Platform Cooperativism Holistic Characterization and Delimitation: 10 Cases of Barcelona Ecosystem
The Collaborative Economy (CE), that is, the collaborative consumption and production of capital and labour among distributed groups supported by a digital platform, is growing rapidly and exponentially. However, it suffers from diverse challenges: (1) CE is creating high sustainability expectations for its potential to contribute to a sustainable development of society (Algar, 2007; Botsman & Rogers, 2010; Cohen & Kietzmann, 2014; Heinrichs, 2013), and for its potential to contribute to the commons and a democratization of economy (Fuster, 2016). Bryan Walsh in the Time Magazine dated March 2011 sees it as one of the ten ideas that will change the world, and a pronouncement of the European Union in January 2014 emphasizes the innovative economical and ecological role of CE. However, CE lacks a holistic framework for assessment of these sustainability and procommons qualities. (2) The disruptive impact of the best known CE model, that of corporations like Uber and Airbnb, is arousing huge controversy (Codagnone et al., 2016). Successful alternative models exist, such as open commons, and platform cooperativism, but these have received limited research attention.