A Framework to Assess the Sustainability and the Pro-Democratization of Platform Economy: The Case of Barcelona

Résumé - EN

Platform Economy is growing rapidly, exponentially, and creating high expectations of sustainability and its potential to contribute to the democratization of the economy. However, Platform Economy platforms lack a holistic framework to assess these elements. In addition, there is confusion about platforms which present themselves as collaborative when they actually are not. To address it, this article provides a framework for assessing the pro-democratic qualities of Platform Economy initiatives, taking into account governance, economic model, technological and knowledge policies and social responsibility and impact. The framework has been tested empirically in a sample of 100 cases with presence in the city of Barcelona. The results show different levels of pro-democratization, and different tendencies of pro-democratization. The cases which tended to be open in one dimension also tended to be open in the other dimensions. On the one hand, the analysis points to a correlation between technological and knowledge policies and governance; on the other, a correlation between project governance and its model of economic sustainability has also resulted. The results suggest that the way that is conducted the governance of a platform plays a central role and relates to the other democratic qualities. Finally, we link this with the Sustainable Development Goals.