Working Group 1 meeting in Funchal, Madeira, 27 Nov 2017

Working Group 1 is focusing on a systematic analysis of practices of digitally-mediated collaborative economies.

Its second meeting, organised in Funchal, Madeira, on 27 November 2017, was focused on refining the focus of the ethnographic research and preparing a shared methodological toolkit to guide research related to the action across the participating countries.

The meeting included presentations by the WG1 Co-Leaders, Dr Penny Travlou and Dr Airi Lampinen, along with WG1 members Venere Sanna and Anton Fedosov. Additionally, all participants took part in a brainstorming session to come up with and further refine themes and topics that the ethnographic research will focus on.

To kick off the half-day event, Airi Lampinen presented the program and provided a brief reminder of the aims of the working group and its activities so far. Most importantly, she described the country reports that were collected earlier in the year and discussed the potential to work on further synthesizing them. While this option is being considered, it is worth noting that these materials have already served to guide the focus of the working group’s research efforts.

Following Airi’s presentation, Penny Travlou took the stage to describe the two-pronged focus of the ethnographic research that the working group plans to undertake: On the one hand, a set of case studies will look at Airbnb and other hospitality platforms. On the other hand, the group will compile case studies of local initiatives that will be compared to one another primarily in terms of the model of organizing they involve. This combination will allow the working group to capture both well known and contested, commercial examples of the collaborative economy, as well as alternative arrangements that are primarily driven by local communities and may involve no monetary exchange. Penny’s presentation was followed by a brainstorming session in breakout groups where the aim was to surface shared interests & themes & interview questions regarding both lines of research.

After a coffee break, the second session focused on the methodological toolkit that a small task force within WG1 has been preparing over the past months. First, Penny presented the basic set of methods that are to be applied, including interviews, online observation and in-situ observation. Second, Venere Sanna from Sapienza University of Rome presented an example of how to collect metadata about cases in a complex research setting – a key challenge that WG1 will need to tackle. Third, Anton Fedosov from Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI) gave a talk on social practice theories and how they can be helpful in guiding research within the action.

The meeting closed with a review of next steps:
The toolkit task force will continue its weekly Skype meetings to refine the methodological toolkit so as to have a version ready for use in the Spring of 2018.
Another task force will be formed to establish guidelines concerning research ethics and authorship issues for the whole of the Action.
The next WG1 meeting will take place in Tarragona, Spain, in March 2018.

If you would like to get involved in WG1, please join our mailing list. For questions to the working group leaders, please send an email to sharingandcharingcostaction at (include WG1 in the subject line).


International Seminar “Socio-Technical Aspects of the Circular and Collaborative Economy” 

The International Interdisciplinary Seminar “Socio-Technical Aspects of the Circular and Collaborative Economy” is taking place at University Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain) on 16th March 2018. This Seminar is organised in collaboration with the COST Action “From sharing to caring”.

The aim of the seminar is to open parallel discussion sessions on hottest topics of collaborative and circular economy (tourism, mobility, co-working) combined with news trends (collaborative housing), forms (crowdfunding) and technologies (blockchain), while linking related academics and stakeholders.

The draft Program and other useful information is already available at . The website is continuously being updated and registration will be available soon at .

The Call for papers in now open. We welcome papers related to the Seminar’s topics from any discipline, including technology, social and legal studies. Papers are welcome to be presented during the parallel sessions in the Seminar. Interested participants should send an abstract of max 400 words by 31st January 2018 to the specific workshop coordinator. Contacts are available here

The authors of selected papers will be invited to produce extended versions of the papers (max. 5,000 words) for inclusion in the Seminar’s Proceedings. We have a preliminary approval for the inclusion of the Proceedings in the EUSSET Digital Library with an own DOI.

For further queries, do not hesitate to email us.

The 5th International Workshop on the Sharing Economy

The IWSE workshops are annual 2-day events where researchers from various disciplines come together to discuss and get feedback on work-in-progress related to the Sharing Economy.
The workshop series started in Utrecht (Jun. 2015), then moved to Paris (Jan. 2016), Southampton (Sep. 2016), and Lund (Jun. 2017).
The 5th IWSE will take place on June 28-29, 2018 at the University of Mannheim, in Germany. The workshop is organised by the I-Share research team led by Dominika Wruk.
Save the date!

