Business & work in the era of digital platforms

BRIE-ETLA and SWiPE are two recently initiated research collaborations around digital platforms: the former’s primary interest is on implications for business strategies and national policies, the latter’s emphasis is on entrepreneurial and working life implications. BRIE-ETLA and SWiPE arrange a joint seminar

”Business and Work in the Era of Digital Platforms” Sonore hall at Musiikkitalo, The Helsinki Music Centre, Mannerheimintie 13 A, 00100 Helsinki

on Tuesday, August 30th, starting 8:30am (coffee/tea from 8:00am) and ending at noon (with a light lunch/snack from 11:30am).


08:00 COFFEE.

08:30 SESSION I, chaired by Petri Rouvinen, ETLA.

John Zysman, BRIE: Platform Economy – Utopias, dystopias and new realities.
Aija Leiponen, Cornell University: Why platforms, and so what?
Discussion: First remarks by Tero Ojanperä (Vision+) and Timo Seppälä (Aalto University and ETLA).

10:00 SESSION II, chaired by Anne Kovalainen, University of Turku.

Martin Kenney, University of California, Davis: Platforms and future of work.
Mervi Hasu, FIOH: Employees as designers of platform-mediated future work.
Discussion: First remarks by Tuomo Alasoini (Tekes) and Timo Lindholm (Sitra).

11:30-12:00 LUNCH.

Participation is free of charge but registration is compulsory.

Digital platforms, roughly understood as cloud-based software stacks that enable multi-sided interaction, have shaken product and labor markets worldwide. Industry after industry has been disrupted by companies such as Airbnb and Uber, which exploit platforms in challenging incumbent corporations; a new series of disruptions might be under way, as prominent business-to-business platforms start to emerge. In the US, an estimated 10% of the labor force participates in the platform-mediated ”gig economy” in some capacity; in Finland, the corresponding share is some 1-2% but on the rise.

BRIE-ETLA is a joint effort of BRIE, The Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, located at the campus of University of California, Berkeley, and ETLA, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy. Besides Tekes, current BRIE-ETLA partners include The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, Nordea Finland, Vision+ and Wärtsilä.

In spring 2016, Academy of Finland selected SWiPE, Smart Work in Platform Economy, as one of its flagship strategic research efforts focusing on renewal of economy and working life. The SWiPE consortium is led by University of Turku in collaboration with FIOH, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and ETLA. The consortium collaborates with several national and international partners.