The 4th Sector

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The 4th Sector


What is the 4th sector?

A set of principles, rules and economic models that lead to a legal framework to institutionalize P2P, open and collaborative socio-economic practices.

The 4th sector is proposed in continuity with the development of the public, private and the social (or solidarity) sectors.

The 4th sector is the economy behind the Blockchain Revolution & Web3.0

Metaverse – Cryptocurrencies – Soulbound Tokens (SBT) – Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT).

The term 4th sector was strategically chosen to relate to the past development of the 4th sector in Quebec and make it easier for politicians to digest. It provided a roadmap based on the historical achievements of Le Chantier de l’Economie Sociale (https://chantier.qc.ca/), a Quebec advocacy group that help institutionalize the social economy in Quebec and throughout Canada. This lead to the creation of social economy ministries at the provincial and the federal level.


The term was proposed by Sensorica during their effort to create a legal framework for the Collaborative Economy in Quebec, Canada. Sensorica published the 4th Sector Rationale document to inform this initiative. This was done in the context of the NOICE project.

The NOICE project’s main goal was to create a special economic zone in Montreal, Canada, to explore and experiment with P2P practices, Collaborative Economy, Commons-Based Peer Production.


The P2P, open and collaborative economy cannot be subsumed to the social economy. The legal forms created to channel efforts in the social economy are not adequate for open network type organizations that are prevalent in the P2P sphere. Moreover, the governance and economic models used in the P2P economy do not map into the social economy. federal level.

The Public, Private
and Social/Non-Governmental sectors

  • The 1st sector is the state sector of publicly-owned enterprises which cater for public goods that are not necessarily carried out by the for-profit sector.

  • The 2nd sector is the private for-profit enterprises.

  • The 3rd sector is the sector of the social and non-profit NGO’s, which are the service organizations solving civil society issues that are not well taken care of by the first and second sectors.