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The NTWK SUMMIT 2022 – Recap & Event Highlights


The inaugural edition of the NTWK Summit 2022 was held in Barcelona on the 5th and 6th of May 2022. To understand the objective of this event, we must understand the story of NTWK. In their own words, “The NTWK is a community of digital business model enthusiasts, where venture capitalists, consultants, companies, academics, and entrepreneurs can connect and exchange knowledge to understand better what it takes to build and run an innovative digital business.” They are a one-stop place for all things digital innovation to help its member community access world-class content and services that can help in their digital transformation journey.

Its founders, Marina Planas & Sabrina Guzmán, saw a gap in how content and services around the platform-based business models were structured. It was significantly fragmented and lacked social proof. Hence NTWK was born where all the content, services, and products around the platform economy were aggregated and recommended based on the feedback given by others. 

Tom McFadyen, CEO of McFadyen Digital, was an esteemed speaker at the show; he delivered a workshop on Marketplace Best Practices and was part of a panel discussion on “Retail the transition from e-commerce to marketplaces.”

The NTWK Summit was about connections, networks, interaction, and fun. It was a star-studded event with a galaxy of thought leaders from across the industry discussing the impact of the new technologies like NFTs and metaverse on the digital business model.

Some of the key themes discussed in the event were.

  1. How to innovate to compete in a global “platformized” world by harnessing and integrating with other platforms.
  2. How to adapt to the change going from marketplaces to the metaverse.
  3. How to grow the platform strategy beyond the top 5 (Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Tesla).
  4. How platforms could have an impact on SDG (Sustainability Development Goals)

With that intro, let’s look at some of the notable sessions from the NTWK summit.

Notable Sessions

  1. The Keynote was delivered by Peter C. Evans and Marina Planas on the topic “Innovation and Strategy through Innovative Business Model Trends.” Peter Evans is the Managing Partner at the Platform Strategy Institute, a consultancy dedicated to managing strategy and applying platform business models across a wide range of sectors. This opening session emphasized the innovation trends shaping the next generation of digital business, focusing on how Europe can take a leadership position in this new digital frontier. How can it rise from its actual 0.5 to 8 trillion $ in the next five years? It provided some tangible action items on how to achieve that massive target. This included cultivating more startups, expanding investments on incumbent platforms, and seizing opportunities from the shift towards web3. It was a fantastic session with incredible insights, setting the stage for more exciting things to come.

