WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM | What exactly is the sharing economy?
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When I first attended Davos in January 2013, I asked everyone I met if they’d heard of the term “sharing economy.” Ninety percent of people said no, 5% assumed I was talking about barter exchange, and the remaining 5% acknowledged new technologies and peer-to-peer networks were enabling emergent business models. It was difficult to find anyone who had used Airbnb or BlaBlaCar. Later that year I co-founded the Forum’s Sharing Economy Working Group with other Young Global Leaders, with the goal of building awareness, visibility and expertise throughout the Forum’s communities.

Fast forward to 2017 and the reality is vastly different. Not only is the sharing economy in the news daily, it also has spurred a growing – and at times mind-boggling – list of related terms. To many people, the sharing economy and gig economy are the same thing. But in fact, almost nothing could be further from the truth.