Published: 02 November 2017

A stimulating Think Tank on Collaborative Economy

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management hosts an inspiring Think Tank exploring the future of Collaborative Economy 

With the dawn and rise of digital collaborative platforms, such as Airbnb, Uber, CouchSurfing and BlaBlaCar, there has never been a more relevant time to discuss the impacts and future of collaborative economy.

On 29 September 2017 the Digital Visitor Economy research group within the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) hosted a successful Think Tank exploring this highly relevant topic in partnership with Surrey Business School (SBS). The all-day event took place at the Business Insights Lab on the Surrey campus, and was sponsored by the International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT;


Sharing: a global phenomenon

The aim of the Think Tank was to explore current research on sharing economy and collaborative consumption, and its implications for consumers, businesses, our ecosystems and society. It also set an agenda for future research in this arena. The program featured 12 research presentations from 20 universities around the globe, covering topics including the emergence of micro-entrepreneurs with the rise of sharing platforms like Airbnb, the future of autonomous car sharing, and trust in the sharing economy.

The event also featured two panel discussions and a networking lunch that inspired more stimulating conversations, attended by academics from across the Travel, Tourism and Business sectors.


A landmark event

Dr Iis Tussyadiah, lead of the Digital Visitor Economy research group and Chair of the Think Tank, reflects on why it was a landmark event, “Collaborative economy has brought about significant transformation to society, largely because it doesn’t fit the conventional socioeconomic framework. We organised this event because we recognised that collaborative economy is a strategic research area that cuts across different disciplines, and is an important force impacting our socioeconomic system. We need more collaborative, transdisciplinary research and partnership within the industry to make sure our research contributes to shaping the future of collaborative economy.”

Professor Sabine Benoit, fellow Chair of the Think Tank, shares her thoughts, “The Think Tank enabled great discussions where different perspectives were represented: digital economy and platform business, mobility services, consumer behaviour and the tourism industry. Anyone doing research in collaborative consumption should consider these different research streams, and many more, to get a comprehensive picture of this exciting new consumption phenomenon we know so little about.”

Learn more about the Digital Visitor Economy research group.

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