Synthetic Overview of the Collaborative Economy Table of Contents

This month we will be serialising the report “Synthetic overview of the collaborative economy”, coproduced by Orange Labs and the P2P Foundation. Today we  post the Table of Contents and the breakdown of the chapters. (Of course if you can’t wait you can download the full report here). All posts on the report can be found here


Table of Contents

The structure of the study

“Chapter One creates a frame of understanding with some general characteristics of the whole field. In order to do this, it attempts to create a general grammar to ease the understanding of the varied phenomena that will be discussed in the rest of the report. It tries to uncover the fundamental drives and explains the basic interconnected concepts. It ends with a first approach to a categorization of the different expressions of the collaborative economy.

Chapter Two looks at user innovation dynamics, and describes how the corporate world has answered their challenge. We examine the emerging figures of the more active ‘user’ which replaces the traditional figure of the consumer, and sociological categories such as the professional amateur and the lead user. The chapter describes how corporations have adapted by initializing open innovation and by integrating practices for co-design and co-creation of value in their own value chains. We also look at the more independent user-generated media practices, which have been facilitated with the emergence of social media.

In Chapter Three we look at two of the new ‘diagonal’ or ‘hybrid’ approaches. These hybrids combine entrepreneurship with more horizontal participation, and deepen of the mutualization of both skills and materials. In the case of crowdsourcing, firms appeal to the crowd for both creative/innovative input and for more service-oriented tasks; we try to make sense of this complex ecology. We also look at the emergence of collaborative consumption, in which physical resources and services are mutualized, in order to mobilize hitherto underutilized idle resources. Practices of mutualization characteristic to collaborative consumption also to render existing services more ecologically efficient, as for example in car sharing. We are witnessing here a more profound shift: from ownership to access: this is, access to a wide variety of services. We look at the new possibilities for (dis)intermediation that it generates, but also at the peer to peer marketplaces that it enables.

In Chapter Four we look at the more radical community-centric production methods, i.e. the emergence of commons-based peer production, where participating firms have to adapt more stringently to the rules and norms of the initiating communities. After defining peer production, we look at the various ways in which community and corporate dynamics interpenetrate to create a 17dynamic field of hybrid economies. We also look at the cultural penetration of these new practices and the current shift of their reach from the more immaterial creation of knowledge and code, to actual physical production through the sharing of designs, as is emerging in the fields of open hardware and distributed manufacturing.

In Chapter Five, we look at the infrastructural underpinnings which enable the new forms of distributed production. These range from the very material development of personal fabrication and 3D printing machines culminating in new possibilities for microfactories, but also distributed funding, new accounting and metric systems to measure distributed development, and new hybrid legal forms. These new hybrid legal forms integrate for-profit and non-profit motives, with more potential to generate contributing communities.

Chapter Six is an overview of ‘open’ (i.e. based on shared intellectual property) and community-based business and monetization models. It answers the crucial question of financial sustainability in the absence of strong IP-based rent income.”


Chapter One: When the Vertical Meets the Horizontal

I. The New Horizontality and Diagonality

II. The Emerging Logic Of Horizontal Intermediation

III. New Conceptualizations of Business Practice

IV. Some Important Clarifications

V. The Emerging Logic of Open Business Models

VI. New Distributed Infrastructures For Material Production

VII. Understanding the Ladder of Participation

VIII. A First Categorization of the Collaborative Economy


Chapter Two: Discovering the User as Value Creator and the Emergence of a UserCentric Ecosystem

I. The Evolution of Productive Publics

II. The Emergence of Lead Users

III. Opening Innovation to the Input of the Crowd

IV. The User-Generated Ecosystem


Chapter Three: Infrastructures for ‘Sourcing the Crowd’ and Mutualizing Idle Resources

I. Crowdsourcing

II. The Emergence of Collaborative Consumption


Chapter Four: Beyond Corporate Open Innovation: Commons-Oriented Peer Production

I. Defining P2P

II. Pure Play Vs. Hybrid Peer Production

III. The Dual Logic of Peer Production in a Market Economy

IV. The Characteristics of Peer Production

V. Cultural and Social Penetration of Peer Production in Society

VI. Business Penetration

VII. The Institutional Ecology of Commons-Based Peer Production

VIII. Peer Production in Free and Open Source Software

IX. Peer Production in Design, Hardware, and Manufacturing

X. Open Hardware as a Social Movement

XI. Maps, A Series of Mind-maps created by P2P Foundation


Chapter Five: Distributed Access to the Factors of Production

I. The Emergence of an Infrastructure for ‘Personal’ Manufacturing

II. Distributed Workspaces and Meeting Venues

III. The Emergence of Distributed Funding

IV. The Emergence of Infrastructures for “All Things Distributed”

V. Some Conclusions and Speculations


Chapter Six: Open Business Models

I. Generalities on Open Business Models

II. Open Source Software Business Models

III. Open Source Hardware Business Models

IV. The Economics of Shared Spaces

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