Varied perspectives to spark collective thinking

Digital platforms are a source of innovation and societal transformation. They are also not immune to problems and challenges. The mission of Platform Leaders is to seek out better solutions to the challenges that many digital platforms – and, by extension, we ourselves – face.

The November 2021 virtual conference again brought together the different communities that are building the future of digital platforms. With Platform Leaders, academics, practitioners and policy makers have the opportunity to converse across disciplines to further our understanding of platforms and their ecosystems.


Platforms as a force for good

Chris Tsakalakis, CEO of microfinance platform Kiva, underlined the social role and economic impact of platforms in his keynote conversation with Laure Claire Reillier, COO of Launchworks. People often ask whether platform models work in a not-for-profit context. Chris’ story and insights about running a social impact non-profit as a platform-based tech company gave us a clear answer: a resounding yes.


Platforms as catalysts for digital transformation

The importance of this role was reinforced throughout the conference. We heard from our Digital Transformation & Platforms panelists about how platforms are enabling the digitalisation of entire sectors or industries, like real estate platform Meilleurs Agents, or bringing innovative practices into established firms, like Taskrabbit has done at IKEA.


Platforms as choice architects

In the panel on Platforms as Choice Architects, our speakers explored the ways in which platforms could frame choices to minimise friction while ensuring positive outcomes for platform participants. The principles around choice architecture are still new, but their effects on our everyday online behaviours are very real. Our panelists brought perspectives from a range of viewpoints – from regulatory bodies to research institutions to Google.


A time for platform thinking

“It’s an exciting time for platform thinking,” said Benoit Reillier, CEO of Launchworks and co-chair of Platform Leaders. Benoit closed the November conference with a reminder of how important the role of platforms has become: “The content we consume, the holidays we choose, the house we buy, even the life partner we select are choices that are important and increasingly mediated by platforms.”


Catch up on the conversation

We’ve been covering these themes – digital transformation, choice architecture, and impact – in a series of in-depth features. Stay connected via the Platform Leaders community and newsletter for more information.


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