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Ryerson CSR Institute Session: Standards and the Sharing Economy - Understanding the Connection

December 09, 2019
5:00 PM EST - 7:00 PM EST
Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, 55 Dundas St. West, Toronto [7th floor, room TRS 1-003]

To view the video recording of this session, click here.

To view the PDF/PPT presentations delivered at this session, click on the links below:

This talk is supported by the CSA Group and is co-sponsored by the Ryerson Corporate Social Responsibility Student Association, the Ryerson Commerce and Government Association, and the Ryerson Law and Business Student Association.

Sharing economy platforms have been described as information technology mechanisms that facilitate the ability for transactions to take place between those who have assets and services and those who want to use those assets and services. Many associate the sharing economy with names like Airbnb (short term accommodations) and Uber (ride sharing). The promise of the sharing economy is its potential to link up those with underutilized assets (e.g., labour, a ride in a vehicle, a room in an apartment) with those who would like to use that asset, thereby providing enhanced competition among providers and greater choice for consumers, and new revenue opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, among other things.

But the challenges associated with the sharing economy stem from the potential for harm to consumers (e.g., safety, privacy), harm to the providers (e.g., exploitation of workers), harm to competitors (e.g., incumbent providers of similar services who are required to meet high regulatory requirements), harm to communities (e.g., neighbours of those who are providing short term accommodations), and harm to the environment (e.g., increased traffic and pollution caused by greater numbers of ride sharing providers on the road). So from a social responsibility standpoint, a key question is how if at all do these new forms of sharing economy business address their social, environmental, and economic impacts.

There is self-evidently a central role to be played by governments in ensuring that sharing economy applications operate in ways that minimize harm and maximize benefits. But there are also potentially important roles that can be played by standards developed by non-state entities such as ISO, the International Organization for Standardization. Certification standards can potentially provide structured approaches to the provision of sharing economy products and services that attempt to minimize negative social and environmental impacts by meeting criteria that go higher than the "floor" set in regulatory laws, while also providing important "signalling" of good behaviour to consumers. Would an ISO certification standard be of value in sharing economy contexts?

The purpose of this Ryerson CSR Institute session is to explore the role non-state standards such as those of ISO could play in sharing economy contexts, with Japanese, European and Canadian speakers providing industry, consumer, labour, and other perspectives.

Alana Baker – Director, Government Relations, Hotel Association of Canada -- an award-winning government relations, public relations and communications professional, Alana Baker has over 13 years of experience and a proven track record of executing high impact advocacy and public relations campaigns. Alana joined the Hotel Association of Canada as Director of Government Relations in the spring of 2017 to further develop its growing advocacy portfolio, advancing the interests of the Association’s members with federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Antoine Champion 
– Antoine is the ANEC Representative participating in the ISO TC 324 committee developing ISO standards on the sharing economy. ANEC is the European consumer voice for standardization. Antoine is the services studies manager at the French National Institute for Consumer Affairs. He is also consumer representative in standardisation for services in France and a member of the ANEC;s services working group.

Priya Malik 
– Priya Malik is a licensed Professional Engineer, holds a mechanical engineering degree and is Director of Capital Projects at TO Live, responsible for addressing health and safety projects, legislated projects, as well as state of good repair and service improvements in the theatre buildings. Prior to joining TO Live, Priya worked at CSA Group, where she managed a wide variety of Health and Safety Standards and research projects, including supporting CSA Group’s first sharing economy research project focusing on standardization and how it can help support new business models.

Masaaki Mochimaru –
Dr. Mochimaru is the Chair of ISO TC 324 (the ISO committee developing a sharing economy standard), he is a researcher of AIST and has an educational background in ergonomics and extensive
expertise in areas related to service engineering. Over the years, Dr. Mochimaru has contributed to standardization in the field of human-centred design, apparel sizing systems, and service excellence.

Hideaki Ninomiya –
Mr. Ninomiya works for the Sharing Economy Association of Japan. He is committed to promoting a sharing economy to enterprises, government and municipalities etc. through events and standardization activity.

Michael 'Six' Silberman 
– Six is the Trade Representative of the European Trade Union Confederation – Six works in the Crowdsourcing Project at IG Metall, the largest trade union in Europe, where he works together with labor platform workers, clients, and operators, as well as researchers, other unions, policymakers, and journalists to improve working conditions on digital labor platforms. He co-founded Turkopticon, the first independent
employer reputation system for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform, with Lilly Irani in 2008, and received a PhD in Information and Computer Sciences from the University of California at Irvine in 2015.

Kernaghan Webb –
Dr. Webb is an Associate Professor of Law and Business in Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management (cross appointed to the Law Faculty), and is the Director of the Ryerson University Institute for the Study of CSR. His research, teaching, publications and service activities focus on developing and better understanding innovative approaches to regulation. His work on regulatory offences has been cited and quoted by the Supreme Court of Canada. He has extensive experience chairing, convening, and participating in ISO and national standards. He has served as the Senior Legal Policy Advisor and Chief of Research of the federal Office of Consumer Affairs where among other things he was involved in the development of the federal privacy law applying to the private sector. He has also served as Special Advisor to the United Nations Global Compact regarding the ISO 26000 social responsibility standard. Dr. Webb has served on the board of directors of several organizations. He has advised inter-governmental, governmental, private sector, civil society and multi-stakeholder bodies. In 2012, Dr. Webb received the Standards Council of Canada National Award of Excellence.