A Framework to Assess the Sustainability and the Pro-Democratization of Platform Economy
Platform Economy is growing rapidly, exponentially, and creating high expectations of sustainability and its potential to contribute to the democratization of the economy. However, Platform Economy platforms lack a holistic framework to assess these elements. In addition, there is confusion about platforms which present themselves as collaborative when they actually are not. To address it, this article provides a framework for assessing the pro-democratic qualities of Platform Economy initiatives, taking into account governance, economic model, technological and knowledge policies and social responsibility and impact. The framework has been tested empirically in a sample of 100 cases with presence in the city of Barcelona. The results show different levels of pro-democratization, and different tendencies of prodemocratization. The cases which tended to be open in one dimension also tended to be open in the other dimensions. On the one hand, the analysis points to a correlation between technological and knowledge policies and governance; on the other, a correlation between project governance and its model of economic sustainability has also resulted. The results suggest that the way that is conducted the governance of a platform plays a central role and relates to the other democratic qualities. Finally, we link this with the Sustainable Development Goals.