It has been more than a decade since the world saw the emergence of platforms such as Airbnb, Uber, and Kickstarter. Popping up in the shadow of large, well-established companies, they were trying to fill in the space that market failure had created. Nowadays, we are no longer talking about such platforms as outliers or curiosities but as parts of a new, interconnected, and rapidly developing ecosystem. This ecosystem, often called “sharing economy”, covers almost all aspects of social life, including sharing private parking spaces, collaborative workplaces for single-person firms, social banking, urban micro-mobility facilitation, community sustainability projects, and consumer policy.

In the end of 2019, the world-leading experts in the sharing economy gathered at Senate House in London and presented the collection of their works: the Handbook of the Sharing Economy. The book’s editors, Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt, and Fleura Bardhi, warmly welcomed participants from Canada, USA, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, UK, Norway, Sweden, and Italy, inviting them to five thought-provoking panel discussions. The panels covered topics on the nature of the sharing economy, ownership, access, ratings, institutional logics, crowdfunding, and public policy and regulation. In addition, several inspiring entrepreneurs shared their hands-on experiences with establishing and running collaborative projects.

Two researchers from COOLCROWD, Natalia Drozdova (NHH) and Ingeborg A. Kleppe (NHH), participated in the book launch and discussed their chapter on crowdfunding written together with Seidali Kurtmollaiev (NHH). In their work, they use the diffusion of innovations perspective to uncover the specifics of the crowdfunders roles and analyze crowdfunders’ decision-making process. They present a unique, previously unexplored view on innovation adoption and adopter categories, indicating the areas that deserve the special attention of founders and platform organizations who seek to improve communication and build mutually beneficial relationships among crowdfunding participants. Together with other chapters, their piece turns the spotlight on the “forest” of sharing and suggests novel ways of helping to advance its growth.

The book can be found here