Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy: May 2017

Minutes for the first meeting of the Scottish Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy.

Attendees and apologies

In attendance

  • Helen Goulden – Nesta (Chair)
  • Chris Yiu – Uber
  • Claire Mack – Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI)
  • Douglas Shand – Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC)
  • Graeme Smith – Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC)
  • Dr Jamie Coleman – Codebase
  • John Schmidt - Shepherd & Wedderburn
  • Malcolm Roughead – VisitScotland
  • Polly Purvis – ScotlandIS
  • Corey Reilly – Scottish Government
  • Lorraine King – Scottish Government (SG)
  • Jamie Steed – Scottish Government (Secretariat)

Via telephone

  • Patrick Robinson – AirBnB


  • Jonathan Coburn – Social Value Lab
  • Professor Russel Griggs – Chair of Regulatory Review Group (RRG)

Items and actions


The chair welcomed the group and thanked all for accepting the invitation to join the panel and invited introductions.

Update including background and purpose

In May 2016, some consumer and competition powers were devolved to the Scottish Parliament, including consumer advice, education and information, consumer advocacy, and the power to act with the Secretary of State to request the Competition and Markets Authority to carry out a second stage market investigation. In the same time period, there were a number of strands of activity concerning the collaborative economy. During the evidence gathering stages of “Ensuring that Markets Work Well for Businesses and Consumers – A Strategic Assessment of Markets in Scotland”, it was highlighted that given the growing importance of the collaborative economy (referred to as disruptive business models) and that SG should develop a consistent and coherent view on its position on these alternative approaches to markets.

The panel’s membership has a diverse range of interests and will be guided by data and evidence. A key element of the panel’s remit is to advise how to balance the challenges and the opportunities and to ensure that emerging business models don’t have any unfair competitive advantage over traditional business models.

Declaration of conflicts

The chair noted that the membership has a range of interests and invited declarations of conflict from the panel and advised that they should declare their views, interests and conflicts with professional remits.

Terms of reference

The panel discussed the terms of reference and felt that the third and fourth key considerations should be more action orientated and a new one added to include education and ensuring that Scotland has the right skill set to contribute to the collaborative economy.

Action 1 – Secretariat to revise the key considerations for the panel within the terms of reference and circulate for comment

Supporting documentation

a. Key considerations report

The key considerations report brings together a range of literature that was considered during early policy development. It was noted as the report was drafted at the end of last year, some of the more recent developments may not be full reflected in the paper due to the speed at which the sector evolves. The panel agreed that it was a useful document and where possible it would be helpful to have more Scottish specific information included. Business to business transactions were highlighted as a global opportunity to attract businesses to Scotland. The panel discussed how technology will change the job market and that Scotland needs to have the skills to adapt to the changes. It was noted that considerable work has been undertaken globally on the collaborative economy - the work of the panel needs to take account of this and complement it.

Action 2 – Secretariat to expand the key considerations report by including a Scottish context section

b. YouGov stats

As there is currently very little Scottish specific data available, SG commissioned YouGov to carry out a short survey to better understand Scottish consumers’ experiences of and views about the collaborative economy. It was noted that consideration was given to include provider questions in the survey however when tested, the sample size was too small to give meaningful results.

The panel agreed that even though the YouGov survey results were small, they were in line with comparative data. To build on these results it may be possible to include a number of specific questions about the collaborative economy into the digital economy business survey that SG will be issuing later in the year.

Action 3 – SG to explore the possibility of including questions into the digital economy business survey later this year

Action 4 – Panel members to consider what questions should be included in the digital economy business survey later this year

Panel sessions

The panel acknowledged that the brief provided by the Cabinet Secretary was broad but that the thematic issues identified were the right ones. To ensure that the panel is as inclusive as possible, a call for evidence was issued on 24 April and will close on 26 May. Evidence gathered will inform the panel and identify stakeholders that will be invited to contribute to panel sessions throughout 2017. The panel noted that things will happen quickly and that they should be mindful of the positive and negative effects that will result from this. This could also affect industries as consumer habits will change as the economy changes. The panel discussed recent technology enhancements and consumer habits which have resulted in job losses, job creation, retraining and reskilling within the workforce. To ensure that Scotland is set for success, the panel needs to have a mix of short and long term tangible actions.

Public engagement

The panel discussed approaches on how to engage members of the general public in their work. It was agreed that this was a positive element and should be included later in the process to test out thinking. The panel discussed including those working within the industry as well as consumers to gain wider insights.

Action 5 – Secretariat to draft proposal for public engagement

Areas for further investigation

The chair updated the group that there is a small budget assigned to the panel to assist its work, this will be used for on-going work and for the analysis of the call for evidence, however there may be surplus for research or data if required. The panel acknowledged this and this will be discussed at future panel meetings as required.


The panel agreed that communications from the group would be agreed at meetings and would be disseminated centrally to ensure clear and consistent messaging. To ensure transparency it was noted the minutes and papers would be published online.

Date and time of next meeting

A potential clash was identified for the original date of 7 June, revised options will be circulated.

Action 6 – Secretariat to circulate potential dates and members to indicate availability

The chair thanked everyone for their attendance and contributions and looked forward to seeing them at the next meeting.



Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Post: Scottish Government
Consumer and Competition Policy Unit
3rd Floor
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

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