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 maximize the benefit of the sharing economy to communities – as well as draw attention to persistent challenges that require further attention and governance innovation.

The series of checklists provided in this tool, along with an accompanying Best Practice Guide, are the products 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

The implementation tool is organized around the 10 principles set out in the IWA. It aims to serve as an initial reference point for policymakers and other sharing economy stakeholders as they seek to maximize the public good from sharing and respond to the challenges that the rapid rise of the sharing economy has occasioned. For each challenge associated with the adoption of a particular IWA principle, this analytical tool presents a checklist to support the user in its implementation and assess ongoing progress. This checklist can be used by a range of sharing economy stakeholders in a variety of different ways including, but not limited to:


  • Designing effective policies to deal with the disruption and challenges caused by sharing enterprises;
  • Anticipating future challenges and preparing to respond appropriately;
  • Taking proactive steps to promote sharing in their jurisdictions to further objectives such as economic development, inclusion, sustainability and social connectedness.


  • Informing themselves of potential policy actions and sharing economy initiatives being undertaken by governments, the private sector, NGOs, and other stakeholders around the world;
  • Identifying best practices and initiatives that they can replicate in their communities.

Service Providers:

  • Evaluating the standards of their service provision against the 10 IWA principles and striving to improve service;
  • Informing themselves of steps being undertaken in other jurisdictions to increase health and safety, provider training, and customer service standards;
  • Working with platforms and their respective governments and regulators to incorporate best practices.

Platform Operators:

  • Learning from best practices being undertaken in other jurisdictions that can be incorporated in their operations;
  • Informing themselves of actions that platforms around the world have taken to collaborate with governments to achieve mutual goals;
  • Gathering insights on how they can engage positively with the local communities in which they operate;
  • Evaluating their service and corporate responsibility standards based on the 10 IWA principles, and integrating missing elements into their operations.

Ultimately, the objective of this analytical tool is to help sharing economy actors advance goals such as economic development, inclusion, sustainability, and community goals through the sharing economy.
Note: Stakeholders can add, modify, or remove items listed in the checklist for their application.

Related CSA Group Sharing Economy Publications

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