  2. Tom McFadyen, CEO of McFadyen Digital, conducted a workshop on “Marketplace Best Practices.” The workshop focussed on marketplace dynamics and how to become the disruptor instead of the disrupted with this business model. It was segmented into four sections that tackled the What, Why, Who, and How of disruptions the platforms are causing. This delved into the “Marketplace Maturity Model” and the strategy and technology actions needed to manage two sides of the business. The “what” section looked at the industries, personnel, and GMV across which disruption is taking place. The “why” looked at how the platform beats the pipeline model through faster scalability and network effect. The “who” part looked at the companies that have done great platform executions and lastly wrapped up with “how” to run a marketplace. The session was full of valuable insights and real-world execution examples.Tom was part of another panel discussion about “Retail the transition from e-commerce to marketplaces.” His panel members included Alejandro Fresneda and Victor del Pozo. Alejandro is Co-CEO and Co-founder at YABA, the leading Amazon House of Brands in South Europe. Victor is COO of Veepee, the french multicategory flash sales leader connecting 7.000 brands with 66 million members in 10 countries across Europe. It is now a known fact that marketplaces are leading online sales, with many already selling on the marketplace or setting up one of their own. This session aimed to answer the question, “Is the Marketplace useful for all retailers?” It talked about the current state and future of retailers and marketplaces.
  3. Round Table by Oliver Birk, Vicente Quesada & Andreu Bové titled “Learning from European Digital Business Success Stories” focussed on lessons learned, key insights, and considerations any European company should take to position itself as a leader in the digital innovation ecosystem. This one was not just an excellent session for European companies aspiring to be leaders but for any business trying to set up their business in Europe. Oliver Birk is Director of Platform Management at BASF Coatings, Vicente Quesada is a General Partner at Sherry Holdings, and Andre Bove is a Partner at Bové Montero y Asociados.
  4. Round Table by Julian Kawohl, Simone Cicero & Andrea Contri, moderated Anna Noakes Schulze discussed the topic “How to Innovate with Digital Ecosystems. It delved into the best practices, and prioritization principles to leverage the power of ecosystems. This was especially useful for leaders of enterprises looking to develop the new business beyond the boundaries of their organization.
  5. Another round table chaired by Alun Evans and Peter Evans and moderated by Anna Noakes Schulze discussed “How Brands Can Benefit from NFT.” Alun Evans is the CEO at Freeverse.io, the home of “Living Assets” (NFT 2.0). At the same time, Anna is the Lead UX/CX Strategist at Team Wakabayashi, working in digital business innovation and collaborative ecosystems for enterprise clients.
  6. Banking as a Service, the present and future, was the topic of the Round Table by Dr. Martha Boeckenfeld, Simon Torrance, André Caçador & Ignacio Fonts. This session focussed on the challenges and opportunities of participating in the upcoming trends such as banking as a service and the Defi ecosystem. Simon Torrance, who participated remote, is the Founder of Embedded Finance & Super App Strategies. Dr. Martha is Former Head Digital Platform and Marketplaces, UBS Switzerland, Metaverse Thought Leader, Blockchain and Tech Enthusiast, Advisory Board Member GenTwo, Ambassador BeyondGenderAgenda, startup founder and speaker. Ignacio Fonts is the CEO of Inveready, and André Caçador is Founder & CEO at UNIQ, Fintech Venture Studio.
  7. Ask me Anything (AMA) session by Juho Makkonen took the participants through the process of “Learning how to build and launch an online marketplace business successfully.” Juho participated remotely; he is the Co-Founder & CEO Sharetribe.
  8. A workshop by Daniel Trabucchi & Tommaso Buganza titled “Big corporations switching to the platform” looked at how platforms help established organizations foster innovation. Daniel Trabucchi is an Assistant Professor at Politecnico di Milano. He does research and teaching in the field of innovation. Tommaso Buganza is a Professor of Leadership and Innovation at Politecnico di Milano; Co-founder Leadin’ LAB; Scientific Director IDeaLs.
  9. Reinvent the game: how to leverage the new digital business for more equality? This was the name of the round table session with Joana Barbary, Jaume Ferre, Catherine Schoendorff moderated by Marta Agrech. This session looked at how equality at different levels (role, professional, gender, race, background) and diversity impact digital business models. Joana Barbary Freixa is General Director for Digital Society, and Jaume Ferre is a Chief Technology Officer at Wallbox Chargers. Catherine Schoendorff is a CEO turned C-Suite Coach on a mission to get more female energy to the C-suite.
  10. Building APIs for Green Industries: Fintech & Energy – this was the name of the workshop conducted by Jannika Aalto, Phuong Pham & Catalina De Castro. This session provided a great hands-on view of how APIs and open ecosystems can help build innovative, customer-focused digital products and services that meet sustainability goals. Jannika is the Open Sustainability lead at Platformable. She’s an experienced digital project manager and educator focusing on sustainability and social impact. Phuong focuses on the global Open Banking/Open Finance ecosystem at Platformable. Catalina is Health & Equity Policy Analyst at Platformable.


Wrap Up

It was a great first inaugural edition of the NTWK Summit. It provided a vantage point for Europe to look at where the digital business model ecosystem stands and where it is headed. NFT, Metaverse and Web3 were some areas that panel discussions covered. This is a work in progress, but the future looks promising to those willing to adapt to the digital transformation-led new world order.

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