Power Asymmetries: How big platforms change the organization of society

Our society is increasingly defined by big platforms and their algorithms. Google is already an integral part of education and the workspace, while Facebook, Amazon and Spotify heavily influence how we communicate, what we buy and what music we listen to. The platform model has become the distinguishing organizational form of the early twenty-first century. Whereas actors in markets contract, hierarchies command, and networks collaborate, platforms co-opt assets, resources, and activities – these differences lead to questions of how to adapt to (and regulate) an algorithm-based society. David Stark is the Arthur Lehman Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, where he directs the Center on Organizational Innovation. His current research on networks of cognition in markets and teams is supported by a grant from the European Research Council. At Falling Walls, David will talk about the idea of an algorithmic society, power asymmetries on the organizational level, and the relationship between platform providers and their customers.