Commercial Orientation in Grassroots Social Innovation: Insights From the Sharing Economy

Martin, C. J., Upham, P., & Budd, L. (2015). Commercial orientation in grassroots social innovation: Insights from the sharing economy. Ecological Economics118, 240-251.

Collaborative Consumption / Sharing Economy

(C2C recycling)

‘The groups themselves provide an online platform for people to freely and directly give unwanted (i.e., underutilised) items to others in their local area (rather than sending them to their local authority waste system).’

‘Advocates of this perspective argue that the sharing economy holds the potential to liberate society from the practices of hyper-consumption (Botsman and Rogers, 2011), and could create “a potential new pathway to sustainability” (Heinrichs, 2013: 228). Advocates justify such expectations arguing that sharing access to goods and services creates the opportunity for vastly more efficient utilisation of resources (from cars to accommodation), which in turn will reduce the scale of economic activity and hence yield environmental benefits.

Furthermore, advocates also claim that sharing access to resources builds social capital (as citizens interact in the process of ‘sharing’), and allows for more equitable distribution of goods and services (as ac- cess costs are lower than ownership costs).’ (p.240-241)