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11th november 2015. In the past few years we have witnessed the birth of new business models linked to digital environments where the consumer is the undisputed protagonist, be it as predictor (TripAdvisor) or as a piece in the business mechanism (Airbnb, Blablacar…) thanks to the new collaborative business model based on relationships of trust.

Beyond the sphere of economy, the consumer and/or citizen demands new spaces for participation and transparency in fields such as governance (open data) or in the management of common resources that affect their lives, motivated by the wish to change their surroundings. This willpower can take the form of social entrepreneurship projects or make useof resources such as crowdfunding platforms.

Aspects that used to be obscure begin to open up to people as a result of the democratization of information brought about by the technological revolution. Therefore, the boundaries between consumers/companies or citizens/administrations are becoming permeable, particularly within the collective known as millenials (young people born in the 80s and 90s), digital natives who channel their demands and requirements as consumers–comparing and choosing what they consume in the global shop window that is the internet–as well as their wish for greater participation.

Also affected by this relationship is the pairingemployee-employer. Despite the constraint of their financial obligations, these young people are increasingly driven by their own motivations while they escape hierarchical labels, acknowledge flexibility, appreciate being valued and choose self-employment as a source of personal fulfillment, even though on occasion, let us not forget, they are forced to self-employment because of the economic situation.

The digital transformation in work environments is beginning to give these people a voice, while it also gives companies very clear competitive advantages, for example through idea crowdsourcing, a greater commitment in employees (under the logic of “more participation, more implication”), the detection of internal talent or synergies created outside the company through open innovation models, and a reduction in costs made possible by process automation.

Bullet Find out more: ideas social networks, towards participation and listening.

These steps are crucial for the development of companies and institutions within a global environment that is highly competitive and fragmented, where innovation is more and more important. In that regard, shared information and knowledge, be it in a consumer-company, citizen-administration oremployee-employerrelationship, channeled through technology as a commodity, is valuable raw material that generates opportunities and changes.