Background

Technology is a key component in the emergence of the commercial sharing economy and community-oriented collaborative economy initiatives. Housing cooperatives, community gardens, food coops, tool libraries, skill swapping arrangements and other citizen initiatives use digital technologies for collaboration, communication and coordination purposes, and are included under the same umbrella of the collaborative economy. In the latter cases, reuse, recycling, mobilisation of existing resources and initiatives have a real impact on the local economy.

The workshop will examine and explore the relationship between these enabling technologies and the emerging initiatives and communities. The aim is to identify research themes and gaps in the related work, and work towards a better understanding of core technical mechanisms and trade-offs in the design of future and inclusive platforms for the sharing economy. By ‘mechanisms’, we mean technological mechanisms that play a role in enabling, ordering, structuring, hindering, shaping and have various other impact or effects on practice within sharing communities. This invites open questions and speculations such as:

We recognise that there is no causal effect between how a community uses a platform or how activities unfold and then technical mechanisms, however, we believe that it is possible to identify and discuss common use patterns, effects and probable relations between one or more technological mechanisms and sharing and caring practices. Hence, our workshop is intended to focus on the technical features and infrastructures that support the collaborative practices and community aggregation, in relation to their effects on collaboration and economic relations.

Themes and topics

See the full proposal for more background and details on the themes.

Participate

We invite researchers and practitioners to participate by submitting a short paper (4 - 6 pages) on their research or experiences using the ECSCW Exploratory Paper template. Submitted papers should relate to the research questions outlined in the call. We are especially interested in empirical studies of sharing economy platforms and their socio-technical implications. Both reports of research in progress and completed studies will be accepted. We are also inviting practitioners to submit experience reports about existing technologies.

The workshop organisers will select the position papers based primarily on their ability to generate fruitful discussion of important issues and also to provide examples of practice related, high quality case studies. At least one author of each accepted paper must attend the workshop. The accepted papers will be made available to the participants in advance and discussants will be assigned to each paper.

Important dates:

Submissions and questions should be emailed to Henrik Korsgaard (korsgaard[at]cs.au.dk)

Tentative workshop program

Goals and outcome

Depending on the outcome of the workshop’s discussions and on the interest of the participants, we may explore further publication outlets for the workshop papers. The contributions will be made available on the workshop website, given participant consent.

Workshop Organizers

Gabriela Avram

Lecturer in Digital Media and Interaction Design and Senior researcher at the Interaction Design Centre of the University of Limerick.

Why is collaborative and sharing economies important to CSCW research?

Today, technology and online platforms are crucial in developing the collaborative and sharing economy. With our history, the CSCW community is in a unique position to understand both the potential and the challenges in how technology can support local initiatives to share and grow resources and knowledge.

Myriam Lewkowicz

Full Professor of Informatics at Troyes University of Technology.

What do you think is the most important lesson from CSCW to apply in the work on sharing and collaborative communities?

CSCW has lots to offer in terms of concepts and methods for obtaining a nuanced understanding of the role of technology for sharing practices, as well as for avoiding unwanted effects in their interplay.

Alexander Boden

Post-doc researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT.

What makes you excited by the topic collaborative economies?

Using technology to make better use of resources has great potentials for transitioning towards more sustainable societies, one of the biggest challenges of our time.

Susanne Bødker

Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University.

What can CSCW learn from the collaborative economy?

CSCW can find new territories to explore: forms of collaboration outside workplaces, online workplaces. CSCW has the potential to offer new concepts to describe what is going on, and to offer new technological mechanisms to address specific needs or to avoid negative impacts of platforms that would be missed without adopting a socio-technical point of view.

Henrik Korsgaard

Post-doc researcher at the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University.

What would you like to get out of the workshop?

Getting a bunch of interesting people together and hopefully plot a few research trajectories on future socio-technical research in CSCW that can support and help nourish various local collaborative economy initiatives.