Digital Platforms for Innovative Creative and Entrepreneurial Practices

Session organisers:
  • Shauna Brail (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Shiri M. Breznitz (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Suntje Schmidt (Leibniz-Institute for Research on Society and Space and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany)

Digital platforms by now permeate every sphere of social actions and thereby are integral elements in creative, entrepreneurial and innovative processes as well. In some cases, they broaden funding opportunities for new entrepreneurial ventures or small scale innovation projects, provide support and inspiration, or value and evaluate ideas, designs or prototypes. In other instances, digital platforms support networking activities within specific industries or communities, broker jobs or services such as rides, food deliveries or accommodations. As such, platforms become “performative infrastructures” (van Dijck 2013:29) with specific affordances and constraints that influence collective activities. Against this background, surprisingly little is known about how digital platforms are integrated in creative, entrepreneurial and innovative practices and the spatialities of on/offline spaces that are thereby constructed. A growing number of empirical studies focus on single platforms or types of platforms and thus provide comprehensive insights into the complexities and social dynamics characterizing platforms’ individual functions and place-based nuances. Likewise, a growing body of literature is concerned with the development of a platform economy and the establishing of a platform capitalism. However, little is still known on the practices and the various ways in which users or user groups utilize the diversity of online platforms for their entrepreneurial and innovative endeavors. Against this background we seek theoretical and empirical contributions addressing topics such as:

  • Conceptualizing on/offline spaces in innovation processes
  • Embeddedness of digital platforms in various stages of innovation and entrepreneurialprocesses
  • Affordances and constraints of digital platforms in innovation and entrepreneurial processes
  • The response of government to platforms via policy, partnerships
  • Impacts of COVID-19 as an accelerant of entrepreneurship via digital platforms.


The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


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The University of Manchester Hallsworth Conference Fund           The Regional Studies Association           The Productivity Institute