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Politecnico di Milano

Platform Thinking: what’s beyond Uber?

Learn how to think through platforms, they are changing our behaviours as users…but can change our mind as innovators

Platform Thinking series

This is a three-MOOCs series on Platform Thinking, the first “Platform Thinking: What’s beyond Uber” aims to set the baselines of what platforms are and how they work, the second – “Platform Thinking: designing a platform” - deals with the creation and launch of platform and the third one - “Platform Thinking: exploiting data through platforms” – explores the role of big data in the platform world. These three courses are three independent modules, but this is the order we suggest if you plan to follow all of them.

See the other MOOCs of the series.

If you are a POLIMI student you have to log in using your Person Code. This is the only way to prove your participation in this course for official recognition.

Course description

Over the last two decades, platforms have transformed the way, we search for information (e.g., Google), buy goods (e.g., Amazon), consume news and media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) and travel and move around (e.g., Airbnb, Booking.com, Uber and TripAdvisor). This phenomenon is known as 'the power of platforms', defined as an innovative business model that relies on digital technologies to assemble people, knowledge and companies in an interactive ecosystem where value can be created, captured and shared. These platforms have a great ability to attract funds and grow rapidly, relying on external resources (e.g. private houses for Airbnb or private cars for Uber), with a significant impact on the market. These companies act as intermediaries, attempting to reduce frictions in the market and helping the supply and demand sides of a product or service to find each other. As such, existing companies may be inspired by these fast-growing companies to at least partially capture the opportunities underpinning the model. Most of them are digital companies mainly focusing on the service field; nevertheless, recent cases show how platforms are having an impact in many different industries with the spread of the sharing economy and implications in the brick and mortar industries.

This course aims to identify the elements that make platforms such a relevant and interesting business model defining the concept of "Platform thinking", defined as the ability to see the potentialities derived from platform-based models while fostering innovation in the digital world but also in traditional and established businesses.

The course is based on the definition of platforms, taking a historical view on the evolution of this complex concept that became a buzzword, introducing Platform Thinking.

Total workload of the course: 8 h

This MOOC is provided by Politecnico di Milano.

Information about fees and access to materials

You can access the course absolutely free of charge and completely online.

Course materials will remain available to all enrolled users after the end of the current edition, so they can return to content later. The current course edition will be followed by a new one just after its end.

Learning schedule

The course is structured into 3 Modules:

  • Module 1 – Living the platform revolution,
  • Module 2 - The history of platforms,
  • Module 3 - Looking forward.

The modules have different lessons within them, consisting of texts, videos, quizzes and individual self-reflection exercises. We advise you to follow the pathway linearly: even if all the lectures should be self-contained, they often build on concepts introduced in depth in previous videos. It is important that you keep your own pace: the length indications are a rough estimate, but your pace should guide you at best for the enjoyment and the individual reflection on the topics covered.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By actively participating in this MOOC, you will achieve different intended learning outcomes (ILOs).

  1. Understand the impact that platforms have in our daily life,
    ESCO: interpret current data
  2. Identify the main typologies of platforms in the business world,
    ESCO: innovation processes
  3. Assess the evolution of the concept of platforms over time in the management world,
    ESCO: research new ideas
  4. Apply the main “platform thinking” logics to existing platforms to see their innovative power.
    ESCO: seek innovation in current practices

Prerequisites

No prerequisite knowledge is required for this course.

Activities

Over and above consulting the content, in the form of videos and other web-based resources, you will have the opportunity to discuss course topics and to share ideas with your peers in the Forum of this MOOC.

Assessment

The final grade for the course is based on your results from your responses to the quizzes you will find at the end of each week (weekly quizzes). You will successfully complete the course if you reach 60% (or more) of the total score by the end of the edition. The course’s total score will be calculated by averaging the scores of the assessed quizzes for each individual week.

Certificate of Accomplishment

The Certificate of Accomplishment will be released to anyone who successfully completed the course by achieving at least 60% of the total score in the assessed quizzes. You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly on the website.
Once you have successfully passed the course, you can request the Certificate of Accomplishment without waiting for the end of the edition. The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.

The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.

European Qualifications Framework Level

EQF Level 6

Thematic area (ISCED-F classification)

0410 Business and administration not further defined.

Discussion forum

The forum of this MOOC is freely accessible and participation is not guided; you can use it to compare yourself with other participants, or to discuss course contents with them.

Contact details

If you have any enquiries about the course or if you need technical assistance please contact pok@polimi.it. For further information, see FAQ page.

Course Faculty

Daniel Trabucchi

Daniel Trabucchi

Daniel Trabucchi is Assistant Professor at the School of Management, Politecnico di Milano, where he also serves as a senior researcher in the LEADIN’Lab, the Laboratory for LEAdership, Design and INnovation. He works on Innovation Management, he teaches and studies the fields of Platform Thinking, Agile Project Management and the Human side of Innovation (with a strong focus on engagement within the research platform IDeaLs). He co-founded Symplatform, the symposium on digital platforms that aims to foster a constructive discussions among scholars and practitioners.

Tommaso Buganza

Tommaso Buganza

Tommaso Buganza is Associate Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano where he also is co-founder of LEADIN'Lab, the Laboratory for Leadership, Design and Innovation. He is a lecturer in Innovation Management and Project Management, responsible for the Project Management Academy and coordinator of the innovation and training area at MIP (Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business). He is scientific director of IDeaLs the global research platform of Politecnico di Milano that pioneers new ways to engage people to make innovation happen with companies. He co-founded Symplatform, the symposium on digital platforms that aims to foster a constructive discussions among scholars and practitioners.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Classes Start

    Jul 25, 2022
  2. Classes End

    Feb 19, 2023
  3. Length

    1 week
  4. Estimated Effort

    5-8 hours/week
  5. Language

    English
  6. Course Number

    PT101
  7. MOOCs For Professionals
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