Supported by digital technology, we are experiencing a shift in economic transactions and thus social relationships. Access to goods is replacing ownership. Traditional commodity producers are transforming into services providers. Community-based online services provide information, enabling the optimization of resources and facilitating peer-to-peer transactions.

Sharing Economy is a common notion describing this ongoing fundamental transformation of our economies and societies, other terms being Collaborative Consumption, Peer-to-Peer Economy, Access Economy or On-Demand Economy.

With the help of online platforms and Social Media, reaching a large group of interested parties, Sharing Economy supports the optimization of the assets’ utilization. Thus Sharing Economy’s systematic mutual provision of objects and spaces, making the sharing of unused resources possible, can have a strong ecological dimension and a positive environmental impact.

7 July 2017

Kingdom of the Netherlands

Such digital platforms enable the small-scale provider. Anyway the role of the producer and consumer is fusing into the so-called “prosumer”. By being able to deliver for lower costs and better convenience, Sharing Economy providers are often preferred by customers. By offering more choices and making them more transparent, Sharing Economy can also empower the consumer.
On the other hand, by reducing the need for intermediaries between the supplier and consumer, Sharing Economy is threatening existing established business models. Sharing Economy is a threat for small locally owned companies, strengthening large remote technology companies. And Sharing Economy platforms benefit from the so-called “network effect”, becoming more valued when more people use them. By connecting employers and laborers for short-term employment opportunities, Sharing Economy bypasses the traditional employer-employee relationships. Such a flexibilization of the labor market is in mismatch with today’s inflexible social state instruments.


Sharing Economy is one of the phenomena of a world rapidly changing. This reshaping of the word is happening faster then the reshaping of the societies and their institutions. In general there is a mismatch between the pace of transformation and the pace of society’s ability to develop the tools in order to get the best out of these new developments while cushioning the negative impacts. To address these policy challenges one needs a better understanding
of the Sharing Economy’s impact.

“Embassy Lab SHAReCONOMY” provides a space for an international interdisciplinary dialogue and a creative exchange on a broad range of issues, such as: What is Sharing Economy‘s economic impact today, how can it increase productivity, and what is Europe’s potential in this globalized economy? How can Sharing Economy foster social innovation and how to unfold its ecological potential? What is the nature of the new employment relationships and how are the “peers” protected? Who owns the data (we share) and how to bridge the digital divide? How to give space for innovation and help develop Sharing Economy‘s potential while reducing its negative effects?

Learning from the international exchange of experiences, among others between Amsterdam and Berlin (and Barcelona), “Embassy Lab SHAReCONOMY” highlights the pros and cons of Sharing Economy and addresses the transition-related problems. The program focuses on the policy challenges, examining if next to existing legislation new legislation is needed – and then at what level: local, national or European.

welcome address

Dr. Guido Biessen
Head Economic Department
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Berlin


Prof. Elizabeth Sikiaridi
Prof. Frans Vogelaar
Hybrid Space Lab

Table Talks

The program consists of Table Talks with input from the scientific community, from social innovation, from government and policy-making, and from business and of networking sessions.

Prof. Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Prof. Frans Vogelaar of Hybrid Space Lab curate “Embassy Lab SHAREeCONOMY”, together with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Berlin.