Can the collaborative economy do without collaboration?

Hervé Gouil


This article is a synthesis of reflections inspired by exchanges with specialists of the online economy such as Nicolas Colin, co-founder of The Family, and of the sharing economy such as Antonin Léonard from Ouishare, on the one hand, and from sustained dialogue with cooperators including Dominique Babilotte, Charlotte Dudignac from the Coopérer pour Entreprendre network, Stéphane Veyer from Coopaname, and Jean-Luc Chautagnat from La Manufacture Coopérative on the other hand. We set out to investigate the opportunity of positive encounters between the powerful movement of what is referred to as the “collaborative economy,” which is deeply changing our economies, and the cooperative movement itself. From the cooperative point of view, the question can be framed as follows: How to attract a significant share of this creative energy (and the financial resources that support it) towards cooperation? And what role should cooperatives play? This first attempt may, if not identify the keys to a seamless combination of both movements or phenomena, at least offer an outline of the stakes and future lines of inquiry.

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