Arun Sundararajan

Inquire About This Speaker

Global Authority on the Sharing Economy and Crowd-Based Capitalism; Economist and NYU Stern Professor; Author of “The Sharing Economy”

Biography

We’ve entered the “sharing economy” era – marking an end to employment as we know it and the rise of what economist Arun Sundararajan calls crowd-based capitalism. As the world shifts from traditional organizations to digitally enabled markets and communities, he is helping corporations and governments prepare for and thrive through the transformation.

Professor and the Robert L. and Dale Atkins Rosen Faculty Fellow at New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business, Sundararajan is widely regarded as the leading academic on the sharing economy. He has researched, and written, taught and spoken about the digital transformation of business and society for almost two decades. He teaches in a range of NYU Stern executive education programs in the U.S., Europe and Asia, teaching full-time MBA students about hi-tech entrepreneurship, undergraduates about networks, crowds and markets, and doctoral students about digital economics.

Sundararajan’s award-winning research investigates various facets of the digital economy, including peer-to-peer markets, digital trust, digital labor, new institutions, regulation, and social networks and online privacy. How will the economy, the nature of regulation, what it means to have a job and our social fabric be affected by the ever-accelerating page of digital change? Drawing on this extensive research, his book “The Sharing Economy” (MIT Press, May 2016), seeks to answer these questions, digging deep into the challenges and opportunities of crowd-based capitalism – a new paradigm Sundararajan believes will supplant the managerial capitalism of the 20th century, changing the course of economic growth and the future of work.

A highly respected researcher, teacher and speaker, Sundararajan has published over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed academic journals and conferences, and has given more than 200 invited talks at industry, government and academic forums around the world. His research has been recognized by six Best Paper awards, two Google Faculty awards and a variety of other competitive grants.

Sundararajan interfaces with tech companies at various stages on issues of strategy and regulation, and with non-tech companies trying to understand how to forecast and address changes induced by digital technologies. He teaches in five different NYU Stern Executive Education programs in the U.S., Europe and Asia, primarily focused on digital strategy. He also teaches full-time MBA students about digital entrepreneurship, undergraduates about networks, crowds and markets, and doctoral students about digital economics.

A sought-after source for expert insights and perspectives by top media platforms, Sundararajan’s op-eds and expert commentary have appeared in TIME, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, WiredTechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Harvard Business Review. He has spoken on numerous NPR shows, and appeared on television shows around the world, including those on BBC, Bloomberg TV, CBS, CNBC, CNN and PBS.

Sundararajan has also provided expert input about the digital economy as part of Congressional testimony, and to various city, state and federal government agencies, including the Presidential Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, the National Economic Council, the Federal Reserve Bank, the White House and the Federal Trade Commission. Arun is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Technology, Values and Policy, a Fellow of the Urban Design Forum, and serves as an advisor to numerous organizations that include the City of New York, the City of Seoul, the Female Founders Fund, the Internet Society of China, OuiShare, the National League of Cities, the Royal Society for the Arts and the Center for Global Enterprise.

Arun Sundararajan is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism

(The MIT Press, May 13, 2016)

Self-Regulation and Innovation in the Peer-to-Peer Sharing Economy

(The University of Chicago Law Review Dialogue, 2015)

Peer-to-Peer Rental Markets in the Sharing Economy

(NYU Stern School of Business Research Paper, October 2015)

Articles

Wall Street Journal logo

Taxis. Hotels. What Industry Is Next to Be Disrupted by the New Economy?

