On 22 May, ELF in cooperation with the Institute for Politics and Society and UBER, held a business breakfast called “The UberEconomy – A Shared Future?” The event focused on the emergence of a shared economy and its impact on innovation, regulation, and traditional business models.
Panelists and experts included: Mateusz Litewski, the Public Policy Manager at Uber for Central & Eastern Europe; Ondřej Malý, a Digital Agenda Coordinator with the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic; Aleš Chmelař, a Financial Analyst with the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic; Aleš Michl, Chief Economist and Co-owner at Investment Fund QUANT; and Jan Klesla, Deputy Head of the Economic Section of Lidové noviny.
Pavel Kysilka, an economist and founder of 6DAcademy moderated the debate.
The panel conversation focused on the how the shared economy has emerged through platforms such as UBER and AirBnB and the subsequent need to reevaluate traditional business models and state regulations. Mr. Litewski, spoke about the rapid development of UBER and how it has come to change the economy as we know it through a continuous effort to disrupt traditional business models. UBER, he emphasized, seeks to set new standards in the business and service world through innovation while focusing on the new consumer.
Mr. Malý and Mr. Chmelař focused on the government’s priority to develop proper and fair regulations for this new business model of the shared economy. Malý stated that the nature of rapid change within a sharing economy poses a challenge, but is ultimately beneficial to both the consumer and the economy. While Chmelař discussed the developing equilibrium through a legal framework to support businesses and regulation that cultivates continued competition within the market.
Mr. Aleš Michl spoke about the need to share successes and failures of the shared economy in order to bolster participation on the provider and consumer side. His comments expressed suggested that the shared economy is now crucial to future economic viability, but must include fair taxation and regulation.
Finally, Mr. Klesla emphasized the need for more data to truly understand the impact of the new business model on the economy. Without said data, it is difficult to clearly decipher between a genuine shared economy and simply business innovation.
The event concluded with questions from the audience, which became focused on the macro economic impact of sharing, regulation and taxation, and maintaining the playing field for healthy competition.