PICO - PIonniers du COllaboratif

2015 à 2016

Background and issues

Airbnb, Drivy, Blablacar, La Ruche qui dit Oui, Leboncoin, Techshop, FabLab, wikipedia, kickstarter, Coursera…

The sharing economy encompasses a wide range of initiatives led by companies or associations, which are transforming the way we travel, consume, produce, finance and learn. The definition of the sharing economy is controversial, and it is emerging as a catch-all, a pipeline of innovations characterised by the use of digital technology and the desire to circumvent existing operators.

The sharing economy is the focus of a number of debates, including:

  • Unfair competition,

  • Tax evasion,

  • Employment insecurity, and so on

How to regulate this sharing economy is a key question being addressed by public bodies.

Two other questions are equally important in this context:

  1. Does the sharing economy provide new solutions to collective sustainable development challenges such as waste prevention, mobility and energy consumption?

  2. And if so, what can public policy-makers do to support “public interest” initiatives?

These are the core questions that the Pionniers du Collaboratif (PICO – Sharing economy pioneers) project is attempting to answer.

Research objectives 

PICO focuses on the sharing economy for material goods and studies initiatives such as FabLabs and Repair Cafés, as well as peer-to-peer marketplaces such as LeBonCoin, etc. in order to analyse:


  • The environmental and social motives of entrepreneurs and users,

  • The current impacts of these five peer-to-peer platforms for goods exchange,

The role that public authorities could play in supporting the most promising business models for a circular economy.  

Funding and partners