June 18, 2017

The Future of Work

June 2017

New York Times logo

Invest in Technology With Social Benefits

October 4, 2016

Why Uber's China loss Will Actually Be a Long-Run Victory for the Company

August 8, 2016

How To Make The Sharing Economy Work

July 13, 2016

What Governments Can Learn From Airbnb And the Sharing Economy

July 12, 2016

Financial Times logo

Review - 'The Sharing Economy'

June 22, 2016

Expanded Trust Made the Sharing Economy: “It Creates the Possibility of Getting into a Stranger’s Car”

June 21, 2016

The Author of “The Sharing Economy” on Uber, China, and the Future of Work

June 21, 2016

A16Z Podcast: An Economics Take on the Sharing Economy

June 17, 2016

The End of Employment. In Conversation with Dr. Arun Sundararajan

June 16, 2016

Secrets of the Sharing Economy

June 15, 2016

What If The Drivers Owned Uber, An NYU Professor Asks

June 13, 2016

Uber and Airbnb Could Reverse America's Decades-Long Slide into Mass Cynicism

June 9, 2016

strategy+business logo

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism

May 4, 2016

Q&A: The Impact and Evolution of the Sharing Economy

May 23, 2016

Will the ‘Sharing Economy’ Work For Fashion?

May 8, 2016

The New Yorker logo

Gigs with Benefits

July 2015

The ‘Gig Economy’ is Coming. What Will it Mean for Work?

July 25, 2015

New York Times logo

Airbnb Is an Ally to Cities, Not an Adversary

June 16, 2015

Sharing Economy Benefits Lower Income Groups

April 22, 2015

How The Sharing Economy Could Help The Poorest Among Us

March 16, 2015

What the Sharing Economy Takes

January 27, 2015

Will Self-Regulation by Startups Suffice to Protect Consumers?

December 15, 2014

What Airbnb Gets About Culture that Uber Doesn't

November 2014

Who Protects the Workers Powering the New Sharing Economy?

October 10, 2014

Can Technology Really Change Your Habits?

August 6, 2014

Wired logo

How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other

April 23, 2014

Podcast: Sharing Economy Radio with Arun Sundararajan - "Approach with Optimism"

February 2014

Los Angeles Times logo

'Sharing Economy' is Here to Stay, So Get Used to It

September 27, 2013

A-Z Name

Sundararajan, Arun

Biography

We’ve entered the “sharing economy” era – marking an end to employment as we know it and the rise of what economist Arun Sundararajan calls crowd-based capitalism. As the world shifts from traditional organizations to digitally enabled markets and communities, he is helping corporations and governments prepare for and thrive through the transformation.

Professor and the Robert L. and Dale Atkins Rosen Faculty Fellow at New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business, Sundararajan is widely regarded as the leading academic on the sharing economy. He has researched, and written, taught and spoken about the digital transformation of business and society for almost two decades. He teaches in a range of NYU Stern executive education programs in the U.S., Europe and Asia, teaching full-time MBA students about hi-tech entrepreneurship, undergraduates about networks, crowds and markets, and doctoral students about digital economics.

Sundararajan’s award-winning research investigates various facets of the digital economy, including peer-to-peer markets, digital trust, digital labor, new institutions, regulation, and social networks and online privacy. How will the economy, the nature of regulation, what it means to have a job and our social fabric be affected by the ever-accelerating page of digital change? Drawing on this extensive research, his book “The Sharing Economy” (MIT Press, May 2016), seeks to answer these questions, digging deep into the challenges and opportunities of crowd-based capitalism – a new paradigm Sundararajan believes will supplant the managerial capitalism of the 20th century, changing the course of economic growth and the future of work.

A highly respected researcher, teacher and speaker, Sundararajan has published over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed academic journals and conferences, and has given more than 200 invited talks at industry, government and academic forums around the world. His research has been recognized by six Best Paper awards, two Google Faculty awards and a variety of other competitive grants.

Sundararajan interfaces with tech companies at various stages on issues of strategy and regulation, and with non-tech companies trying to understand how to forecast and address changes induced by digital technologies. He teaches in five different NYU Stern Executive Education programs in the U.S., Europe and Asia, primarily focused on digital strategy. He also teaches full-time MBA students about digital entrepreneurship, undergraduates about networks, crowds and markets, and doctoral students about digital economics.

A sought-after source for expert insights and perspectives by top media platforms, Sundararajan’s op-eds and expert commentary have appeared in TIME, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, WiredTechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Harvard Business Review. He has spoken on numerous NPR shows, and appeared on television shows around the world, including those on BBC, Bloomberg TV, CBS, CNBC, CNN and PBS.

