The Talent


The ongoing digital reconfiguration of labour markets and work patterns has created something of a moving target when it comes to optimising productivity and sustaining growth through talent management.

The way in which organisations access, manage and develop talent appears to both stem from- and drive the ongoing expansion of the gig economy. The growing appreciation of work autonomy and work flexibility is forcing HR managers to abandon traditional job descriptions and hiring formats and design new approaches to talent management.

As we continue to envision the final destination of these changes, we think about the variety of pieces that will need to be crafted, defined, understood and positioned for the talent puzzle to be put together to the benefit of all stakeholders: companies, workers and society.

  • The anatomy of remote work as driven by increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR);
  • Up-skilling and re-skilling including through gamification;
  • Credentials and career development;
  • Emotional well-being in AI-driven work settings;
  • Motivation, purpose and autonomy of work;
  • Hiring and retaining talent including by application of AI;
  • The interaction of the talent economy and local economic development;
  • The regulatory and institutional challenges of transnational workforces

The Platform


The platform companies’ entrepreneurial approach to digital innovation has disrupted a growing number of economic sectors, unsurprisingly – to the primary benefit of customers and of the platforms.

But they inevitably impact other stakeholders and spheres of influence. With maturity of platforms and our ability to better understand the evidence of their impact to date, comes the growing appreciation of their impact on workers, local communities, cities, national economies as well as international development.

How do we maximise the positive impact of employment platforms and other types of digital platforms on people, economies and the environment whilst safeguarding against the risks of abandoning traditional, well-established patterns of work and their associated impacts like career development, access to social protection, job security etc.

We look for potential answers in:

  • Deployment of platform cooperatives and cooperative business models;
  • The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in platform governance; 
  • Data ownership;
  • Algorithmic management;
  • Local development potential of platform data;
  • Platform companies’ corporate citizenship and approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impact models;
  • Development and governance of digital platforms for public good, or public service platforms;
  • Regulatory challenges to optimising impacts on workers, communities, society, and the environment; 
  • eXtended Reality (XR), which encompasses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR), all set to play a fundamental role in the “metaverse”, a convergence of real, digital, and virtual worlds.

The Green


The digital transition that has enabled the rapid growth of digital platforms and other forms of innovation is taking place simultaneously with the ongoing and urgent green transition brought about by the worsening climate crisis and resource scarcity.

Growing investment is channelled into innovating traditional patterns of resources and energy production, storage, distribution and use in order to abandon polluting and climate-warming fossil fuels for energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy.

The doorway to climate-neutral Europe by 2050 will be unlocked jointly by the “three Ds” of the green energy transition: decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation. Yet, the two transitions, green and digital, have to date been pursued largely in ignorance of each other.

We contribute to uniting the green and digital transitions into a successful “twin” transition, which leaves no one behind. We do so by deploying our knowledge of digital platforms to key challenges of the green transition and by managing knowledge in ways which mobilise, inform and inspire innovators from both camps in support of their twin’s success.

We focus on:

  • Skills, up-skilling, re-skilling and micro-credentials for the green economy; as there is no green transition without digital skills;
  • Digital skills and platform economy prospects for diversifying income and livelihoods for people in regions dominated by sunset fossil fuel industries (e.g. coal mining – coal regions in transition);
  • Ethical, accountable deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) to platformisation of energy, construction, resource stewardship and other sectors of relevance to the green transition;
  • Cooperative governance models and lessons learned for decentralisation of energy and the advancement of energy cooperatives, energy communities, household and public sector prosumers, etc.
  • Responsible deployment of AI to energy storage, network access, energy poverty, and other challenges to just, green energy transition.     




Our cross-cutting themes are additional issues that intersect with all three of our main focus areas and which we aim to integrate into our project designs: 

  • Gender equality, diversity and inclusion,
  • Livelihoods and poverty reduction,
  • Well-being,
  • Technology,
  • Environmental sustainability.