Working Group 1 meeting in Troyes

Working Group 1 is focusing on a systematic analysis of practices of digitally-mediated collaborative economies.

Its first meeting, organised in Troyes, France, on 24 June 2017, was dedicated to presenting the initial findings from submitted country reports and then discussing the next steps for the ethnographic research on the selected cases studies.

The meeting included presentations by the the COST Action chair, Dr Gabriela Avram and the WG1 Co-Leaders, Dr Penny Travlou and Dr Airi Lampinen, as well as a brainstorming session to support the participants working on the various components of the work plan.

Gabriela introduced the agenda of the meeting and welcomed the participants. Then, Airi presented the initial findings from the 24 country reports received; together with the participants, she discussed further definitions and types of collaborative economy per country and defined case studies’ typologies.

Airi’s presentation was followed by a mini-workshop on ethnographic research led by Penny Travlou. The focus was twofold: first, to present a general overview on ethnography and second, to showcase ethnographic tools that could potentially be used in the COST Action e.g. collaborative/p2p ethnography.

Penny Travlou





Elena Denaro,  PhD student at London School of Economics, gave a short presentation of her ethnographic study with OuiShare, the international community for the promotion of collaborative economy and collaborative society. Before lunch, there was a post-it session where participants were asked to add further input on the case studies’ typology, themes and other suggestions.

After lunch, the participants worked in breakout groups together with the WG1 Leaders, discussing the planning of the ethnographic study and its next steps. In particular, the participants were asked to contribute to the themes/cases selection, identifying existing resources and requirements, as well as specifying whether they (and/or their research team) are interested to work on the ethnographic research.

The meeting closed with a presentation by our  guest speaker, Nicole Alix from La Coop des Communs, who presented her work on the commons and social and solidarity economy in France.
Following this Working Group meeting, it was decided to:

  • compile all  the country reports into a single PDF file, and all case studies into another, making them publicly available.
  • a small “task force” led by Penny Travlou will prepare a basic toolkit to guide our collaborative ethnographic research. A first version of the toolkit will be presented at the WG1 meeting in Madeira in November.

We are open to further expressions of interest for collaborating in the ethnographic research planned. If you are interested, please contact us via email by Friday 29th September.

The 5th IWSE workshop

The 5th IWSE, organised by the I-Share research team (led by Dominika Wruk), will take place on June 28-29, 2018 at the University of Mannheim, in Germany.
This is a highly interdisciplinary community that meets annually to discuss and exchange feedback on work-in-progress at a series of 2-day workshops gathering up to 100 participants in Utrecht (Jun. 2015), Paris (Jan. 2016), Southampton (Sep. 2016), and Lund (Jun. 2017).
Save the date for the next workshop!

Call for Papers: Property Implications of the Sharing Economy Workshop

  • Venue: Penn State Law (University Park)
  • Dates: October 6-7, 2017

Co-Sponsored by AALS Property Section and AALS Commercial and Related Consumer Law Section

Call for Papers

This workshop at Penn State Law (University Park) will bring together an interdisciplinary and transnational group of scholars to explore the many property implications of the sharing economy. The workshop is being co-organized by Dean Hari Osofsky, Penn State Law and School of International Affairs; Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Northeastern University School of Law; and Shelly Kreiczer-Levy, College of Law and Business, Ramat Gan, Israel. It is co-sponsored by Penn State Law, the AALS Property Section, and the AALS Commercial and Related Consumer Law Section.

The last several years have seen a major growth in peer-to-peer online exchanges and other collaborative consumption enterprises. Companies such as Airbnb and Uber have disrupted long-established regulated industries. A wide range of smaller companies connect strangers to “share” underutilized resources. In addition, crowdfunding through Kickstarter and other companies has provided a mechanism for individuals to launch ventures that are difficult to fund through traditional methods. These types of companies are only likely to become more important. PricewaterhouseCoopers, for instance, estimates that sharing economy global platform revenues could grow from $15 billion in 2013 to $335 billion by 2025.