Sundararajan has also provided expert input about the digital economy as part of Congressional testimony, and to various city, state and federal government agencies, including the Presidential Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, the National Economic Council, the Federal Reserve Bank, the White House and the Federal Trade Commission. Arun is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Technology, Values and Policy, a Fellow of the Urban Design Forum, and serves as an advisor to numerous organizations that include the City of New York, the City of Seoul, the Female Founders Fund, the Internet Society of China, OuiShare, the National League of Cities, the Royal Society for the Arts and the Center for Global Enterprise.

Arun Sundararajan is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

The Digital Future of Work

Two significant forces will radically reshape the US workplace over the next twenty years: first, an ongoing shift from full-time employment towards freelance, “gig economy” and platform-based work, and second, an acceleration in the pace of automation of human labor, driven by robotics technology and artificial intelligence. Recent politics in the U.S. and the U.K. highlight the deep connection between changes in work and changes in the social fabric.

Arun Sundararajan connects the vague press projections about the distant future with ongoing developments in digital intermediation and on-demand labor that can help you plan your workforce strategy for the immediate future. His cutting-edge thinking separates the hype from reality, and provides an informed picture about the future of work, the societal implications of the impending transformation, and the pace at which it might occur. His framework will enable you to understand what to expect in your industry, and the actionable strategies you can use to thrive in tomorrow’s digital workplace.

The Shifting Landscape of Trust

Trust is the foundation of the economy and society, and an understanding of trust allows one to understand the present and future of business. Arun Sundararajan, one of the world’s leading scholars on the economics of digital trust, explains how human history can be delineated by “phases of trust,” each of which has resulted in a radical shift in the world’s economy. Drawing on his research into reputation systems, institutions, automation and social networks, Sundararajan will demonstrate that we are now entering the “fifth phase,” which will include:

  • a new melding of the individual and the institution
  • implications for risk management, regulation and the connectedness of human society
  • an evolution in trust as we move into a commercial world of autonomous vehicles and everyday robots

Capitalizing on the Sharing Economy and Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism

In the 18th century economy of Adam Smith, most business was conducted between individuals; the one-person shop and the small business were the heart of the economy. Over the next two centuries, we witnessed the emergence of the organizational economy, with most economic activity conducted in large cohesive companies with managerial hierarchies and full-time employees. This economy still dominates the U.S. and Western Europe today – but the tides are changing. We are now entering a third phase, transitioning from 20th century managerial capitalism to 21st century crowd-based capitalism. Platforms like Uber, Airbnb, Didi Kuaidi, Etsy and Handy – what we collectively call “the sharing economy” – are early examples of a future in which peer-to-peer exchange is increasingly prevalent and the crowd replaces the corporation at the center of capitalist enterprise. Arun Sundararajan makes sense of the massive venture capital investments being made in the sharing economy, explaining the convergence of digital and socioeconomic forces that have catalyzed the transition. He outlines how business models will change in industries ranging from real estate and transportation to energy and healthcare, and what companies need to do thrive in this new economy. He also discusses how this shift to crowd-based capitalism alters what drives economic growth, the nature of regulation, the sources of commercial trust and risk, what it means to have a job, and how connected we are to each other.

Articles

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Books & Research

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Recommendations

“Information technology is disrupting a host of industries including transportation, hotels, banks, and marketplaces. The very nature of work is changing. Sundararajan offers an insightful guide to the forces shaping our economy todayand tomorrow.”

—Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google

“Fortunes have already been made in the sharing economy, yet the biggest impact on business and our daily lives is yet to come. There’s no better guide to this transformation than Arun Sundararajan’s book.”

—Erik Brynjolfsson, co-author of The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

“Sundararajan has taken all the loose talk about the sharing economy and given it a rigorous and readable treatment. He makes it clear that there is no one model for these new economic forms, but that taken together, they represent a profound shift in how we think about everything from utility to capital to labor to employment.”

—Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus and Here Comes Everybody

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Intro Video

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The Future of Our Economy is "Shared"