IIC Singapore – TRPC Forum: The Sharing Economy

Date: Thursday 11 September, 3.00pm – 6.00pm

Venue: Olswang Asia, 10 Collyer Quay, Ocean Financial Centre, #05-01

IIC Singapore, in cooperation with TRPC, is organizing a forum on the Sharing Economy in Singapore.

On behalf of IIC Singapore, TRPC invites you to participate in this forum on Thursday 11 September. This session will follow Chatham House rules. As seating will be limited for this session please RSVP at your earliest convenience.

About the Forum:

The sharing economy involves the sharing of resources owned by ordinary people whose main occupation often lies elsewhere. When this is done in an organized way by commercial intermediaries such as Uber or GrabTaxi, by Airbnb and many others, a sharing economy starts to emerge. What makes this interesting is that it reverses the usual model in which the principal assets of the business are the performing assets. In this case, the business model is, on the one hand, reducing information and  transaction costs, and on the other, providing all the administrative backup, including compliance with regulations.

Making available an apartment for short-term rental, providing a taxi service at peak hours at premium rates, fund-raising through crowd-sourcing, etc. The sharing economy is a phenomenon of the Internet, especially of the App and the Smartphone. It introduces at a practical level the idea of dynamic pricing and a flexible supply schedule to meet periods of peak demand as well as extending commercial reach and community involvement.

But the sharing economy is disruptive, like so many Internet-related businesses. It poses challenges, mostly with regulators and taxation authorities.

The task of regulators should not be to protect existing businesses, but rather to protect consumers and public health and safety. The policy difficulties arise when businesses established under one set of rules and regulations are confronted with start-ups either without such obligations or where the obligations remain unclear. There is nothing unique in this situation. The regulatory environment needs to be as flexible as the businesses it regulates while remaining focused upon public welfare. Is this a circle to be squared, without solution?

Is the issue exaggerated out of all proportion and will the sharing economy remain a marginal activity within the economy as a whole? Or are we seeing the beginnings of a tectonic shift in and across the very structure of world economies? From small acorns mighty oak trees grow, or is this just a hedge sapling? The forum will review the scope and scale of the sharing economy, hear from the Sharing Economy Association and its members, examine what lies behind this phenomenon and assess its prospects going forward.

Download the Briefing Paper here: Briefing Paper: The Sharing Economy and Crowdsourcing

Download the Event Summary here:  2014_09_11_TheSharingEconomy-SummaryforIIC

Speakers

  1. Lynette Cheah, Assistant Professor, Singapore University of Technology and Design
  2. Eugene Tay, President of the Sharing Economy Association (Singapore)
  3. Mike Orgill, Director of Public Policy, APAC, Airbnb
  4. Antony Lewis, Business Development Director, itBit, and President, The Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Start-ups (ACCESS), Singapore
  5. Leo Shimada, CEO, Founder of Crowdonomic
  6. Kristofferson Gonzales, iCarsClub 

 

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