The evolution of the New Economy: The shared economy

What is life like in the digital shared economy?

The National League of Cities states, “The sharing economy is also known as the Collaborative Economy or the Peer-to-Peer Economy. Businesses provide consumers the ability and platform to share resources and services from housing to vehicles and more, typically via an online and/or application-based business model.”

Life in the Digital/Shared Economy

As a consumer using the digital shared economy, I can use my laptop, Android, iPhone or iPad to access the Google Play Store or the App Store to search and download job search apps such as Indeed, Monster or LinkedIn. After obtaining employment, I can start the search to locate a place of my own by using apps such as MyNewPlace, and Trulia Rent Apartments & Homes. I can use the Neighborhood & Apartments app to find apartments and rentals, get the “Walk, Transit and Bike Scores” of any location, and see what’s nearby.

My new job requires me to learn to speak a few Spanish phrases to greet clients, and to prepare a report on Placemaking and the New Economy for my new work team. I can use the Michigan State University Extension website to access information to prepare my report on the characteristics of Placemaking and the New Economy. I can use the Duolingo app or view videos on YouTube to learn to speak Spanish. My job requires me to have a laptop and a headset to communicate with my co-workers since my house is my office, so I use the App Store to download apps that will allow me to compare and determine the best laptops that will meet my needs. I download the Chrome Remote Desktop so that I can access my laptop using my smart phone, and the Zoom app so that I can communicate with my coworkers and clients face-to-face on the web. Finally, it’s late, I eat my pizza, set my alarm app and turn on my app that plays relaxing sleep music.

This is a day in the life of the digital economy.

This example illustrates The National League of Cities statement that the workforce has changed. In the New Economy, the focus is to attract knowledge workers to your region. For the most part knowledge workers want attractive communities with strong amenities, culture and locations with pizazz, which capitalize on their unique characteristics. Knowledge workers provide the skills and talents which new economy industry wants. Those industries will locate in communities that are successful attracting knowledge workers, or those knowledge workers will be the entrepreneurs and innovators that start new businesses. 

The article by provides a good summary of the characteristics of the shared economy:

“A Sharing Economy is a sustainable economic ecosystem that enables different forms of value exchange and is a hybrid economy. It encompasses the following aspects: swapping, exchanging, collective purchasing, collaborative consumption, shared ownership, shared value, co-operatives, co-creation, recycling, upcycling, re-distribution, trading used goods, renting, borrowing, lending, subscription based models, peer-to-peer, collaborative economy, circular economy, on-demand economy, gig economy, crowd economy, pay-as-you-use economy, wikinomics, peer-to-peer lending, micro financing, micro-entrepreneurship, social media, the Mesh, social enterprise, futurology, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, cradle-to-cradle, open source, open data, user generated content (UGC) and public services.”

Those in Michigan State University Extension that focus on land use provide various training programs on planning and zoning, which are available to be presented in your county.  Contact your local land use educator for more information.

Additional articles in this series:

The evolution of the New Economy: The digital economy

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