The collaborative economy? How peer-to-peer platforms are changing work, business, and policy

Melbourne Event

Professor Ian Harper, who recently chaired the national Competition Policy Review, joined Dr Nicholas Gruen, CEO of Lateral Economics and previously chair of the Government 2.0 Taskforce, and Dr Jim Minifie from Grattan Institute in this Policy Pitch discussion about the peer-to-peer economy.

Sydney Event

Rachel Botsman, a global leader in the analysis of the collaborative economy and peer-to-peer marketplaces, joined Dr Jim Minifie from Grattan Institute in a discussion on the challenges and opportunities this new economy presents.

A revolution is sweeping through business and the economy. It goes by many names: the sharing; on-demand; peer-to-peer; collaborative economy. Millions of people use online peer-to-peer technologies to find matches for products, work, transport, accommodation and finance. Further afield, local energy providers are matched directly with customers, and new digital currencies on peer platforms are emerging, bypassing traditional institutions.

Businesses, communities and policymakers around the world are struggling with how to respond. 21st century innovation is outpacing the 20th century regulation.

Some envisage a wholesale alternative to today’s largely market-based system. Others argue that the new platforms erode labour and other community standards. What is sure is that not everyone will emerge a winner: the peer-to-peer economy is disrupting existing firms and industries and changing the very notion of a ‘job’.

The new platforms also pose policy challenges. Changes will be needed to address issues such as tax, licensing and employment laws in ways that protect both customers and providers on the platforms. But how can this be achieved without impeding innovation made possible by the new opportunities created via peer-to-peer exchange?