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TheNTWKSummit 2024 Recap Blog Header

The NTWK Summit 2024 Recap: European Innovation and the Power of Platforms On Display

TheNTWK Summit, one of Europe’s premier gatherings for platform and ecosystem innovation, took place from May 28-29, 2024, in the historic Casa Llotja de Mar in Barcelona. This year’s summit drew over 500 attendees, encompassing ten diverse topic tracks, and featured key themes that are shaping the future of business and technology. Below is a detailed overview of the key themes and sessions that marked this influential event.

Key Themes

The Future of Platforms. The summit explored the evolving landscape of B2B platforms, highlighting trends such as AI integration and the emergence of Marketplaces 2.0. This theme emphasized how businesses can leverage these advanced platforms to enhance their operations and customer engagement.

Business Ecosystems. Discussions around business ecosystems covered governance, partnerships, and the development of industry-specific ecosystems in sectors like mobility, energy, and healthcare. The sessions underscored the importance of collaborative networks and shared value creation.

Circular Economy and Sustainability. A significant focus was placed on circular platforms and green technology. Sessions in this track provided insights on how businesses can adopt sustainable practices and technologies to drive long-term growth and environmental stewardship.

Innovative Startups and Scaleups. “Tomorrow’s Giants” sessions showcased cutting-edge startups and scaleups, highlighting their innovative solutions and business models. This theme celebrated entrepreneurial spirit and the potential of new market entrants to disrupt traditional industries.

Key Sessions

From Ego-System to Eco-System – Building an Open Digital Ecosystem to Accelerate Digital Transformation
Bettina Rotermund, Head of Marketing for Digital Industries at Siemens, led this session focusing on the shift from isolated business models to collaborative digital ecosystems. It emphasized the importance of openness and collaboration in driving digital transformation and fostering industry innovation. A true highlight of the show, Bettina’s explanation of utilizing ecosystem structures and the power of collective collaboration to break down innovation barriers to enable focus on what truly matters…that’s the kind of thinking that leads to real change. 

Circularity by Design
A trio of circular platform and circular business model experts consisting of McFadyen Digital’s Peter Evans, Sara Diez of The Post Fiber, and Site Luis Sala of NNormal , discussed integrating circular economy principles into business designs in a multi-faceted way. They highlighted case studies on sustainable innovation and the benefits of circular business models.

Ecosystems – from Management Theory to Business 
This session saw Thomas Kirste from Bosch, Julian Kawohl from Ecosystemizer, and Johanna Fuchs-Boenisch from Susteco explore the practical application of management theories in building and maintaining successful business ecosystems. The panel discussed practical examples of the power of ecosystems and the process of taking the concepts into practical application to bolster interactions between partners, customers, and even within an organization.

Marketplace 2.0 Monetization Strategies

McFadyen Digital CEO & Author Tom McFadyen delivered an insightful session on the topic of Marketplace 2.0 and how to maximize the monetization possibilities of a third-party commerce site. Based on content from his Amazon best-selling book ,”Marketplace Monetization”, this valuable session presents several ways in which the operator of a digital commerce ecosystem can make money other than by taking commision percentages from sales. This includes data monetization, subscriptions, retail media/on-site advertising, and more.

Unlocking Revenue Streams: The Power of Reverse Logistics
Led by Rich Bulger, author of “Going Circular” this panel included Justus Klüver-Schlotfeldt of NeX Limited, Robert Johnson of goTRG, and Ben Whitaker of RMX Recommerce. The topic focused on the economic and environmental benefits of reverse logistics. It discussed strategies for reclaiming value from returned products and the role of efficient logistics management in boosting profitability.

Unlocking B2B Platform Success with Geoff Parker
Geoff Parker, Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth College and co-author of “Platform Revolution,” shared insights on the critical factors for B2B platform success. The session covered best practices for platform design, user acquisition, and long-term sustainability in the B2B context.

The Marketplace 50 European Preview

The Marketplace 50 is an exclusive list of the top influencers in various categories of platform commerce and digital network ecosystem innovation. These leaders are promoting multi-vendor network ecosystem commerce models and other network-based models from a business, technology, investment, and conceptual point of view. This highly competitive annual distinction accounts for dozens of factors and seeks to recognize those making a meaningful impact on this space.

For the 2024 iteration of The Marketplace 50, TheNTWKSummit 2024 hosted a special “The Marketplace 50 European Preview” that saw McFadyen Digital’s Alex Pesjak announce the first ten honorees of 2024, two from each of the five categories. 

The first ten 2024 honorees of The Marketplace 50 are:

Hall of Fame
  – Robert, Zalando
  – David Schneider, Zalando

Market Makers
  – Niklas Adalberth, Norrsken
  –  Jeroen Arts, SpeedInvest

Thought Leaders
  – Daniel Trabucchi, Politecnico di Milano
  – Tommaso Buganza, Politecnico di Milano

Marketplace Enablers
  – Stephan Fester, SAP
  – Jorrit Steinz, ChannelEngine

Marketplace Operator Excellence
  – Thomas Plantenga, Vinted
  – Rob Cassedy, Wallapop

The Marketplace 50 2024 will be announced and honored July 24th, 2024 in a virtual ceremony at 11am EST/5pm CEST. More details are available at themarketplace50.com.

Important Takeaways from the Summit

Collaboration Over Competition: A recurring theme was the shift from competitive to collaborative approaches in digital ecosystems. Speakers highlighted how partnerships and collective value creation are becoming essential for success in the digital age.

AI and Automation: The role of AI in automating processes and enhancing platform capabilities was a major focus. Discussions included how AI can streamline operations, improve customer experiences, and drive innovation.

Sustainable Business Models: Sustainability was a key topic, with several sessions dedicated to exploring how platforms can support sustainable practices. The circular economy, in particular, was highlighted as a significant area of opportunity.

Global Perspectives: The summit offered a diverse range of perspectives from international speakers, providing a global view on the trends and challenges in digital platform ecosystems.

Networking and Community Building: The event also served as a valuable networking opportunity, with numerous sessions designed to foster connections among attendees. The networking tapas and party were particularly well-received, providing a relaxed environment for collaboration and idea exchange.

Conclusion

TheNTWK Summit 2024 successfully brought together a diverse group of thought leaders to explore the future of digital platforms and ecosystems. Overall, the event highlighted the importance of innovation, collaboration, and sustainability in driving the next wave of growth in the digital economy. By focusing on these key themes and fostering a collaborative environment, TheNTWK Summit continues to be a leading forum for exploring the future of digital business models. Attendees left with actionable insights and new connections, ready to navigate the evolving landscape of digital platforms.

For more details on the event, you can visit the official TheNTWK website​​.

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