Book talk 'Cloud Empires: How Digital Platforms Are Overtaking the State and How We Can Regain Control' with Prof Vili Lehdonvirta

Past Event

06 February 2023, 5:00pm - 6:15pm

Oxford Martin School & Online
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Event Recording:

The early Internet was a lawless place, populated by scam artists who made buying or selling anything online risky business.

Then Amazon, eBay, Upwork, and Apple established secure digital platforms for selling physical goods, crowdsourcing labour, and downloading apps. These tech giants have gone on to rule the Internet like autocrats. How did this happen? How did users and workers become the hapless subjects of online economic empires? The Internet was supposed to liberate us from powerful institutions. In this talk, digital economy expert Vili Lehdonvirta will explore the rise of the platform economy into statelike dominance over our lives and propose a new way forward.

This is a joint event with the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Work.

Vili Lehdonvirta hi res 700x395

Professor Vili Lehdonvirta
Professor of Economic Sociology and Digital Social Research, Oxford Internet Institute

Vili Lehdonvirta is Professor of Economic Sociology and Digital Social Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. He is a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, and a former Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute in London. He has served on the European Commission’s Expert Group on the Online Platform Economy and the High-Level Expert Group on Digital Transformation and EU Labour Markets.

For the past seven years Lehdonvirta has led a research group in Oxford examining how digital technologies reshape economies and with what implications to workers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers. Lehdonvirta’s research has been supported by the European Research Council, the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and other science funding agencies.

Lehdonvirta’s previous book Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis was published by MIT Press in 2014 and translated to Chinese and Japanese. Before gaining a position in Oxford he worked at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, the University of Tokyo, and the London School of Economics and Political Science.