Tomorrow’s digital platform economy – today

We all know the axiom: the only constant is change. In the digital platform economy, even change is not constant! As new technologies that carry implications for digital platforms emerge, we’re faced with a fresh set of opportunities and questions. It’s as important as ever that we, as platform leaders, have a chance to actively shape the debate. 

Platform Leaders brings together professionals from a range of fields, including practitioners, entrepreneurs, academics and policymakers. The conference provides a unique space for cross-disciplinary dialogue, facilitating the exchange of perspectives, experiences and insights. In doing so, our goal is to collectively unlock the ever-evolving potential of digital platforms.



Charting the course for digital platforms

For the first Platform Leaders event of 2023, we’ll explore what the landscape looks like for digital platforms today. Generative AI will be a central theme, in line with our previous discussions of cutting-edge developments like Web3.0. We’ll revisit the question of how platforms can move the needle on sustainability, especially in light of increased consumer awareness. And we’ll return to our ongoing conversation about the interplay of innovation and regulation, looking at how recent European legislation and a new UK regulator are already changing the rules of the game. 

The next event will focus on three topics: GenAI, regulation and the circular economy

Tomorrow’s digital platform economy – today with Platform Leaders


Generative AI’s game-changing influence

The public conversation around Open AI’s cornerstone tools, ChatGPT and DALL-E, and more recently Google’s Bard, is reaching fever pitch, and it’s not just platform experts that are considering what AI means for our field. But generative AI does have significant implications for content platforms in particular, such as YouTube and TikTok. Not only is generative AI poised to redefine the business models that these platforms rely on, but it also introduces ethical questions about how content platforms create value propositions for all participants.

To explore this in more depth, we’ll speak with Geoff Parker, Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth and a visiting scholar at MIT’s Initiative for the Digital Economy. A leading voice and highly respected researcher in the platform space, Geoff has over 20 years of experience in the field and co-authored the successful book “Platform Revolution”. His recent piece in the Harvard Business Review, “How Will Generative AI Disrupt Video Platforms?”, will act as a jumping-off point for this fireside chat with Launchworks & Co COO and Platform Leaders co-chair, Laure Claire Reillier.


Navigating a new regulatory paradigm

If minimal oversight was once the de facto norm, today’s platform entrepreneurs and practitioners are facing a transformative shift in what innovation and expansion look like for their businesses. Game-changing regulatory packages – the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Market Act (DMA) – have come into effect in Europe. Simultaneously, the UK has formed the new Digital Market Unit (DMU), aiming at tackling competition concerns online. 

In this panel, we’ll hear from Dr. Euan MacMillan, Director of the new DMU at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), along with Vanessa Turner, lawyer and Senior Advisor – Competition at The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC). Returning to Platform Leaders is Oliver Bethell, Google’s Head of Competition for EMEA. Richard Feasey, Inquiry Chair at the CMA, will moderate this panel. His expertise in regulation implementation and his background as a digital policy researcher will further round out the discussion.

Thanks to this diverse set of backgrounds and perspectives, the panel will explore questions such as: are the new regulations fit for purpose? And how will innovation continue to flourish in this new regulatory environment?


The circular economy: platform-powered sustainability

By their very nature, platform business models are well-suited to facilitating the circular economy and the sharing of resources. With our planet’s climate in flux, we’re in a race against time to establish sustainable ecosystems. To help us explore how platforms can do that, we’ve assembled a panel of experts and practitioners who are tackling this challenge.

We’ll be joined by Thomas Berry, Senior Director of Sustainable Business at FARFETCH, and Lucy Peacock, eBay’s Head of pre-loved Fashion. Since the preloved fashion segment already lends itself well to various “reuse” models, like resale or refurbishing, these platforms are a fantastic proving ground for circular ecosystems that optimise their value chains. Our panellists bring a wealth of experience in creating the conditions for circularity, such as eBay’s acquisition of start-ups like The Volte, a luxury fashion rental platform, and Sneaker Con Digital, which uses AI to authenticate items. We’ll also learn how FARFETCH’s ambitious sustainability goals are driving their efforts to connect with their customer base and encourage consumer adoption of their resale marketplace.

This panel will be chaired by Elle Tucker, sharing economy advisor and author of “Thanks for Sharing”. Elle’s book speaks directly to consumers about her experiences with an array of platforms and marketplaces, working to educate the public on the value of embracing a sharing economy. As platform participation and positive network effects are such vital components of achieving and maintaining circularity, her perspective will lend another dimension to our conversation.


Connect, debate, share

The Platform Leaders Conference is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for entrepreneurs, academics, policymakers and practitioners alike. Secure your free spot today and join the conversation.



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