The future of platforms

More than ever before, the ways we live, work, and move in the physical world are shaped by digital platforms. These online ecosystems have become lived-in spaces where we connect and collaborate. And naturally, this merging of the physical and the virtual comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges. 

The Platform Leaders community brings together practitioners, academics and policymakers. Through the exchange of ideas and experiences, we build the future of digital ecosystems together. Dialogue across disciplines helps us realise the full potential and future of platforms – for all participants. 




Join the conversation

At the Platform Leaders summit in November 2020, our speakers tackled important issues in the platform space. The role of digital ecosystems in a post-pandemic economy, the link between trust and platform governance and the shifting regulatory landscape globally were some of the key themes of the event.

Now, for the next gathering of Platform Leaders, we’ve assembled another group of global thought-leaders who will provide unique perspectives on the future of platforms.

The Spring 2021 conference focuses on three main themes: platform impact, regulation, and talent.

The Future of Platforms

Real world impact

CEO and Co-founder of Delivery Hero, Niklas Östberg, will share his thoughts on what it takes to create, scale and manage what is now the largest food delivery platform in the world outside of China. We’ll explore how his platform’s success enabled resilience for its users and ecosystem participants – including drivers and restaurants – in these difficult times.

Strong platforms create opportunities not just economically, but socially as well. We’ll also discuss with Niklas how digital ecosystems develop the social skillsets of the future: collaboration, creativity, and experimentation. And, recognising how meteoric success can come with challenges, we’ll speak about the future of platforms like DeliveryHero and hear Niklas’ view on where digital platforms are heading.


Getting regulation right

Platforms may be a recent advancement, but the tension between freedom and oversight is age-old. At its best, regulation protects people and clarifies the rules of the game. Taken too far, regulation can stifle innovation and spark nationalist protectionism. Can we use regulation to build stability and trust, without losing the space to explore?

We’ll hear much more on this topic, beginning with Max Beverton-Palmer, Head of the Internet Policy Unit at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Max will open this session by presenting the Institute’s latest research. Their recent survey looks at varying consumer perceptions of regulation requirements across different countries. 

The following panel discussion will take a focused look at the latest proposed regulations in Europe, including the much discussed Digital Service Act (DSA) and the Digital Market Act (DMA). Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, Member of the European Parliament and a member of the working group that drafted the new proposal, will speak from practical experience about the importance of getting regulation right. Professor Annabelle Gawer of the University of Surrey will share key insights from her newly published report on the social impact of platforms. And Oliver Bethell, Google’s Head of Competition EMEA, will bring a business perspective to this discussion on regulation and the future of platforms.


The search for talent

The emergence of ecosystems has upended ideas of management and leadership. Leaders need to lean on different approaches to embrace and shape an increasingly non-linear, dynamic and open platform world. But what makes a successful platform leader in practice? And how can this mindset be fostered?

During this panel, we’ll look at what platforms demand of their leaders and builders. Peter Evans of the Platform Strategy Institute will present his research on the profiles platforms are currently recruiting, characteristics that signal success as a platform leader and how to train for these skills. We’ll hear from Annemie Ress, who brings years of experience as a talent leader and innovator at organisations like Skype, eBay, and PayPal. We’ll also talk about the supply gap between platform demand and people with the right skills. Veena Marr will share insights from her work as a headhunter at Russell Reynolds for industry-leading tech companies. And the Head of Recruiting at one of the fastest growing platforms will bring the perspective of one of the world’s fastest growing platforms, and talk about recruitment strategy and the most in-demand profiles of today.


Register now

The Platform Leaders Conference brings together leading voices to talk about issues that matter. This event is a unique opportunity to be part of that conversation. Sign up now to save your place.



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