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Maximizing the Gains from Sharing: Best Practice Guide for Policy Makers and Other Stakeholders

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The sharing economy offers important opportunities to advance goals, but it also presents important challenges.

The sharing economy offers important opportunities to advance goals such as economic development, inclusion, sustainability and social connectedness. But it also presents important challenges. These opportunities can only be fully realized, and these challenges overcome or avoided, when stakeholders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors engage positively to ensure that public interest is at the heart of all activities in this emerging space.

In this guide, we present best practices that have been adopted to seize these opportunities and overcome challenges to maximizethe benefit of the sharing economy to communities – as well as draw attention to persistent challenges that require further attention and governance innovation.

This guide is the product of a comprehensive, consultative research process. In early 2017, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group), in collaboration with the Standards Council of Canada; the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; and Ryerson University, spearheaded the development of an International Workshop Agreement (IWA) as the first step towards the potential development of national or international standards to address consumer and public interest issues and challenges arising from the proliferation of sharing economy enterprises.

The Rise of the Sharing Economy

Maximizing the Gains from Sharing – An Analysis of National and International Best Practices

From Research to Action – Implementing a Standards-Based Solution for the Sharing Economy

A year later, this guide examines steps that jurisdictions from across the world have taken to govern the sharing economy, and how these steps can be understood in the context of the aforementioned IWA and its 10 guiding principles:

  • Integrity
  • TransparencyAccountability
  • Accessibility and inclusion
  • Responsiveness
  • Healthy, safety and environmentConfidentiality, privacy and security
  • Capacity
  • Competence
  • Continual improvement

The primary focus of this guide is to identify best practices that policymakers can adopt as they attempt to address issues pertaining to sharing economy activities in their jurisdictions.

The report is organized around the 10 principles set out in the IWA. For each principle, common challenges are identified, followed by responses and steps that jurisdictions have taken to overcome them. In each of these cases, best practices are identified for other jurisdictions to consider emulating. Finally, the guide closes with a brief discussion of areas that require further attention and innovation.

This guide, along with its companion Implementation Tool, can also be used by othersharing economy stakeholders(consumers, providers, platform operators, etc.) to inform themselves on best practices and guide them in adopting practices and approachesthat embody the 10 IWA guiding principles.

Apart from steps taken by the public sector in different jurisdictions, this report also highlights some key initiatives from the non-profit and private sectors. These include the Sharing Economy UK’s TrustSealkitemark, ShareNL’s sharing promotion activities with the City of Amsterdam, and the Toronto and Region Conservation’s Partners in Project Green initiative. These initiatives help demonstrate the vital importance of a healthy balance between public regulation and private responsibility.

Related CSA Group Sharing Economy Publications

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