First Workshop on Digitally Enabled Sharing and Sustainability (DESS)


  • Maria Pouri, Department of Informatics,University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Lorenz M. Hilty, Department of Informatics, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Workshop description:

The ICT-enabled sharing economy is a prime example of the force of digital transformation. New forms of sharing can change patterns of consumption, social relationships, and economic structures.

Participating in the digital sharing economy is becoming increasingly interesting and more effective in the eyes of its users. The effects of this new trend may be positive or negative from a sustainable development perspective. For example, the digital sharing economy can promote efficient resource consumption (improved utilization) by enabling the shared use of available resources. Moreover, it can have positive social and economic effects as it connects people and enables them to become economic actors in their social bonds.

However, from an environmental perspective, affordable, easy-to-access, and convenient services in the sharing economy may cancel out the system’s savings and efficiencies by rebound effects and hence cause new environmental problems. From a social point of view, it is important to investigate whether the digital sharing economy contributes to providing a decent life for its participants – or to poor working conditions and other social issues.

Questions of sustainability-related contributions or issues of digital sharing are not thoroughly resolved or even identified yet. Sharpening and discussing such questions will assist us in understanding the long-term potentials of the digital sharing economy, whether positive or negative, to change people’s lives and the global environment as well.

We invite short papers (max. 5 pages) and short position papers (1-2 pages) for presentation and motivating discussions that address one of the following (or related) questions:

  • What makes digital sharing different from traditional sharing?
  • What theoretical frameworks exist to analyze the emerging instances and types of the sharing economy?
  • What are the potential implications of the digital sharing economy for sustainable development? How can we structure them?
  • Under what conditions can the digital sharing economy contribute to sustainable patterns of consumption?
  • What is value (co-)creation in digital sharing systems and how it can be translated or related to sustainability values?

The main goal of the workshop is to initiate a discussion among interested researchers, including PhD students.

Please send your contributions to pouri (at)

Deadline: May 3 2019