Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Making Networked Sharing Socially Beneficial, Not Just Predatory and Profitable

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The so-called 'sharing economy' will almost certainly impact education, but what form will it take? Now is the time to be thinking about it. The economy actually breaks down into four types of practice, according to this article (quoted):

  • the "access economy" that is renting things rather than selling them permanently;
  • the "gig economy" that hosts contingent work in digital marketplaces;
  • the "collaborative economy" that fosters peer-to-peer governance and production processes; and
  • and the "pooling economy" that enables collective ownership and management.

Each of these is structured differently, and each impacts on the traditional economy and wider society differently. To counter 'free riders' like Uber from exploiting existing infrastructure while providing no social return, policies need to be in place to address the following (again quoted from the article):

  • impacts, including tax avoidance, unfair competition and violations of local and regional regulation;
  • personal economic security and social welfare (such as pay, working standards, benefits);
  • open data sharing for public purposes, allowing newcomers into the market;
  • trust and reputation must be accurately and independently managed.

I think one of some of the major bodies in education (a foundation, UNESCO, CoL or OIF, etc) should tackle this conversation with respect to learning.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 20, 2024 06:48 a.m.

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