The rapid growth of the sharing economy has significant property implications. It changes how people use their own property and interact with the property of others. Property law—among many other types of applicable law, including tax, insurance, zoning, licensing, consumer protection, data privacy, and labor law—both facilitates and constrains these exchanges.

We welcome submissions of abstracts in any area that connects to the workshop themes. We also would be delighted to have individuals serve as commentators or moderators of sessions. Please let us know of your interest in participating by July 1, 2017 by emailing Shelly Kreiczer-Levy, Please include an abstract if you would like to present. We will accept presenters, commentators, and moderators on a rolling basis and anticipate finalizing participants by July 15, 2017.

Penn State Law, based in University Park, PA, will host the event and provide meals throughout the workshop (including ice cream from the famed Penn State University Berkey Creamery). Participants will be responsible for other expenses, including their own travel and lodging. We have arranged for a hotel block that will allow participants to book at a discounted rate. Delta, American, and United offer direct flights to State College (airport located 15 minutes from conference), and BWI, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg airports are within driving distance.



Place and Entrepreneurship in the Era of Digital Platforms

Session organizers: Sami Mahroum (, Koen Frenken (, Erik Stam (

Special session on sharing platforms organized by Koen Frenken (University of Utrecht) at the GEOINNO 2018 conference in Barcelona, end of January.
Most of the existing literature on economic geography and technological entrepreneurship has emerged in the pre-digital era.  Today’s entrepreneurs have a greater ability to tap and leverage resources from multiple locations using digital platforms to lessen the disadvantage of their location, especially with regards to risk capital, foreign market entry, and access to talent. The dynamics in which the quality of a place, business needs, and personal preferences frame the local conditions of the business environment are therefore changing.  Digital platforms afford entrepreneurs more flexibility and greater ability to customize their own locational comparative advantage.

They assess the local conditions in terms of a) their needs, b) how much value can be leveraged locally, and c) how much value can be leveraged globally through access to digital platforms. This raises a set of pertinent questions: How important remains location and in what form does it remain important? To what extent are the notions of path-dependency and regional variations still relevant to understanding the emergence of new firms in the presence of digital platforms? How do innovations diffuse spatially through digital platforms? And how do national, regional and urban institutions affect innovation, adoption and entrepreneurship of digital services?

Upcoming Events and Calls for Publications


Talk: Opportunities and paradoxes of the sharing economy (in French) 

  • June 15, 2017 (7-9 pm), Paris
  • Speakers: Professor Thibault Daudigeos and Charles-Edouard Girard (GuestToGuest, HomeExchange)
  • Organised by Grenoble Ecole de Management


Surrey Think Tank: Collaborative Economy

  • September 29th, 2017
  • Organised at the University of Surrey by Sabine Benoit (Surrey Business School) and Iis Tussyadiah (Surrey School of Hospitality & Tourism Management)
  • Submit 500-words abstract by July 16th.


New call for submission by the Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing: Special issue on “The Co-Innovation of Services: Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation”.

  • Edited by Woojung Chang (University of Seoul) and Mary Harrison (Birmingham-Southern College)
  • Submit manuscript by Dec 20, 2017

Handbook on the Sharing Economy – Call for Chapters (Edward Elgar editions)

  • Edited by Russel Belk, Giana Eckhardt, and Fleura Bardhi.
  • Deadline for a first 1000-word summary of a proposed chapter: 15 September 2017

Journal of Travel Research – Call for Papers (SAGE editions). Special Issue: “Sharing Economy: Unravelling Disruption, Innovation and Transformations in Travel and Tourism”

  • Edited by Marianna Sigala and Tom Chen.
  • Deadline for 10.000-word manuscript: 31 December 2017


Short Term Scientific Missions Call 1/2017 Now Open!

What Are STSMs?

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are exchange visits aimed at supporting researchers’ individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration. STSMs are intended especially, but not solely, for young researchers.
An STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action “SharingAndCaring”, while enabling those partaking in the missions to establish new partnerships, learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments and / or methods not available in their own institutions / organisations.

Who can apply?

