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WE-Conomy: Regulation Aims To Keep Pace With Innovation in 2016


The NSW government followed suit of the state of Arizona today with the release of a wide sweeping plan designed to continue the advancement of the collaborative economy.

As detractors continue to harp on regulatory hurdles created by the new economic engine, the NSW government becomes the latest to push back on obstacles created by our new environment with a plan designed to harness its many opportunities.

The new document out of Australia flags a new regulatory framework for services like Airbnb and Uber. It also pinpoints the sharing economy’s value currently at $504 million and is welcomed by parties on both sides of the debate including Airbnb and the Tourism Accommodation of Australia.

Airbnb Australia’s manager Sam McDonagh said the position paper recognized the contribution the share economy made to the state’s economy, including to help grow and diversify tourism. “We think the announcement by the Government today is really great for everyone in NSW and particularly Airbnb hosts, the everyday Australians, the mums and dads who make a small modest income sharing their homes on Airbnb,” he said. He said one of the things Airbnb hears from its hosts is that regulation varies widely around the nation from state to state, to council to council and now there will be a base for a clear national framework.

This uniform approach to regulation could serve as an excellent model to duplicate as regions around the world struggle to close the gap between regulation and innovation as the economy continues to grow at a blistering pace.

Interestingly, the NSW plan aims to highlight the major advantages created by our new economy, things often overlooked by the opposition:

  1. The collaborative economy is creating opportunities for microenterprise and self-employment.
  2. It is providing opportunities for people to earn additional or supplementary income.
  3. An estimated 45,000 people earned income through the collaborative economy in the last 12-month

As 2016 continues to unfold, we can only hope that this type of smart collaboration between the public and private sector continues with an eye on creating a new narrative around the historical struggle between innovation and regulation. To do so, a focus on the collective WE over the singular ME will me most imperative.

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce released in December 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

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