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Designing Sharing Economy Platforms through a 'Solidarity HCI' lens

Lookup NU author(s): Vasileios Ntouros, Dr Vasilis Vlachokyriakos


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© 2021 ACM.Despite sharing economy's promise of a novel, inclusive and community building socio-techno-economic system, sharing economy has been indicted, among others for profiteering from previously private and occasionally non-monetized activities, for turning the activity of sharing into an individualistic and impersonal one, for reproducing stereotypes and creating precarious jobs. In the epicenter of such critiques are the 'big' and 'limelight-ed' platform-firms, such as AirBnB and Uber and the digital infrastructures they employ. To the best of our knowledge, the majority of related research focuses on sharing economy platforms of this ilk. In response, acknowledging that the problem is not the agency of the digital in the activity of sharing per se, but that the wrong people set the terms, design and benefit from this mediation, we find it timely to explore the existence of community-driven sharing economy initiatives and explore how they use the digital to support their ends. As a result, in this paper we report from our engagement with a ride-sharing initiative, called 'Share the ride ;)' that has operated within a Facebook group since 2009 and is the most popular ride-sharing 'platform' in Greece. Extrapolating from our findings and while adopting a 'Solidarity HCI' approach, a call to design for 'human' rather than market needs, we participate in the 'sharing discourse' by providing design implications for the development of sharing economy platforms which can favor community building, participation, self-organization and the nurturing of a generative sharing ideology. To this end, we suggest the development of malleable sharing economy platforms and of mechanisms that can support the development of relational trust(s) and enduring social connections. Finally, we underscore that in order to favor the establishment of such relations, those platforms should employ architectures which esteem pluralism and self-affirmation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ntouros V, Kouki H, Vlachokyriakos V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction

Year: 2021

Volume: 5

Issue: CSCW1

Pages: 1–25

Online publication date: 22/04/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2573-0142

Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery


DOI: 10.1145/3449097


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