CITY COMPETENCES AND LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORKS
The sharing economy creates new opportunities for the local economy, but at the same time it can be perceived as disruptive. Cities need to find a balance between regulation and openness to make the most of the potential of the sharing economy while ensuring that citizens needs and interest are the main focus. Within the sharing economy anyone can become a supplier or entrepreneur giving huge scope for creativity and innovation at the local level This could also lead to new opportunities to create jobs and growth in a European economy. Cities can to varying degrees, depending on their national context, regulate the sharing economy in order to establish the rights and responsibilities of all the stakeholders involved. One of the main potential issues is seen to be the evasion of regulations, licensing, and taxes, leading to an uneven economic playing field with the conventional economy, and increased risks for both producers and consumers. Consumer choice and an emphasis on local solutions can counteract the consolidation of power in favour of the bigger sharing platforms. Cities can make agreements with sharing economy actors to alleviate some of these concerns, for example working with Airbnb to promote responsible home sharing and simplify the payment of tourist tax. Another example is using urban planning as a tool to support shared mobility. Cities can also support smaller actors through providing funding and incubators. In this roundtable we want to understand to what extent cities have the right competences to intervene in the legislative framework of this new business model, what are they allowed to do and what they should not do, in order to stimulate sharing economy initiatives and at the same protect tax revenue, consumers and citizens.
The panel list:
NEW BUSINESS MODELS
Sharing resources and goods at a smaller scale has of course always existed, however digital developments have taken the sharing economy to a new dimension – accelerating it. A business model that works is central to building trust and the sharing economy can be the basis for models that meet citizens and society’s needs. City authorities can also take advantage of the opportunities of the sharing economy to support their economic, environmental and social strategies. The most common sharing business models are:
QUALITY JOBS AND SKILLS
The sharing economy brings opportunities as well as challenges: the opportunities include job creation, and support for micro-entrepreneurship, building community participation and advancing digital innovation. The sharing economy can be the basis for business models that meet citizens and society’s needs, giving more flexibility and scope for creativity than more traditional approaches. Through this discussion we want to better understand the opportunities and challenges of the sharing economy and explore how cities can work together with other stakeholders to create an environment where the sharing economy can have a positive impact also on local employment. The impact of sharing economy business models on labour market regulations, taxation, social security, consumer protection as well as health and safety, will also be addressed. Cities need to create a framework that protects workers and consumers, ensuring taxes are paid, and that enables innovation, creating more flexible and efficient services closer to users needs, supporting the creation of new businesses. Sectors and activities that will be the backbone of the sharing economy must be seen in a positive way and offer quality jobs to those who contemplate making their career in these fields.
The panel list:
ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO WELFARE AND SERVICES
The traditional European health and social care systems are changing; a co-designed, community collaborative approach which makes effective use of advanced technologies can help face a number of its current and future challenges. Population ageing and the rise of chronic diseases together with fast-growing demand for more personalised services alongside the public sector's budget restrictions are part of the challenges of the European health and social care system. Activities and resources such as community collaboration and collective intelligence research, digitisation and co-design of innovative services are at the base of a new, open to all community-driven model. Local government can be lead in fostering a culture of innovation in the current health and social care system, testing new models and methods where services can be progressively re-designed in a more sustainable way reflecting the increasingly complex demand from users, through collection of data coming from all key stakeholders (users, carers, professionals...). These approaches should be inclusive in the identification of care needs, engaging and gathering all different communities and citizens eg via social media and use information and communication technologies (ICTs) in an effective way. ICTs are enabler of a more collaborative, cost-efficient and time-saving approach to care.
The panel list: