When we catch a ride with an Uber driver or contract with someone on Upwork, we marvel at the convenience. What we often overlook is the amount of trust it takes to ride with a stranger or to work with someone we may never meet. Yet that level of trust is what is driving the sharing economy, a form of commerce that harkens back to the 11th-century Maghribi traders.
In his book, The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-based Capitalism, NYU Stern Professor Arun Sundararajan provides the context and the history for how we got here. He also paints a picture for where we are headed, particularly when it comes to labor and safety policies and regulations. A recognized authority on the sharing economy, he has written for the New York Times, Wired, the Financial Times, and Harvard Business Review.
In this interview, we talk about:
- What makes the sharing economy similar to 18th-century commerce
- How we are making the shift away from corporate buying to peer purchasing
- How the sharing economy is blurring the lines between personal and professional
- How the pendulum is swinging back to relationships, connections, and gifts
- How the sharing economy speaks to our yearning for making and connection
- What the 11th-century Maghribi traders can teach us about trust and commerce
- Ways the sharing economy encourages us to do a better job
- Whether the sharing economy can reduce inequality
- How the sharing economy requires different labor regulations and policies
- How the government can partner with platforms to rethink regulations
- How labor regulations were designed for an era of full-time workers
- Why our economy will increasingly rely on stakeholders other than government
- How blockchain tech promises a world where crowd is market maker
- Why trust is embedded in this economic shift
- How new forms of trust will enable new forms of commerce
- What is it about digital cues that help us trust one another?
Selected Links to Topics Mentioned