paulo, Kigali, Seoul, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Kamaishi – which show how sharing is transforming citizens’ lives, boosting economies, social cohesion and the environment.

In a WEF press release, it is stated that, according to Google Trends, the popularity of the phrase "sharing economy" has increased 16-fold since 2013.

The press release notes that sharing is an age-old concept, but that the potential pool of people with whom to share is growing exponentially, as technology-enabled platforms connect and vouch for new members from around the globe.

It notes that cities can leverage the potential of the sharing economy in municipal goods, municipal spaces, civic assets, municipal services and skills and the talents of city residents.

"While sharing may often decrease the cost of access, it also has the potential to address long-term societal challenges such as making cities more inclusive and building social connections between groups that might otherwise never have interacted," said Cheryl Martin, Head of Industries, WEF.

"In experimenting with sharing practices, however, cities will also have to be agile in addressing externalities and disruption to their planning processes, policy formulation and regulatory structures."

Mandated by the World Economic Forum Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative Steering and Advisory Committee, the paper explores opportunities and challenges of the sharing economy in cities by highlighting examples and solutions from cities around the world.

Among the examples, to name a few, are: Melbourne, a global leader in the food-sharing sector; Barcelona, which is driving a time-bank project where people exchange their time for doing everyday tasks; London, which has a crowdfunding platform where citizens can propose project ideas and get City Hall’s support; and Seoul, which has 97 distinct sharing schemes from public bicycles to parking spaces and children’s clothes.

Additionally, the paper also explores sharing-economy ideas that span multiple cities.

Gregory Hodkinson, Chairman, Arup Ltd and Chair of the World Economic Forum System Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative said, "The sharing economy is making cities redefine land-use strategies, minimise their costs, optimise public assets and collaborate with other actors (for-profits, non-profits, social enterprises, communities and other cities) in developing policies and frameworks that encourage continued innovation in this area."

"This paper focusses on the drivers of sharing in a city and how cities can embark on the sharing journey," he added.

It is noted in the press release that the paper explores potential solutions to challenges of the sharing economy and makes the case that sharing in cities can have a transformative impact – boosting the economy and nurturing a sense of community by bringing people into contact with one another, facilitating neighbourliness, and improving the environment by making the most efficient use of resources.

The press release adds that cities have a potential role in facilitating/enabling and harnessing the sharing business models by fostering partnerships that shape a "sharing and collaborative" culture across all industry sectors.

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