This is an excerpt from Empower: How to Co-Create the Future. The full 200+ page book is available by donation!

“Crowd-based capitalism signifies a fundamental shift in how we organize the world’s economic activities”

-Arun Sundararajan

excerpt from book

David Passiak: One key concept in your approach is the notion of trust. The crowd builds trust through things like relationships and ratings systems, and industrial brands build trust through providing reliability and quality at scale. I read that your interest in trust led you to study the sharing economy. Can you tell us about why trust is so important in crowd capitalism, and explain this revolutionary idea of a new trust infrastructure?

Arun Sundararajan:  If you think of trust today, you don’t write a contract when you buy small things like a cup of coffee. Instead, you trust a brand, which signifies a commitment by a company that “I will consistently deliver a high-quality service and stake my reputation and the future of my business on it.” This is why you comfortably drink a Coca-Cola when you’re in a country where you don’t know the food safety rules, or you ride the roller coasters at Six Flags, but hesitate if the roller coaster was on the side of the highway.

ARUN SUNDARARAJAN is Professor and the Robert L. and Dale Atkins Rosen Faculty Fellow at New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business, and an affiliated faculty member at NYU’s Center for Data Science and Center for Urban Science and Progress. His new book The Sharing Economy was published by the MIT Press in June 2016. He has published over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed academic journals and conferences, and over 30 op-eds in leading outlets globally. His scholarship has been recognized by six Best Paper awards and two Google Faculty awards. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Technology, Values and Policy, and advisor to numerous other policy bodies, venture capital firms and cities. He has provided expert input about the digital economy as part of Congressional testimony, and to a range of government agencies. He is a widely sought-after commentator by top media platforms.