talked to 3 experts in Shared economy in Spain.

All 3 agree on one thing: There is no return back.

  1. How would you define a sharing economy?

  2. KIM

    It is a complex phenomenon that has destroyed business models and changed the way we consume and work. The definition of shared or collaborative economy is a market trend and a new model of consumption based on the exchange of goods and services that previously remained idle or underused. Underexploited or idle resources can be houses, empty seats in cars, cars, skills, wealth, ideas, thoughts or time through a system of networks and markets. This movement is facilitated by Mobile technology, so we can see in real time on a phone the available goods and services.

    The novelty lies precisely in the fact that technology now allows multiple and universal contacts at an extraordinary rate; with reduced infrastructure related costs, and very diminished organization, especially when compared to more traditional business models. Collaborative economy causes, for example, companies that do not own any housing have become the main temporary housing providers in the world; thanks to applications or technology platforms that connect offers of goods and services with the particular demands of individuals.

    In any case, my opinion is that it is important to distinguish the collaborative economy itself from the technology platforms that support their business models. Technology has facilitated the development of the concept and the economic situation of an ongoing crisis in recent years has triggered their widespread use. Despite this, the shared economy is inspired by values of philanthropy, sharing and mutual help.  This may occur on the Internet (on line) or off (offline), in bulk or in our neighboring communities sharing tools and elements common.

  3. Which countries are advanced in this sense?

    Europe is being a reference in terms of innovation in this new economy: France, Portugal or Spain are clear examples of how well people are integrating this powered by people new economy.

  5. What are the advantages of a sharing economy?


    First, we must consider that the term “Sharing Economy” itself is totally new. Its own definition has been hard to set as the sharing economy is spreading in many different industries and in many ways. However, what we cannot deny are the benefits of it. In our case, as a platform of P2P mobility we offer an extra income to many families renting the second most important asset. Otherwise people are replacing the ownership by the access to use, rethinking the urban mobility. Less cars, less emissions, more space.

  7. How does democracy change in such a system?
  8. KIM

    As noted previously, the collaborative economy transcends the current business models and from my point of view, it will profoundly affect society in the future as long as we view collaborative economy as more than sharing “stuff” and understand it as a system for sharing experiences, ideas, thoughts or knowledge. In this context the current models of shared economy it is an owner who gets the benefits of transactions. But what would happen if those providing the service platform were also the owners? Probably a real redistribution of power would occur.

    It is a new paradigm of redistribution of power that rewards the user to the extent that he or she shares, and can also provide new opportunities for society to democratize the use of goods and services. As we move away from ownership toward a sharing model the amount of goods and services to which we have access multiply and available opportunities will multiply; I expect that in coming years this phenomenon will change even the way we consume, interact or work.

  9. What jobs can be created in a shared economy?

    Sharing Economy is a whole new economy and of course, it can bring new jobs. Taking the example of Ecooltra, we are employing: mechanics, swappers (the ones that change the batteries from the electric vehicles), customer support…

  11. Is a sharing economy capitalism?

    The sharing economy is mainly empowering people. Peers can produce, offer and exchange services or assets to other peers when being a consumer as well. Badging it as capitalism will depend on the scale of the activity as many countries already legislate.

  13. How is Spain doing in shared economy?

    We have been operating in Spain for already 10 years and that is why we can openly say that it is a great country where people are willing to share theirs and from others.  A recent study from the CNMV shows that close to the 30% of the Spanish population has taken already part of this phenomenon. Operamos en España desde hace 10 años y por ello podemos decir que es un país donde la gente tiene muchas ganas de compartir lo suyo y lo de otros. Un reciente estudio de la CNMV apunta que el 30% de la población española usó alguna de las plataformas de economía colaborativa en el pasado año.

  15. Where does this movement come from?
  16. KIM

    The concept of an Economy based on shared or collaborative consumption is not a new idea, it not an idea of the XXI century; all human societies have shared. The origin of the concept/terminology of collaborative economy is recent and it became popularized between 2010 and 2011 thanks amongst others to Rachel Botsman, and articles in newspapers such as “Times Magazine” where it was noted that the collaborative consumption was one of the 10 ideas that could change the world.

    Earlier in the 1990s, there were already pioneering companies that began offering services through platform models becoming today’s forefront firms dedicated to shared accommodation or transportation. Since 2008, the global economic frame has made of collaborative economy a way out of the crisis of the economic system. The economic crisis, was further helped by the massive development of Internet, mobile and social networks. All of these issues, and the leadership of technology entrepreneurs, have generated the widespread development of initiatives covering the most varied economic niches, organizational models and activities.

  17. What will happen in the common years in this direction? SOCIALCAR
  18. Tech platforms empowering people to share whatever it is will continue to grow in the sense we like, we use, and we accept this new behavior. Services are already approved as more transparent, efficient and convenient. This is impacting and reshaping everything from traditional industries and legislation. Both traditional and shared ways to consume will have to coexist in harmony as both offer good options to us.

To whom we talked

He was born in Germany 43 years ago, is an ex-consultant and MBA from IESE, who has been living in the Catalan capital for about 14 years. Before settling in Barcelona, he lived in his native Germany, Paris, Buenos Aires, Greece and Switzerland giving him a cosmopolitan character. He has a strong entrepreneur personality and has always been clear that he wanted to be his own boss. Passionate about the world of motorcycling, Timo found the opportunity to start his own business when his bike was damaged one day while he was driving around Barcelona. When this happened, he realized that the niche of motorcycles was not exploded enough, as it was very difficult for him to find a company where he could rent a scooter during the weeks that his was in the workshop. From this need was born Cooltra, a great project that with his friends – the brothers Henrik and Holger Sprengel – managed to create what would be today the European leader in sustainable mobility solutions on two wheels.


Mar Alarcón is the founder and CEO of SocialCar, the first platform in Spain for P2P car rental. Mar, is a benchmark in collaborative economy, mobility and legality. Founding member of Sharing España, member of the board of directors at AED, ADigital and Barcelona Tech City. Startup mentor at several accelerators. Graduated in Law and PDD by IESE, she began her professional career at Cuatrecasas and her social entrepreneurship interest at Grameen Bank working with Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Profiled one of 50 most influential women in european startup and venture capital landscape.


Antoni Paz is the Executive Director of Knowledge Innovation Market (KIM). He studied Engineering in Agriculture and Food Industry from Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (UPC) and also has a degree in Science and Food Technology from the University of Barcelona, and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from EADA. Antoni Paz has extensive professional experience in innovation and scientific management in private organizations (companies, technology centers, business associations) and public (local authorities, universities), performing auditing and consultancy roles as well as coordination and management of R&D projects.