Under this heading, a different form of (economic) exchange and cooperation between constituents becomes evident. It concerns an economic model based on sharing, swapping, trading, or renting products and services, enabling access over ownership. The collaborative economy is an economy built on distributed networks of connected individuals and communities versus centralized institutions, transforming how we can produce, consume, finance and learn.

The key of the Collaborative Economy is seeking (new) forms of horizontal collaboration – often initially between citizens (C2C). It leads to cooperatively establishing an asset-based exchange system: the use of my vehicle for your electricity or someone else’s flat or office or design services. Collaboration is grounded on a set of shared values that often includes trust, transparency, economic empowerment, creative expression, authenticity, community resilience, and human connection. The results are arrangements in which participants share access to products or services rather than possessing individual ownership. This development has the potential to grow into a value network with a rich variety of shared assets. While this trend has acquired recent attention as (voluntary) collaboration between citizens, it is currently also developing into a collaborative concept within B2B (Business to Business) and even C2B (Citizens to Business).

The collaborative economy is a present and growing phenomenon and practices a great impact on citizens, businesses and government. Companies in many sectors already see changes in their demand and revenues. A clear shift of power can be seen from established companies to the consumer, and therefore companies should adapt to this collaborative concept and use it to their own advantage.

Collaborative economy – An economic model based on sharing, swapping, trading, or renting products and services, enabling access over ownership in order to lower production of goods, by using products together.