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Platforms are eating the world – How should European business and society respond?

Seven of the world’s ten most valuable companies are platform businesses. None of them is European. 60% of the ‘Unicorn’ billion dollar start-ups are platform businesses. Only a small proportion were born in Europe.

Europe’s share of the world’s top 100 public companies is declining in both number and value.

Why? The US and China have adopted - faster and at greater scale - advanced digital business models based on ‘platform thinking’. These leverage the full power of software and hyper-connectedness. They work in very different ways to traditional business models and outperform them on all measures of growth and value.

While platforms are commercially very powerful and disruptive, they increasingly have significant socio-economic impact too: on trade flows between companies and countries, on jobs and the nature of employment, and the way they exploit personal data.

From a commercial point of view there is a real danger that Europe falls behind the US and China in preparing for the emergent 4th Industrial Revolution*. Currently we are not translating our lead in scientific research into the same levels of economic value.

At the same time Europe has an opportunity to take a lead in creating fairer social frameworks in which new digital business models can thrive.

* This refers to the World Economic Forum’s definition of a convergence of the physical, digital and biological world’s.

To respond effectively to the opportunities and threats European business leaders, investors and policy makers across all sectors must quickly understand - in much more detail - the new concepts, technologies and skills underpinning advanced digital business models and platforms and learn how to manage, incorporate, co-exist and/or compete with them.

The first European Platform Economy Summit has been specially designed to address this challenge.

The Summit brings together C-Suite decision makers from across multiple sectors and countries with leaders of platform businesses, government officials, investors and global experts to:

  • Discuss a European approach to exploiting and managing platform-based business models
  • Explore new opportunities for businesses and government to stimulate new growth and value, individually and collectively

Specifically this interactive summit will help leaders to:

  • Understand, in detail, the opportunities and threats from platform-based business models
  • Identify practical opportunities to incorporate and/or compete with them
  • Clarify the role of new enabling technologies, like Blockchain, AI and the Internet of Things
  • Identify the new skills, structures and metrics needed to thrive in a digital economy
  • Inform government policy on the most constructive approaches to regulation and broader industrial strategy

The Summit features new analysis, cutting-edge case studies and practical next step actions from the world's leading experts, over two carefully curated days on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 September.

Plus additional training options either side of the main summit:

  • Introduction to Platform Strategy Workshop - Monday 16 September.
  • Platform Innovation Masterclass - Thursday  on 19 September.

What's the Platform Economy Summit about?


Hear from business model transformation specialist and Executive Producer of the Platform Economy Summit Europe, Simon Torrance.

Discover what the summit is all about, and why the topic is so important to business and society.

How can you benefit from joining the Platform Economy Summit?


What has the Platform Economy Summit Europe been designed for? 

What will it cover? 

How can you and your organisation benefit from being part of it?

Watch the video to find out.

Peter Altmaier, Minister of Economic Affairs, Germany


Peter Altmaier - the German Minister of Economic Affairs - delivered the host country welcome address at Platform Economy Summit 2018.

Watch the video to see what he had to say about why we need to re-think industrial strategies.

Business model portfolios


The most successful companies invest heavily in incorporating platform services into their business models.

Europe is falling behind


Europe is falling behind in adopting advanced digital models. It's champions are not increasing value at the same rate as the US and China.

Platform businesses outperform all others


Platform businesses outperform all others on growth rates, return on assets, margins and valuation multiples.

Europe currently has only a 4% share of this market.

Apple - the first $1trillion company


Apple became the world's first $1 trillion company by investing in a platform-enabled business model