No results...

Platform economy in 2035: European Commission foresight study on next-generation online platforms

1 Mar 2024

Platform economy in 2035: European Commission foresight study on next-generation online platforms

PPMI is currently implementing a research project ‘Participatory foresight on next generation online platforms’ for DG CNECT.   

This two-year foresight exercise is exploring next-generation online platforms and their role in shaping European society and economy. Online platforms play a key role in driving Europe’s digital transformation, offering many opportunities for their users and innovative solutions for citizens, the private and the public sectors. Yet, their rapid growth and increasing role pose a variety of challenges and uncertainties. The future evolution of platforms and their impact on social and economic spheres need to be better comprehended.  

This study contributes to enhancing the European Commission’s understanding of the potential challenges and opportunities associated with the ongoing platformisation trend. It also contributes to strengthening the Commission’s capabilities in using participatory foresight techniques to inform policymaking in the future.   

PPMI is part of a consortium undertaking this study together with TNO. To explore the potential evolution of the platform economy, the study harnesses participatory foresight techniques. The study team engages a variety of stakeholders in co-creation and co-assessment exercises to uncover different future scenarios and their impacts. During these participatory sessions, we employ several foresight tools, including backcasting, visioning, road-mapping, trend and wildcard analysis, among others.   

The project is divided into three foresight ‘seasons’, exploring 10 topics overall. 

The first season covered the topics of the future of the internet, virtual world and B2B industrial platforms. The foresight activities involved over 150 representatives of large companies and start-ups, academia, research institutions, online platforms and other organisations, including Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Qualcomm, Siemens, Airbus, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Open Source Initiative and many others. Feel free to explore the key takeaways from the foresight sessions on the future of future of the Internetvirtual worlds and B2B industrial platforms 

Season 2, launched in February 2024, covers four topics: 

  • future of government as a platform; 
  • platformisation of health care; 
  • digital deliberation platforms; 
  • future of IP in light of platformisation trends. 

All future outputs of this study will be published on this page – stay tuned! If you wish to join our mailing list and receive even more insider study updates and insights, let us know at