Symplatform is the place where academic knowledge meets the practice world to foster a critical discussion on what platforms are, how they work and what they can become for people, organizations and our society.

It is a joint project developed by Trinity College Dublin, Politecnico di Milano School of Management, and Audencia Business School.

The third edition of Symplatform took place in April 2022, the introductory video is below.

Symplatform 4 – taking place in 2023 – will be announced by the end of the year.

Why a symposium on platforms?

“How can a major business segment be invaded and conquered in a matter of months by an upstart with none of the resources traditionally deemed essential for survival, let alone market dominance? And why is this happening today in one industry after another? The answer is the power of the platform—a new business model that uses technology to connect people, organizations, and resources in an interactive ecosystem in which amazing amounts of value can be created and exchanged.”

(Parker, Van Alstyne and Choudary, Platform Revolution, 2016)

This quote refers to companies such as UberAirBnb, and BlaBlaCar that over recent years have had a significant impact on the market. Digital platforms such as these are challenging established companies and approaching the market with different business models, marketing philosophies, and supply chain configurations, all of which challenge decades of management research.

The peculiarities of these businesses have been investigated over the last two decades in economic and management literature, but growing relevance in the modern economy is calling for an even greater effort.

The aim of Symplatform is:

  • Sharing knowledge and collaboration between scholars in the field from various perspectives (management, innovation, marketing, IT, human resources, and all other fields impacted by digital platforms) presenting and discussing papers.
  • Discuss with and involve managers and entrepreneurs in the conversation, bringing forth their perspectives to guide future research and have a real-world impact.

Bridging the gap between these two sides creates a knowledge sharing platform where traditional papers, presentations, and keynotes speeches are enriched by collaborative workshops that bring scholars and managers together.

The Format

Platform Arena: Guest speakers will provide their view on the mixed audience of scholars and managers in order to receive constructive feedback.

Latest findings from platform research: Scholars will present their latest papers to receive feedback from colleagues and professionals.

Platform Acceleration Lab: Professionals working on platform projects will present their work and discuss it with peers, while leveraging Platform Thinking tools to let their idea move forward.

The collaborative nature of this Symposium limits participation for scholars,which will go through a peer-review process for abstracts, and for managers on a first-come, first-serve basis.