Transition within a transition: how cooperative platforms want to change the sharing economy

Joël Foramitti*, Angelos Varvarousis, Giorgos Kallis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Scholars have argued that the sharing economy represents a transitional pathway to sustainability. The growth, however, of multi-national giants, such as Airbnb or Uber, has created new environmental, social, and economic problems and led many to question the dominant form of the sharing economy. In this paper, we study a transition within a transition—that is the emergence of a new niche of cooperative platforms within the sharing economy. We examine how promoters and followers of Fairbnb, a nascent cooperative alternative to Airbnb, frame and envision their project and then discuss tensions, debates, and limits around their ideas and business model. We find that their primary motivations are to mitigate the negative effects of mass tourism, to prevent the extraction of wealth from local economies, and to sustain a prosperous social business. Tensions are found around limitations of democratic governance, decentralization, and size of the project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1197
Number of pages13
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Accommodation sharing
  • Airbnb
  • Business model innovation
  • Framing
  • Platform cooperativism
  • Sharing economy


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