NewCities Launches Major Research Initiative on Trust as Driver of Sharing Economy

  • ‘Designing for Trust’ to be led by Nina Teng, Graduate Researcher at Oxford University
  • Initiative launched with the support of Esurance and NestAway Technologies

Montréal, Canada – July 10, 2018. The NewCities Foundation has today launched its new research initiative Designing for Trust: Security, Privacy and Collaborative Consumption.

Trust is radically changing the way urbanites consume products and use services. Yet, it is a little understood phenomenon which urban innovators and policymakers alike can build upon to create valued urban services. This research initiative will examine trust as an unexplored pillar of the sharing economy and its impact on behavioral patterns in cities.

Research will be led by Nina Teng, a Graduate Researcher at Oxford University and a Senior Fellow at the NewCities Foundation. Ms Teng will notably look at the impact of collaborative consumption on social trust in cities.

John Rossant, Chairman, NewCities said:
“Cities are witnessing a shift towards trust-based interactions as a result of the sharing economy. As city-dwellers, we are interacting in ways that would have been unimaginable less than a decade ago, including sharing rides with strangers or admitting them into our homes while away. This NewCities research initiative comes at a time when these kinds of interactions are increasingly becoming a feature of urban life.”

Nina Teng, Senior Fellow, NewCities said:
“I am excited to work with NewCities in exploring how the sharing economy fosters social trust within cities globally. Although the collaborative nature of the sharing economy can increase trust among city-dwellers, user concerns of personal safety and online data privacy have emerged. How and to what extent should companies and policymakers address such user trust issues? How exactly does the sharing economy foster trust in cities and how can policymakers play a role? We aim to answer these questions with on-the-ground perspectives from multiple stakeholders around the world as the sharing economy increasingly transforms the social fabric of city life.”

Ms Teng will look at a number of city case studies from around the world in order to illustrate the effects of adopting friendly policies related to the sharing economy versus a more guarded approach to enabling collaborative consumption.

The final report will be launched in April 2019, and will be presented at the NewCities Summit 2019. The Designing for Trust research initiative is supported by Esurance and NestAway Technologies.

Amarendra Sahu, Founder of NestAway Technologies said:
“As we build India’s much needed social infrastructure of affordable and accessible city housing, trust is key to our success. We know that the idea of trust is key to all urban relationships within our business – between owners, tenants, civic bodies and the government. We are excited to work with the NewCities Foundation to explore the idea of how trust can be promoted to ensure the urban migrant can access needed services, such as housing.”

Find out more about the Designing for Trust: Security, Privacy and Collaborative Consumption initiative at:


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About NewCities

NewCities is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to making cities more inclusive, connected, healthy and vibrant. Focusing on people, places and policies, we bring together a global network of public and private sector leaders and Urban Tech innovators to foster results-oriented collaboration. We also produce actionable research that can be implemented by decision-makers across sectors.