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March ISO Workshop in Canada to Address the Sharing Economy


Experts Sought for Development of an International Workshop Agreement

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will hold a workshop in Ontario, Canada, on March 21-23, 2017, to focus on the sharing economy, with the goal of reaching an international agreement that would serve to advance standardization solutions for the sharing economy model. The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is now soliciting experts to participate in the development of an International Workshop Agreement (IWA) in this area.

As ISO's IWA background document explains, the "sharing economy model" — which has seen rapid growth and user adoption in recent years — represents situations in which under-utilized resources of individuals and organizations are shared (i.e., pooled, loaned, or drawn on) via the use of networks. Ultimately, the sharing economy model can potentially save money for users, put underutilized property and other assets to work, increase employment and income for individuals and organizations, and have positive environmental impacts.

The Standards Council of Canada (SCC)'s ISO/COPOLCO Standards Mirror Committee, which consists of Canadian stakeholders from government, business, consumer groups, and academia, proposed to develop an IWA on the Sharing and Collaborative Economy.

The workshop discussions will focus on the for-profit sharing economy business models that both disrupt traditional sectors and challenge (or attempt to reform) regulations governing activities in those sectors. Key objectives of the IWA workshop include:

  • Fostering the sharing of knowledge and best practices on meeting the challenges;

  • Supporting the development of innovative responses across multiple platforms and sectors; and

  • Articulating high-level principles for the sharing economy.

The IWA development process will consist of several phases, and, once finalized, the IWA will be sent to ISO for publication, with the expected publication date in late June to early July 2017.

Two WebEx preparatory meetings will be held prior to the March workshop (dates to be confirmed in January), and will cover ISO structure, international standardization and the IWA process, and main issues pertaining to the sharing economy. They will also provide the opportunity to submit comments on existing documents and review a first draft of an IWA.

As the U.S. member body to ISO, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages all stakeholders with an interest in the sharing economy to participate in the workshop, including national and government agencies, innovation agencies, service providers, organizations involved in the shared and collaborative platforms, organizations using the products and services, academics, consumer organizations, national standards bodies, and any experts nominated by ISO.

The workshop will be hosted by CSA Group at 5060 Spectrum Way, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L4W 5N6. ANSI has posted the registration details and workshop agenda online.

For more information, please contact Suzanna Ersoy at [email protected].


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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