Platforms and Ecosystems – Enabling the Digital Economy

For the private sector, digital platforms come with the promise of exponential growth, scale through network effects and no assets needed. The biggest digital platforms outperformed the S&P 500 over the last decade. Research shows that emerging digital ecosystems could account for more than $60 trillion in revenue by 2025 (or more than 30% of global corporate revenue), and yet only 3% of established companies have adopted an active platform strategy.


For the public sector, digital platforms and ecosystems are designed as core strategic elements for smart cities and smart nations. Future policies can have a significant impact on how quickly platforms can grow and start creating economic and social value at scale. There are thus important governance choices requiring strong private-public collaboration in order to maximize the positive impact of digital platforms for both industry and society.

The project is related to the Digital Transformation of Industries World Economic Forum initiative, and it is a continuation of the 2017 work ‘Unlocking Value in the Platform Economy’. The first project stage aims to capture the landscape and priorities for private-public collaboration on digital platform business models, ecosystems and partnerships, as well as the important angles of responsibility, trust and governance.