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Back to the future: The sharing economy - a report for Deputy Ministers' Committee on Policy Innovation (DMCPI)

The sharing economy describes how peer-to-peer technology and changing economic and environmental values are dramatically altering the fundamental questions - who, what, where, when and how - related to the production and consumption of goods and services. These and other factors are driving a growing number of sharing economy companies, consumers, and people-as-businesses to choose shared access over ownership for an increasing number of goods and services.

Global revenues of five key sharing economy sectors (accommodation, transport, music and video streaming, online staffing and peer lending/crowd funding) are estimated to grow from $15 billion in 2013 to $335 billion by 2025. Canada is embracing the trend, with an increasing number of Canadians using Canadian-based sharing startups and Canadian chapters of international startups. At the same time, not all are enthusiastically receiving the disruption; negative aspects do exist. As the sharing economy continues to grow, so will the list of winners and losers, prompting a growing need to carefullyexplore all aspects of this new economic model. Governments at all levels have attempted to respond to the rise of the sharing economy and there are now a patchwork of rules and regulations worldwide. Several governments have clamped down on sharing economy companies while others have developed proactive legislation or policies to encourage peer-to-peer businesses.