 STSMs are open for PhDs, PostDocs, and advanced career researchers employed at institutions in countries participating in “SharingAndCaring”, or at approved institutions. STSMs must be performed between COST countries – researchers cannot apply for an STSM within their own country.

Priority will be given to Early Career Investigators (ECI) (maximum 8 years since obtaining their PhD at the time of application) and PhD students working on socio-technical aspects of the collaborative economy.

Particular consideration will also be given to candidates moving from/to COST Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs), which include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.

International COST participants may host STSM researchers from European COST countries but may not apply for STSMs themselves.

Awards throughout the annual grant period (for the first year: 1st May 2017- 30th April 2018) will be made to support scientific excellence, and to support a variety of researchers in terms of gender, career stage, affiliation, and nationality.

What can you apply for?

 You can apply for a short term scientific mission of the duration between 5 and 90 days (and up to 180 days if the applicant is an ECI. The STSM will be a fixed grant to cover part of the travel expenses and living allowance. The cost of research materials is not eligible for consideration as part of the grant.

Please note that the awarded grant will be paid only after the STSM has been completed – therefore the applicant must have approval and prior financial support e.g., from their own institution.

The following funding conditions apply and must be respected:

  • up to a max of EUR2500 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;
  • up to a max of EUR160 per day can be afforded for accommodation & meal expenses;
  • for ECIs, a max amount of EUR3500 can be afforded to the Grantee for STSMs with a duration of between 91 & 180 days – For ECIs partaking in STSMs with a duration of between 5 & 90 days, the limit is EUR2500; STSM activities must occur in their entirety within the dates specified in this call.

STSM awards may be combined with other funding sources, but these must be acknowledged in the application.

In your application, you will have to describe the goal of the proposed STSM, how it contributes to the scientific remit of the COST Action “SharingAndCaring”, the planned expenses and the outputs planned as result of the STSM. For ECIs, two support letters by advanced career researchers will be required.

For detailed rules regarding eligibility and financial support, please see the relevant sections of the COST Vademecum (


When can you apply?

You can apply until Midnight (Brussels Time) on the 15th of June 2017.

Another call for applications will be announced in a few months’ time.

How can you apply?

This is a step-by-step guide to applying for an STSM and the criteria by which STSM applications will be assessed. More in-depth information can be found at the COST Vademecum ( Please contact Luigina Ciolfi (STSM coordinator) (l.ciolfi[AT] if you have any queries.

The application process is as follows:

  1. Applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in Section 7 of the COST H2020 Vademecum, Section 7 (
  2. Applicants must submit an application using e-COST If you do not already have an e-COST account you will first need to ‘create an account’ – which will include providing the details of the bank account where the grant will be lodged if your STSM application is approved and the STSM successfully completed.
  3. Applicants must obtain a letter of invitation from the Host Institution confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates should their application be approved.
  4. Applicants must complete, submit and download their STSM application online at:
  5. Applicants must send their application form and the relevant supporting documents for evaluation, to Dr. Luigina Ciolfi (l.ciolfi[AT]

The list of supporting documents to be submitted for the evaluation are:

  • Letter of invitation to the applicant from a senior Researcher at the Host institution.
  • The submitted STSM application form (downloadable when the online application is submitted – see 4 above).
  • A letter including an overview of the proposed activities that will be performed, a workplan for the visit, a description of the proposed contributions to the scientific objectives of the “SharingAndCaring” Action, an outline of the host’s scientific expertise/resources in support of the STSM. The letter should be maximum 8 pages, the font should correspond to Times New Roman size 12 pt with single line spacing and standard margins of 2 cm.
  • A letter of support from the Applicant’s Home Institution.
  • A Full C.V. (including a list of academic publications – if applicable).
  1. The “SharingAndCaring” STSM panel organises assessment of the STSM proposal: STSM selection team assess the proposal (see ‘STSM Selection Criteria’) – may seek expert but impartial advice to inform their decision. If approved, the STSM coordinator sends application and approval to Grant Holder & Action Chair for final check.
  2. The Grant Holder sends the applicant a grant letter to sign and return. The STSM should not be started until this letter has been signed and returned.
  3. After the STSM, the investigator submits a scientific report to the STSM Host and STSM coordinator within 30 days of completing the STSM. This must include: the purpose of the mission; description of work carried out; description of main results/outputs; plan of future collaborations with Host (if applicable); planned publications resulting from STSM (if applicable); confirmation of successful STSM by Host.
  4. STSM Coordinator and Action Chair approve the final report. The Grant Holder executes payment to STSM Applicant.

