Arun Sundararajan: "The Sharing Economy and the Future of Digital Governance" | Talks at Google

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Sharing isn’t new. But today, we are beginning a transition to crowd-based capitalism: a new way of organizing economic activity, a successor to the corporate-centered model of managerial capitalism that dominated the 20th century. In my book, “The Sharing Economy,” I explain the technological and social factors that have caused sharing to take center stage in the economy, and describe the effects on growth, regulation, what it means to have a job, the social contract, the basis for interpersonal trust, and how connected we feel to each other.
In my talk at Google, I will provide an overview of some of the topics above, after which I will discuss how crowd-based capitalism and the growing sophistication of digital trust systems are challenging the world’s existing models of regulation and governance. As digital technologies make deeper inroads into the “physical” world, these challenges become more pronounced. Autonomous vehicles, blockchain technologies, and emerging platform models for labor, energy and healthcare accelerate this convergence, exacerbating the misfit between old regulatory boxes and new ways of providing familiar things.
I argue that the solution involves a radical shift from the historical role that government has played in regulating commercial and social activity, along with the formalizing and expansion of the de facto delegation of responsibility to digital platforms that has been under way for over a decade. I discuss three emerging approaches that appear especially promising for the future, and argue against “open data” as a universal panacea. I draw from numerous examples that include YouTube, Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, Handy, Getaround, France’s BlaBlaCar and La Ruche Qui Dit Oui, China’s Didi Chuxing, and India’s Ola.
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