Digital platforms have emerged as catalysts for disruption, innovation and unprecedented connectivity, affecting not only our workplaces and economies, but the farthest reaches of our personal lives. The Platform Leaders conference serves as a gathering ground for visionary thinkers and industry leaders alike to explore the potential of platforms as part of our broader digital ecosystem.
A striking group of voices came together for the June 2023 Platform Leaders event. Together, they discussed today’s challenges and opportunities in the Platform Economy. With an even balance of practitioners, academics, policy makers and experts in attendance, the conference continues to encourage a vibrant exchange of ideas, insights and fresh perspectives.
Generative AI, Regulation and the Circular Economy
While previous Platform Leaders events have invited us to imagine possible futures, this iteration of the conference confronted the emerging technologies that are already radically changing our world.
We heard from Geoff Parker, Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth and a visiting scholar at MIT’s Initiative for the Digital Economy, in a keynote conversation with Laure Claire Reillier, Platform Leaders Co-Chair and COO of Launchworks & Co. A leading expert on platform research, Geoff spoke about generative AI as the latest disruptive force in our technological ecosystem: the possibilities for new markets, changing models of value creation, and how he sees innovation already at work in his classroom.
The Platform Regulation at a Crossroads panel brought together experts from Google, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority and its newly created Digital Markets Unit (DMU) for a discussion of how new regulation of digital markets and services can be effectively enforced. Representing policy makers, consumers and practitioners, the panellists looked critically at questions of resourcing, stakeholder participation and regulatory coordination to see if the latest policies in Europe and the UK are truly fit for purpose.
Themes of resources and coordination were also through-lines in the session on the circular economy. We heard from entrepreneurs who are working on the front lines to rethink longstanding, linear models of production and consumption. Practitioners from eBay and FARFETCH spoke of their experiences of developing new models of circularity and working to enable better choices for people and the planet.
Conversations for today – and for the future
In his closing remarks, Benoit Reillier, CEO of Launchworks & Co and Platform Leaders Co-Chair, noted how changing technologies can be the impetus for innovation. “The strategic question that needs to be asked is not just ‘How can I do what I’ve been doing for years more effectively?’” he said. “But it’s about ‘What are the new things? What are the new products, the new jobs, the new markets, the new types of organisations that are enabled by these technologies?’”
More in-depth insights to come
Questions like these are what drive the Platform Leaders community. In many ways, the future is already here. Therefore, the challenge becomes: how can we harness it?
We’ll be sharing more in-depth insights from the June 2023 Platform Leaders conference, with individual coverage of our conversations about generative AI, regulation and the circular economy. Subscribe to Platform Leaders to keep up with the latest news and updates, and look out for more information about upcoming online and offline events!