Criteria for Awarding STSM

 STSM funding will be awarded according to the COST key principles of:

  • Excellence
  • Inclusivity
  • Balance

Criteria for evaluation will be as follows:

  • The relevance and application of the research to the field of the Action – a detailed work plan will help determine if the scientific aims of the work will be relevant and applicable to the Action’s aims (1-5 points).
  • The quality and clarity of the proposed research – The STSM application should be of high quality, arguing clearly and cogently the importance and timeliness of the research (1-5 points).
  • The choice of Host institution – the applicant must give specific scientific reasons for visiting their chosen Host institution. We will also be tracking the geographical distribution of the Host institutions to ensure there is an evenly-spread network for knowledge transfer. Involvement of ITC countries will be a plus (1-5 points).
  • The home institution of the researcher – We will take into account the number of applications from each institution to ensure a fair spread of researches across the network. Involvement of ITC countries will be a plus (1-5 points)
  • The profile of the researcher – We will take into account the researcher’s potential of successfully completing the STSM on the basis of their previous work and achievements commensurate to their career stage. In line with COST policy, we will preferentially award STSMs to early career investigators (PhD + <8 years). This should not discourage more experienced researchers from applying (1-5 points).
  • For ECIs, the support provided by senior colleagues
  • The publication/output potential of the research carried out – Based on the STSM work plan and detailed publication/output plan (1-5 points).


The “SharingAndCaring”  STSM Committee
Dr. Luigina Ciolfi (Chair)
Prof. Sergio Nasarre-Aznar
Dr. Vasilis Kostakis



Re-shaping Work conference – Amsterdam, 19-20 Oct 2017

This Call for Papers might be of interest:

“Over the last decade, platforms such as Uber, Helpling, and Upwork have rapidly transformed the way we work and employ others, generate income, and make use of our free time. These platforms facilitate, business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), as well as peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges, lowering transaction costs and creating more – and more flexible – job opportunities in highly accessible labor markets. At the same time, they have been accused of operating in disregard of existing labor laws and local regulations that require compliance with occupational licenses and permits as well as safety inspections. Both sides agree, however, that platforms are genuine game changers. For this reason, it is crucial that these emerging entities – both as operational infrastructures and institutional actors – are studied from a variety of disciplinary angles, in order to better understand the opportunities and challenges they present to the future of work. How exactly are labor platforms instigating new forms of employment and self-regulation? What institutional norms, values, and rights are they disrupting or displacing, and to what extent should they be allowed to do so? Does the convenience and innovative character of their services require or justify a new regulatory framework or are existing regulations sufficient? Is the most significant innovation and transformation in labor markets occurring in the B2B, B2C, or in the P2P realm? Who is capturing most of the value generated by these new labor platforms? And, conversely, which groups find that the cards are increasingly stacked against them, or find themselves excluded from certain platform- mediated professional opportunities?


We welcome academics, business leaders, national and European law- and policymakers, representatives from the temporary staffing industry, platform companies, and platform workers to collectively discuss how digital platforms are reshaping work, income generation, labor rules, standards and routines, as well as corporate social responsibility and social security. Accordingly, scholars and other professionals are invited to present papers on a broad range of research topics that include, but are not restricted to:

  • Labor law and policy in the platform economy – opportunities and challenges;
  • Social security issues facing platform workers and new safety net provisions;
  • Localized (self-)regulation of labor platforms and market access requirements;
  • The changing nature/experience of work in the platform economy;
  • Social inequality and discrimination in the platform economy;
  • Automation of labor processes on digital platforms;
  • New/emerging platform business models and organizational forms and their impact on labor relations”.

For more information, follow the link to the CfP.