The Collaborative Economy Symposium at SHU – Nov 19 2018


Date: 19th November 2018 (09AM-05PM)
Venue: The Hubs, Sheffield Hallam University Students Union, Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2QQ

The terms “Sharing Economy” or “Collaborative Economy” have been commonly used in recent years to refer to a proliferation of initiatives, business models and forms of work. The COST Action “Sharing and Caring” ( ) (2017-2021) is working to develop a European network of actors (including scholars, practitioners, communities and policy makers) focusing on the development of collaborative economy models and platforms and on its implications on society and technology.
The COST Action provides opportunities for working and collaboration on this topic across 31 countries.
This one-day Symposium will bring together interested participants to hear about current research on the topic of the collaborative economy and its implications and to discuss possible joint initiatives and projects. Presentations will take place in the morning and discussions in small thematic groups will follow in the afternoon.

The event will feature two invited keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick, Ireland), Chair of the “Sharing And Caring” COST Action (full info)
  • Dr. Clara Crivellaro (Newcastle University), Principal Investigator of the EPSRC Network+ Social Justice Through the Digital Economy (full info)

The workshop will be chaired by Prof Luigina Ciolfi (SHU), UK representative on the Action’s Management Committee and Chair for Short-Term Scientific Missions.


09:00 Registration and Welcome by Prof Luigina Ciolfi (SHU)
09:30 Keynote Presentation: Dr Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick, Ireland): Collaborative Economy narratives – between digital social innovation and sharewashing

10:00 Break

10:30 Keynote Presentation: Dr Clara Crivellaro (Newcastle University): Not-Equal: a model for democratizing innovation through collaborative commissioning of research

11:00 Presentations on current SHU research:

  • Dr Joe Langley (LabForLiving, Art and Design Research Centre) “Caring and Sharing Economies in the Healthcare Sector”
  • Prof Rory Ridley-Duff (Sheffield Business School) “Multi-stakeholder cooperatives in the sharing economy: four early adoptions of the FairShares Model”
  • Prof Luigina Ciolfi (Communication and Computing Research Centre) “Community-led ‘sharing and caring’ culture and heritage initiatives”

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Small Group Discussions, ideas for joint research, funding proposals, etc.
15:00 Break
15:30 Small Group Discussions continue
16:30 Final plenary discussion and closing

The venue (The Hubs, Sheffield Hallam University Students Union) is part of SHU’s City Campus, close to Sheffield train station and city centre car parks.

For practical info please contact Kate Philp (

Keynote Abstracts

Dr Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick, Ireland) : Collaborative Economy narratives – between digital social innovation and sharewashing
The labels “Sharing Economy” and “Collaborative Economy” have been widely used in recent years to refer to a variety of initiatives, business models, and forms of work – from commercial platforms to makerspaces and urban gardens. Two different narratives on the collaborative economy tend to dominate the current discourse. One group of narratives focuses on social innovation, creating more sustainable economic and environmental models in which sharing access to goods and services allows for a more efficient and sustainable utilisation of resources. The second group centres on the idea of market-focused digital innovation able to disrupt existing business models and generate economic activity, social and environmental benefits being presented as the main incentive. This talk will introduc e the approach adopted within the Sharing and Caring COST action, which attempts to develop a better understanding of the wide variety of the initiatives included under the sharing economy umbrella term, rather than adopting any of the definitions offered by existing literature. The talk will describe the work undertaken so far in the different working groups, the outputs and repositories created, as well as the open collaboration opportunities available to the action participants.

Dr Clara Crivellaro (Newcastle University): Not-Equal: a model for democratizing innovation through collaborative commissioning of research
In this talk I explore the potential for collaborative processes to create the conditions for technology to support social justice. This exploration is situated within a UKRI funded project that brings together communities, civil society, industry and academia to develop responses to social justice issues in technology design through a model designed for commissioning research. I discuss the opportunities and challenges that such model presents and outline directions for the future.

By luiciolfi

I am Professor of HCI in the School of Applied Psychology at University College Cork (Ireland). I research the design, use and evaluation of interactive technologies. I am interested in heritage technologies, mobility, collaborative computing, interactive spaces.

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