The Sharing Economy: the Good, the Bad and the Future

The "sharing economy", the "collaborative economy" or the "peer-to-peer economy" are all trendy words for bartering and trading, concepts that are as old as the hills. 

But what is undoubtedly new is the scale and pace of disruption for existing industries and trades, largely enabled by the internet and new web-enabled business models.

Although there is a powerful allure for these emerging models (potential for sustainability, local empowerment and more) they have already shown their dark sides in arguments on regulation, taxation and employment.

Starting Monday 17 November, we'll be discussing the pros and the cons of the sharing economy in travel, with:

Arnaud Bertrand: A co-founder of HouseTrip, one of the world's largest holiday rental marketplaces, and an investor in three other online marketplaces: Deliveroo, UpMySport and Tutorfair.

Ron Mader: A keen observer of the sharing and collaborative cultures, and creator of, the first website focusing on ecotourism and responsible travel. 

Michael Huxley: The founder of Bemused Backpacker and author of Backpacking: The Ultimate Guide, teaching, empowering and inspiring people to travel RTW independently.

Claire Sweeney: Of, which aims to connect travelers with locals who have a spare room to rent in their home, offering a more immersive, authentic travel experience.

Kate Varini: A 50-something tourism professor and wannabe entrepreneur, helping others prepare for a successful career in tourism. Recently founded FLOOFL which offers university level tourism education to the world, for free.

You? How do you see the sharing economy in theory or practice? Feel free to join in the debate below and/or ask the panel any questions.