Symposium on the Sharing Economy


Public Forum

people attending event

Photo: Shutterstock

May 17, 2016
The Commons Hotel, Minneapolis, MN

This public forum focused on how the sharing economy is affecting the transportation industry. Also known as collaborative consumption, the sharing economy is a growing trend away from the exclusive ownership and consumption of resources to one of shared use and consumption via peer-to-peer online platforms. The consequences of this trend for the transportation sector are many, potentially affecting everything from car ownership to road congestion to investments in infrastructure and public transit.

With a focus on shared mobility, the event explored the promise—and potential perils—of the sharing economy. Practitioners, entrepreneurs, government representatives, and other leading thinkers shared their perspectives in presentations and panel discussions.


Opening Presentations

This session featured two presentations: The Promise and Perils of Collaborative Consumption by Saif Benjaafar, Distinguished McKnight Professor, University of Minnesota, and Director, Initiative on the Sharing Economy, and Governance Models for Public-Private Partnership by Bill Dossett, Executive Director, Nice Ride.

Luncheon Presentation: Living, Working, and Moving in the Sharing Economy

In this presentation, Tom Fisher, director of the Metropolitan Design Center in the University of Minnesota's College of Design, explored the sharing economy's potential to bring dramatic changes to how we live, work, and transport ourselves. These changes may overturn many of the assumptions about our infrastructure and transportation systems, our zoning and land uses, and our home and work lives. According to Fisher, if we want to avoid unnecessary expenditures and the waste of resources, we need to change how we make public investments now. In his presentation, Fisher outlined the nature of these changes and what we might do in response to them.

Panel I: The Sharing Economy and the Future of Mobility

Panelists in this session included John Eddy, Principal, Arup (moderator); Megan Hansen, HOURCAR Program Manager, Neighborhood Energy Connection; Brian Harvey, Market Manager, Zipcar; Bill Dossett, Executive Director, Nice Ride; and David King, Assistant Professor, Urban Planning, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University.

Panel II: Can the Sharing Economy be Regulated?

Panelists in this session included Tom Fisher, Dayton Hudson Chair in Urban Design, and Director, Metropolitan Design Center, College of Design, University of Minnesota (moderator); Ulrik Binzer, Founder & CEO, Host Compliance LLC; David Levinson, Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, University of Minnesota; Kjersti Monson, Director, Long Range Planning, Community Planning & Economic Development, City of Minneapolis; and Colin Murphy, Researcher, Shared-Use Mobility Center.